I didn’t watch the entire Oscars telecast. I lasted up until just after the Costume Awards. Yawn. Boring. Endless. I did watch bits and pieces of the red carpet parade, made approving or disapproving snarky remarks as necessary to my dogs and caught the recaps this morning. The forced banter and bad jokes were just too painful, and Anne Hathaway, while lovely, was just a tad too perky for me at 9 PM on a Sunday evening.
One thing I did catch live however was the appearance of Kirk Douglas. As my husband quickly googled “how old IS Kirk Douglas” into his iPhone (because of course it’s very difficult to watch live television anymore without an electronic gadget at the ready), we watched him make his way to the microphone to a standing ovation from the assembled glitterati.
Now granted, “show business” is totally unlike any of OUR businesses. There are probably a million and one good reasons why the movie people clap and cheer for anyone who can survive in that world. In that audience last night I’m sure we had self-serving clapping (“oh God, please make sure they show me on camera beaming and clapping in the audience”), being-one-of-the-crowd ovations (“I can barely stand up in this dress, but I better go along and participate in this standing ovation”), and true heartfelt applause (“I appreciate that this guy has been working in the movies since the 1940’s”).
But no matter the reason, I was still moved by the appearance of a survivor on that stage.
Someone who survived in a brutal and unforgiving industry for a number of years, no doubt through an extraordinary combination of talent, energy and determination. Someone who provided inspiration to some of his family members follow in his footsteps. Someone who has, no doubt, inspired countless others to follow their dreams or reach their goals. Someone who, or so it appears, is thankful to have overcome health issues and is able to continue to be an active, vital and involved human being.
Remove the jewels and couture gowns and scrub off the expertly applied makeup in that room and you COULD have any other industry or business. We all have survivors too – in our midst. Every single day.
Remember to appreciate them. And a standing ovation may be appropriate.