I have a weird thing about “achievements.”
…The thing is: I know I work my ass off to obtain them, and it is really important to me that I personally reach forward and more than just retain my own self-standards. This does not always succeed artistically to my own satisfaction…but one can never point at my work and say, “Yeah, she’s totally just phoning that shit in.”
…Even on my worst day, in the worst play, with all the crap falling down around our ears, no matter how much I may bitch about it in blog forum or privately, when it comes time to hit that stage: that fucker belongs to me and I’m gonna beat it into the most obedient submission I am able to, with as much power, emotion, and intent as I can muster. Not doing so, is the number one mortal sin in my theatrical spiritual belief sector, which I absofuckinglutely refuse to commit.
(…Well, that and “showmancing”…)
…So obviously, while I am my own worst critic in many ways, I will also acknowledge my service to the art, and the storytellers who came before us. I will even acknowledge that upon occasion, (because I work so fucking hard from prep to performance), that I can even kick some ass. Every once in a while, so happens the stars and cast and role and director align, allowing me to maybe even “slay” it.
…A “slaying” requires a sweet-mix of magic show-alchemy, and is always due to the collective team, which helps in both personal achievements, and the appropriateness of saying, “Ah, WE killed it!” Which is more fun anyway…because who doesn’t want to party with their team after a legit smash hit?
…But here is where it gets weird…
Awards make me uncomfortable because of lot of reasons, all scrambled in a stone-soup just plopped on the table. Everyone wants to be polite and politically correct when it comes time to eat it, but everyone also really wants to fucking win first taste of the pot. I mean: let’s just be real.
…Its not that you DO it for the awards, but its not like getting one is some kind of slap in the face. To throw everything you’ve got (and some stuff you don’t) onto a stage, and then get nominated for it, is kind of a really huge booster-shot in the ass…as an acknowledgement of your craftsmanship and dedication.
…And I will even go so far as to say, in a lot of cases, “Fuck yes, I earned it!” Being a nominee is a giant honor, given by peers and audiences alike, and while sometimes you get the popular vote cuz of say a “body of work” vs “this actual role,” I think I can personally tell the difference of the “gimme” vs the “truly earned.”
…Case in point: Broadway.com.
Every year they release their regional nominations, of which I’ve crazily made the list up to four times in three catagories, in one year. For three years I split my own vote odds by warring with myself is the same catagory (as I have this year), which I’m not stating as like, “Ooo, ahh…lookit her all over the listings,” I’m saying: there are like over 3,000 working stage actors in the greater Seattle area. Me up there that many times means others aren’t. Other also super hard working artists, who consistently deliver the goods on the boards, and for whatever reason…lack of audience, politics, yet-to-build name-recognition…AREN’T on the list. I mean, I work my ass off, but so do they. I’ve built a career here across 15 years so far, so why should they get the shaft cuz they’re just starting? I did one role this season that I know in my guts, was one of those times an actor merges with heart and soul and therefore can just bleed it out of every pore. But what if they did too?
…This is why awards suck. Its acknowledgement of achievement, but it never means you were the absolute best at something. Art doesn’t work that way. Actually, nothing does. Even a fucking Olympic medal is determined by 1/18th of a second, or a stuck landing vs a wobble on a piece that’s been “perfected” across two decades of time. It’s fate and odds and all kinds of other things, but it doesn’t mean you are really any finer an athlete than the other guy. Four nominations doesn’t make me the better artist.
…Which is all to say: Award season makes me both excited and really uncomfortable. I am always hugely ecstatic for my super talented friends when they are recognized…and super hugely appreciative and grateful to see my name beside theirs. And where I will tout them til the cows come home, I always feel incredibly strange at how to react to my own name.
…I’m not comfortable whoring it to the masses for votes, because of all the reasons I’ve just specified. But secretly, of course, to win would be superfuckingamazeballs.
…And, where one of the nominations, I do not agree with this year…the other: I absofuckinglutely do.
…So what I’m saying is…I have a question:
Can one admit a job well done, and openly hope to win what we already know is a “right time, right place, right cast” award, and still hold balance with the fact that it’s a momentary acknowledgement…WITHOUT just sounding like a balls-out hypocritical nomination-whore?
…Or do you just smile and nod in appreciation to the fact that you even made the list to begin with? At what point do you just look like a greedy asshole?
…Or: at what point is it worth turning into one?