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Winning the Oscars: A Good Start

I remember practicing my academy awards speech as a kid. I would face the bathroom mirror, hairbrush in hand as my microphone, and begin my acceptance speech. This was at about age 12.

This scene carried through my adolescence and into early adulthood.

As I became an acting student, first in New York City and then in Los Angeles, my acting buddies and I would project to each other what our upcoming speeches might be.

This is when my Oscar-themed parties began in earnest.

Oddly enough, the actors who eventually did go on to win Oscars or Emmy’s who I became friends with like Edie Falco, Michael Chikliss and Julia Roberts never talked about their possible winning speeches.

However, I imagine they did dream as I did when they were growing up.

The reason I bring all this up, of course, is because I just watched the Oscars Sunday March 7th as they were broadcast live from the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

I started out watching the Barbara Walters Oscar Special. Walters has been doing this special for 29 years and this 2010 broadcast is her last time doing it. As she explained, she was simply tired of doing these specials.

Herman and I think she might reprise one last time to round it off to 30, but who knows?

Then it was on to the red carpet interviews with the actors as they walked into the theater. This year, the red carpet festivities were under cover of plastic with rain threatening. I think the reason they did this was that during the Golden Globes it was raining pretty steadily and the umbrellas were a distraction. Not to mention wilting the stars’ getups.

I wasn’t really surprised at the best actor awards, as they were pretty much predetermined by the SAG Awards and Golden Globes.

The big surprise was Kathryn Bigelow’s win as both best director and best picture for “The Hurt Locker.” I think the media pretty much had her former husband James Cameron tagged for best picture for his “Avatar.”

In talking this over with Herman, we both came to the conclusion that the reality based war depiction was more appropriate for the time as the academy saw it.

Not only was Bigelow the first woman director to receive the nod. Other firsts included the actress Monique from “Precious,” as best supporting actress, Sandra Bullock as best supporting actress and Jeff Bridges as best actor. In fact all the winners were first timers. Which to me is a hats-off to the academy for not going with the tried and true like Streep, who is an institution with 16 best actors Oscars.

I think Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock’s gut-wrenching speeches giving honor to their parents really showed that in these speeches I might have prepared as a girl we all wind up looking to our roots.

So hats off to you Mom and Dad for encouraging me all those years and you still do.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site