Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Ah, Oscar!

The Academy Awards:
It’s Her second year being nominated That Girl that was at the RFDS with me.
She’s gorgeous. Now more than before even. Heavier make-up, more ‘Glam’.
The layers of smoky eye-shadow raccoon-ing Her lids, both upper and lower, speak Her ambition, tell of Her desire to be seen differently: No more plain Jane, girl-next-door.
In Hollywood, beauty wins.
Next year will be hers.

How do you feel? He asks, watching me watch her.
Curled in a ball, still wearing the same raggedy nightgown I had on since the night before, since the morning, since all day, "Fine." I say, and take another sip of wine. I don’t want him to know because he wants to hear exactly what only half of me feels.
So I tell him the part he doesn’t want to hear.

"I’m happy for her. I’m proud of her. It’s a difficult business. It’s an unfair business. It’s the one business where there really is no justice. She was talented at the RFDS and she’s very good in all her films. She had a famous father. But she deserves this. But too, she’s lucky. Because for everyone one of my former friends that are now famous, there are fifty that are still actors, still just as talented, and still trying to ‘make it happen.’"

I am not one of them. We know what happened to me.

I’m tired. And they haven’t even gotten to her category yet. Can barely keep my eyes open. Each inhale is a yawn. My friend takes the hint. Close the door behind him. Suddenly no longer tired. Find the familiar hollow again on the sofa. Commercial, commercial, commercial, commercial and we’re back. It’s her turn. They announce her name, show a clip. She’s good.

She’s always been good. But so was I.

So was I.

The envelope is read. She applauds, retains a perfect smile—not too wide, not too tight, spread across Her face. The winner heads to the stage. It’s not Her. But next year. Next year. She’s got a Make-up Artist now. A Manager. An Image Consultant. An Entourage. She’s hit the "A" list. Next year is Hers. She knows it. I know it. And I am happy for Her.

I am.

We worked hard—all of Us. The RFDS was grueling. And we all worked harder than we could have imagined.

The sadness that is in me is not about Her.
The sadness that is in me is two-fold.
It is both Interesting (to me) and Sad in a self-pitying sort of way.

I wonder about Fate and for a moment bemoan mine.

Then I remember I don’t believe in Fate.

Life is Choices, one after another. I chose based on what was in front of me. I chose. I crossed my fingers, clicked my heels and hoped for the best. Oz became a memory and this, what I do now, became Home.

Then I remember something about Her. And for a nanosecond, it pisses me off.

Years ago when She was semi-famous, I had an agent for a book. I wrote Her a letter asking, if the book were to be published, if She would write a blurb for me. I never heard back from Her.

She’s smart. Very politically savvy.

She couldn’t have. I know that now. She can’t know someone like me, endorse someone like me. I know that and in truth, I don’t blame Her. Her new hair, Her couture gown, Her thick make-up tell me all I need to know.

No. It wasn’t Fate. There was nothing I did so wrong that She is there and I am here. There is no angry God punishing me. It just is what it is.

And when I’m working, when I’m alone in my own little self-proclaimed theatre playing with the latest client, I am in bliss. There is nothing better than the scripts we write and create moment by moment. There is nothing better than the love and the intimacy I am blessed to give and receive everyday of my working life.

But when the stage is dark, the players have gone home and I realize my theatre is also a Prison, albiet one I built myself, the ache persists. And then too, the Voice. The ridiculously dramatic Voice in my head that cries out (now and then, and always while watching the Academy Awards) "I coulda been a contender!"

Yeah. I coulda been. I was. But I’m not now. And I’m not anymore.

I didn’t start life as a cute blond with a pleasing air and a willingness to play ball.
I am now.
But I wasn’t then.

And many of the choices I made were because I wasn’t that way and needed to become so in order to be where She is.

So I tried.

Yet somehow, my choices along the way took me further from the goal.

But I am now.
Now, I am a cute blond, with a charming air and one who plays ball all the time.

Somehow I just ended up on the wrong platform.

Or maybe not. For I don't have just one Oscar. I have hundreds. (Oscar Smith, Oscar Jones, Oscar...)


At 10:30 PM, Blogger Zen Master said...


Glad to see that you weren't too tired/busy to watch the Academy Awards. Good thing it was on Sunday night. I was wondering if you were watching the same time I was tuned in.

There are certainly a lot of people who feel the same way you do. You could have gone to the Anti-Awards Ceremony and found a lot of them there.

You can't live in your past! In some ways you are way ahead of many who have continued to pursue stardom yet in some ways you have achieved stardom in your own special way and have a hugh fan club and have received an Oscar (so to speak) for 3 consecutive years! The Underground Oscars perhaps? Don't forget that.

Funny that you made the reference to Oz since I saw Wicked on Saturday. The "wicked" weren't so wicked after all they were really good, deep down and they didn't want anyone to know.

See you soon....

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Samurai Warrior said...

Ooookay. Who felt worse? Martin Scorsese or Persephone? He looked sooo sad when he didn't win. Nominated 5 times and never won. We're talking just for the moment...

Even Jay Leno said on the Tonight Show that Clint was the oldest director (74) ever to win an Oscar... a record only to be broken by Scorsese...

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