I’d like to thank the academy: It’s okay to dream big, authors!
This is a guest post by Sheryl Steines
Do you daydream? Sometimes I live inside my head instead of living in the real world. I admit it. Like many, I’m a daydream believer (RIP Davy Jones.) Anyway, I’m a firm believer in the daydream and the imagination. It’s how I practice, where I work out solutions to problems, real and imaginary, where I figure out what I want to do and how to do it, and it is exactly how I developed my novel and my characters.
Now, every once and a while, I daydream about other things. Usually around award season out in Hollywood, I have this hankering to win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay or Original Screenplay; I’m not picky. Sometimes I think a movie based on one of my novels would be pretty cool. It’s not that I have a strong desire to make a movie or write a script, it’s just that sometimes I wonder if I could. And if I ever did, what would I do if I won? It’s not even so much about the award, but who would I thank for getting there, who inspired me and would I pass out on stage in front of all those people?
It would go something like this:
(Shimmery light and fog as we imagine…..)
“Wow! The greatest night of my professional life, and I got a kiss from George Clooney. (Well if I’m dreaming, I might as well go big.) I want to thank the academy for inviting me to the party. I thought the nomination was the ultimate recognition by my peers. Wow! Now I know how Alice felt after jumping through the rabbit hole.”
(As I longingly look at my new boyfriend, oh I mean award statue)
(Part of me would want to mention the hundreds of resumes that I sent out after graduation from college. With all of them, I was desperately trying to find a job as a writer, proofreader or editor. Oh, all those rejection letters. As I mention them, I would stick out my tongue and make a raspberry as I say, “Bet you wish you’d hired me now!” But really I won’t because that’s mean and vindictive. So I’ll just move on.)
“We don’t get here on our own. There are people who help us, inspire us, and support us in many ways. First for my family; my parents, children and husband for being my biggest support.
(As I look in the audience and smile).
“But I really want to thank the writers who came before me. People who imagined worlds that I could get lost in for hours at a time. I was inspired to do more than sit in the audience or pick up a book to read. I wanted to be the director, the producer, the screenplay writer, the author who came up with the stories.
“I was seven when I read Nancy Drew and I fell in love with mysteries, a genre that still influences me today, the one that The Day of First Sun was built around –the reason I’m standing here today. Eventually I moved on to Stephen King, whose books came from an immense imagination with such detail that I would fall through the pages and into the story, enough to scare the pants off of me. (Seriously, have you read Pet Cemetery and Misery? Need I say more?) I always hoped that someday I could write something that brought on intense fear in others.
“But at some point, life got in the way, and I forgot that I wanted to be a novelist. And then I picked up a little book about a boy named Harry Potter, and that reminded me.
“So I also want to thank JK Rowling for writing a captivating series. The way she pulled the story together and used her personal experiences to create this world inspired me to create a world of my own making and find my own voice.
“I never imagined I’d end up here. Not really. But it was always a dream to create, to bring joy and inspiration to someone else, and to pay it forward, as it was done for me. Movies and books are more than simple entertainment, they offer people an escape. I’m very lucky and fortunate to be able to do what I love and I thank you all.”
(As I raise my Oscar to the sky and smile, fade to black, to shimmery, to the present)
So, do I really think I’m gonna win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Well……..maybe.