Actors beware, it’s Oscar season.

Please don’t believe the hype. Don’t get caught up in the thought that Oscar proves one actor right and the losers wrong. If you ever read the history of the Oscars you’d see they’re borne of a need to stroke actors so as not to pay them more. They are all about hyping the hype.

Yes there are great performances but um, has anyone really ever agreed on what is the best anything in the arts? Can you? Art is there to communicate bigger ideas and deeper feelings than can be quantified, so why all the stress about who’s the best? Money.

That’s why I say you’re best not to see Oscar as the goal of your art. It may be a guilty ego pleasure to dream about, but it should not be the bullseye of your efforts. Cher won an Oscar. How high is she on your list of genius’? Do you aspire to be as good as she is?

Be very careful in the season of hype not to lose faith in what you bring to the table. Your talent. Your heart. Your belief that art is the only thing worth working a boring night job for. My teacher used to say to us “You have to fight to keep this work alive!” I always thought that meant I had to fight those directors that would try to talk me out of my choices. So while I was on guard for that I was shocked to learn that the battle was within me. You can get lazy quick by listening to the hype and abandoning your sense of your work. I have yet to be on a set where the dailies were ever anything but “amazing!” You hear your work was unbelievable yesterday and gosh it’s easy to start down the path of, “well so-and-so said my scene was good, there fore it must have been good.” Have any of you ever heard this come out of your or a classmates mouth? “I don’t know what I’m doing when I get on stage it just comes out I don’t judge it, it’s just whatever it is…” ummm. No one buys that. You’re now hyping yourself up as a last resort before you have to recognize that you’ve gotten lazy. Yes, there can be a nice feeling on stage of being out of total control, but that’s called being in the moment. Actors know where they are and why they are there. If you don’t, that’s called mental illness, not acting.

The Oscars are great for keeping good movies in theatres longer, they are good for shedding light on performances that give us faith in the idea that talent will win out. In other words, they are good for inspiring the artist within. If you are not on guard for what they really are, marketing for the industry, what they have a tendency to do is to inspire the insecurity within. Stay away from that.

Eat the Oscars like candy but stay on your high fiber diet in class or in your auditions. Don’t let the hype inform your work.

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