Letter #689: The Oscars & Mistakes

Dear mistakes,

You are inevitable. Whether it’s an unknowing error, a malicious intent or an honest mishap, you are going to happen. Regardless of the method, the truth is you are inescapable. Nobody is excused.

Mistakes will happen, but I would argue that life’s not as much about the actual mistake as it is how we respond to it.

I don’t watch vast amounts of TV, but I was able to catch the opening and ending of the Oscars last night. Truly, it’s the longest show ever! Seriously, Hollywood would give a Baptist preacher a run for his money on what it looks like to push a time limit, but I got sucked into seeing it through. After what I watched play out, I’m glad I did! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it live!

The last award, Hollywood’s elite on the edge of their seats awaiting the winner of Best Picture. The nominees were listed, then Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway opened the envelope to announce Hollywood’s highest mark of achievement. After a confused and slow exchange, Beatty handed the envelope to Dunaway who excitedly announced “La La Land.” Minutes into their acceptance speech, chaos ensued. One of “La La Land’s” producers came to the mic informing everyone a mistake had been made and “Moonlight” was actually the winner. WHAT?!?!?! I’m not going to give anymore play-by-play details on what happened, but if you haven’t seen the exchange it’s worth a few minutes. Honestly, you won’t believe it until you see it for yourself!

Beatty stepped up to the mic to explain. He alluded to the fact he had been given the wrong envelope, the one declaring Emma Stone as best actress from “La La Land.” He explained that was why he took so long to read anything from the card. I felt so bad for him. I’m guessing at 89-years-old many watching could have assumed he simply got confused and read the card incorrectly. However, his explanation has been confirmed, and he was in fact handed the wrong card.

An honest mistake, one that just happened to be incredibly visible! Mistakes are inevitable…even for an organization with millions of dollars invested to pull off an event. But remember, it’s not the mistake that has to define us. How we respond once it’s been made is what matters most.

The damage had already been done, but the quick response to correct their mistake is noteworthy. Taking responsibility for our mistakes is not a fun moment, but it’s always right. Of course life is easier when things happen without error, but that’s not reality. And so we focus on our responses to those errors. We grow in our willingness to admit we were wrong. We walk in humility and make things right even when it makes us look unprepared and honestly like an idiot.

I have zero skin in the game on who actually won the Oscar. I’ve literally only seen three total movies that were even up for awards last night. What I do know is that every human can learn from watching a very public mistake be made. The cast and crew of “La La Land” had to have been disappointed, but they responded with grace. The “Moonlight” team received their Oscar with humility. A mistake was made and was corrected as quickly as possible. Both parties were filled with class, at least in the immediate, on that stage last night. Like any mistake, this can be an opportunity to positively remind people how to appropriately react when mistakes are made. Sure, we can laugh about it, but I also think individuals, our nation and even our world could use this reminder of humility, class and grace.

Today I can guarantee one thing. You won’t make as big of a mistake as the Oscars did last night when they announced the wrong winner for Best Picture. So when you do make a mistake, just remember, you didn’t make it in front of millions of people on live TV. You’re going to be OK. Own your mistake and move on. Operate with humility, class and grace. A new day is coming along with more opportunities! And you will be better the next time because you learned from a mistake you already made.


P.S. If you haven’t seen Justin Timberlake’s opening of “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” you need to! 

Letter #658: Oscars Observations

Dear Oscars,

On a night filled with glitter, glitz, fame, fashion and all of Hollywood’s finest, you did not disappoint.

From Ellen ordering pizza, to John Travolta butchering Idina Menzel’s name, to my sister texting me to ask if Ellen really broke Twitter, you had some good flair.

And don’t forget Meryl Streep’s shimmy, Jennifer Lawrence’s red carpet fall (the bloopers from her playing Katniss have to be hilarious), the selfie Bradley Cooper took with the most famous people in it ever and so much more.

I haven’t seen any of the films that were up for awards except for Frozen (hi, my name is Lindsay, and I work at a summer camp!), so my level of interest was minimal concerning who won. There are a few more movies on my list to see now, but I was mostly watching to laugh and be aware of what’s happening in culture. You met my needs.

I don’t love awards shows, but I half-heartedly watched part of you while getting my life in order for the week and read tweets after that made me laugh. Seriously, Twitter is at its prime during live events.

So in the midst of everyone else analyzing dress/designer choices, celebrity interactions and every other detail of these mere human beings lives that we tend treat as our modern day Captain Americas, I have three random thoughts:

  1. Making people laugh is not easy. Can you imagine being responsible for the entertainment of thousands at an event , most of which are entertainers themselves, on top of millions viewing from home? It can’t be easy, but when you’re good at it, it has to be the most fun thing ever. Ellen is really good at it. I have LOTS to learn before my future stand up career. 🙂
  2. Speeches. They’re either really good or well, REALLY BAD. You have to love a speech that pulls out of the self-centeredness that is Hollywood and points people to something greater. Lupita Nyong’o”s speech was remarkable. “…no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” Keep dreaming world.
  3. Matthew McConaughey. I’m still trying to wrap my arms around him. He’s a bit all over the place, but I appreciate his authenticity. Again, he stepped outside of himself and made his speech more purposeful than it had to be. His ideas on needing “someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase” come with great depth. I don’t know what he actually believes, but thanks for acknowledging God’s role in your talents. Thanks for celebrating your family, specifically your wife and kids. It’s rare a traditional family, the kind seen scripturally, is celebrated these days. Thanks for thinking outside of the hero box and giving each of us something to strive for as well as pushing us to live with purpose when you said yourself in 10 years is who you’re always chasing. I’m sure I analyzed your words far more than most, but I appreciate the depth and vulnerability you showed.

All in all, you didn’t disappoint. I’m always blown away by the amount of money, time and energy invested in events like you, but I am also surprised by your ability to draw awareness through the celebration of cinema. Millions of people are more aware slavery still exists today because “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture. Steve McQueen’s speech: “Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live”…I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery. And the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.”

Until next time,

Oscars observer

Letter #470: The Oscars…

Dear Oscars,

Whoever scheduled you and the NBA All-Star Game on the same night was, if I was Santa, on my “naughty list.’ Thanks to DVR, it actually benefitted me. I got to see just enough of both events as I did laundry, unpacked from Charleston and re-packed to get back to Shady B. I had some great laughs keeping track of my thoughts of the Grammy’s, so idid it again for you! Here goes nothing…

Billy Crystal…timeless. And filthy rich after starring in every best movie selection! Great opening sketch.

Information on becoming a seat filler needed NOW.

How about J. Lo quoting the famous costume designer about wearing loose enough clothes to look like a lady as she’s wearing a dress tighter than my skin?!

How sweet would it have been to film all the individual interviews (Pitt, Sandler, Carrell, Witherspoon) of when they fell in love with movies?!

Excuse me, who is the HOTT guy next to Octavia/Minnie from The Help?! Precious speech. Stunning dress. Love her “realness.’

The 4D version of the movies was brilliant. Sheer brilliance. And if that’s anything what the Cirque de Soleil is, I would love to attend someday.

Emma Stone is funny and a great actress. Rough life. Also, Ben Stiller looks a bit too much like the episode of Friends where Ross gets a spray tan…”I’m a four!!!!”

82 years old and Plummer still has a grand sense of humor. Lord, may I be blessed to have a funny husband at both a young and old age! P.S. Age jokes are flying more rampant at you than about Brandon Weeden at the NFL combine.

I’m convinced Angelina Jolie’s boney elbows are her primary weapon when playing Tomb Raider. Sweetheart, go eat a steak. We all know you can afford it.

Seriously, the clips with the actors are so good. Genuine. Pure. Make the masses feel connected. 84 tries, and you’ve finally made the stars seem real.

OMG…I legitimately didn’t even recognize Viola Davis. She looks 15 years younger with that hairstyle only a black woman can pull off. She is beautiful and a gracious loser. Colin Firth’s synopsis is spot on: “quiet humility and a backbone of steel.’ May I be more of this description.

Is this the year of Marilyn Monroe or something??? Smash, A Week with Marilyn; what’s next: The Real Housewives of Joe Dimaggio?!

Meryl Streep: You have to appreciate her ability to make fun of herself while confidently accepting her achievement.

The Artist: Congrats on best film, but I was secretly hoping you would have been left speechless in your acceptance speech to stay true to your style. Also, I don’t know that I could ever make it through a silent film without it becoming nap time!

You’re a fun event, but the only way to watch you is via DVR…picking and choosing to watch only the highlights and funny scenes!

Until next year,Potential to be a great seat filler someday!P.S. I’m back from Vaca. It was awesome. Updates and pics coming soon!

Letter #150: Oscar Legos

Dear Oscars,

Today is your day. The day the best movie of the year is selected and people care more about who’s walking the red carpet with whom and what great and terrible fashion statements celebrities are making. Now that I’m on my own budget, Redbox is about the only movie viewing I can afford. Therefore, I haven’t seen many of this year’s nominees. Nevertheless, I’ll likely tune in to at least a bit of you and eventually see the highly acclaimed and my guess to win, “The King’s Speech.’

Sure, you’re a huge production who’s main purpose is to glorify the acting industry, but let’s shift gears for a moment. When I was a kid, I built Legos like it was my job. Growing up my “Santa” Christmas gift, this meant my big gift of the year, was often Legos. Two of my favorite were the nearly 2,000 piece semi set and the motorized train. My love for building led me to legitimately consider construction management as my major…thankfully in the end I chose public relations.

So how do you and my love for Legos coincide?! Every year there’s a different way in which your nominees are portrayed. Video clips are the most common, but I came across a neat and unique way to view you this year. Every nominated movie is represented by Legos in this clip I found on cnn.com. It’s pretty creative and worth a couple minutes of time in my opinion. Plus, it’s a new way to get the public hyped for you tonight!

Click this picture for the video...you'll have to watch a brief commerical, but it's worth it.

I always love when people combine childhood with modern day, and my child self definitely didn’t care about you but now I do. I’m also thankful I grew out that bowl cut!

May you be enjoyable, funny with new hosts and inspire us all with the fashion, or lack of, witnessed tonight,

Lego connoisseur for life