It is so unexpected…Not really. I can’t breathe. The roar of applause as my name is announced as the recipient of this award. A shrill scream emits from the person next to me and I am so overwhelmed with disbelief that I look over. It is my sister Winifred… she is embarrassing me as she jumps to her feet sobbing like an old maid and clapping hysterically. Quite the show right there. I am speechless. Besieged by utter incredulity and joy that quickly morphs into fear as I think they have made a mistake. I hesitate petrified by the thought that maybe this might be a prank and I am being Punked. The words “Where’s Ashton?” run through my mind, but I bite my tongue and stand. My legs shake like an internal earthquake has been set loose upon my muscles and bones. I climb the marble stairs quickly and carefully, wishing not to make a fool of myself by tripping or slipping over and down their slick surface. I make it to the top, without an accident. I make my way across the stage intrepidly, suffocating the fear resonating from my core. The award for Best Actor is thrust into my hands by the very perky presenter. Do they not realize? Oh Dear God, they do not realize that they have made a horrible mistake. I am not the real recipient of this award! It is a farce! Some sort of terrible joke and I am the show. The microphone, which will broadcast my voice to not only this stadium of actors, actresses, directors, and everyone else in this business, but also the thousands of TV’s broadcasting this event, looms in front of me. My downfall will be broadcasted all over the world. I make a stab at my acceptance speech, but the words stick in the back of throat shrieking in terror at the thought being a part of this mockery. And then I cry. Real manly.
“Ahh, I must have had a dose of estrogen or something…” I say into the microphone as I laugh and cry simultaneously. And then I rupture. The words spill out in a river of disbelief and overjoyed speechlessness. And then it happens, just like you always dreamed, everyone stands and begins clapping. Those that could have received this award do not even look disgruntled, they are all smiling. Confused I focus in on what the presenter is saying and then it all makes sense. I am the youngest actor to ever win the Oscar for Best Actor. And it is like icing on a well made cake. I begin to cough wildly as I make my way back to my seat.
What be the need of celebration now? It is all I ever wanted. My mind screams and does somersaults as it begins to dawn on me that this is no sham. That I am not being Punked. I am perfectly safe in this reality. Winifred is kissing my cheek. My phone is suddenly alight with missed calls from Anastasia, Jack, Achilles… and everyone else. And I laugh despite myself. Don’t they know that you don’t answer your phone during the Oscars?
It is not improbable. I have been wrapped in a cocoon of people that say it is never going to happen, that I will never make it as an actor, and that there is no place for thinking like that in “reality.” Usually I brush it off easily. Other times I let myself listen to their “Pearls of Wisdom” because they “know” so much about this world. And then I snap. Brush it off once again. And I look at them with a smile of pure deviousness, laugh and say “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. Which are things you obviously lack!” Okay, I do not say it exactly like that… a few “filthy” words slip into there too. In fact a girl once told me that I would peak in high school and never amount to anything. I then told her that when she was a stripper I would make sure not to over tip her in quarters. And then I said “Wait! Who would want to see you as a stripper! Talk about a way to induce blindness!” Albeit that might have been over the top or a little too harsh, but when you step on my feet…let it be known I am not one to be silent.