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on Thursday, July 14, 2011

Originally published: FEBRUARY 26, 2007

Catch Karen on air February 26, 27 and 28 on ROB-TV's Workopolis Show hosted by Bruce Sellery!  A link to watching the shows online will be provided when available.

A blog in honour of the Oscars. 

I stayed up far too late to watch and still had to wait until morning to see Marty Scorcese pick up his Oscar for the first time (thank god for the makes television so civilized).  I was thinking about how a couple of nominees (Forest Whittaker is one that comes to mind, Ellen DeGeneres the host was another) talked about dreaming big dreams as young they were once "just like you" and they dreamed big and now here they are on Oscar's stage accepting that award.

Now I don't want to be a downer here.  I think it's moving and beautiful when people like Forest share their difficult rise to the top (Ellen captured it beautifully when she suggested that winners should reference a childhood in the Bronx and  illiteracy since "audience's love that").  All of us like a good "rags to riches" story.

We love to have the sensation that anything is possible even if the odds are stacked against us, and that we too could one day reach the very pinnacle of our profession on a stage in a beautiful ballgown/stylish tux, with Jack in the front row, George Clooney behind us, and make everyone who ever knew us proud in that one shining moment.

But here's the thing.  For every winner there's four people in the audience who didn't win, and there's 20 people who were in contention for being on the ballot and then there are the people whose films weren't popular or seen this year or their studios didn't put money behind them.  People who are amazingly talented in their own right that didn't get on the ballot because it was Marty's year to win etc. etc.  If they didn't win the Oscar, does that mean that they aren't "the best"? What about people who do great work but will never win an Oscar because they are comedians, or small bit players, or just don't ever get the right movie in the right year.  Does that make their work less relevant?

We have to be careful of saying that we aren't fulfilled if we don't have something so glorious and obvious as an Oscar to tell us we made it.  We have to learn to recognize and then celebrate our own accomplishments, to feel them as deeply and profoundly as if we were getting an Oscar - or at least a Golden Globe.

Don't stop dreaming big dreams.  Don't stop believing (as Journey might blast you in a power ballad).  Vision yourself at the top.  But find your own top - the accomplishments that suits you and your skills and your purpose.  You'll know it's the right dream because it will make you happy to dream about, and motivated to continue.

And the winner is...You!

p.s. A Day Later...Ellen said to Oprah on her After Oscar Show (because who else do you say it to?) that she wanted to be an Oscar Host versus receive an Oscar "because everyone has a different dream". Ellen went on to describe what she enjoys - making an immediate audience connection vs. sitting in a trailer waiting to make a movie.  Ellen illustrated by her example that it's okay for us to have different dreams and to recognize what would be wonderful for one person, would be tedium for another. 

So stop forcing someone else's idea of success on yourself and focus on what makes you energized!  What's your deepest dream?

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