So, the fiasco at the Academy Awards went like this: the final category is always Best Picture. It is the highlight of the evening, of movie-going for the entire year. The presenters come onto the stage, envelope in hand, introduce the nominees, take a dramatic pause as they open the envelope and retrieve its contents. Then they announce, "And the Oscar goes to....." This year, the presenters paused a bit longer, looked at each other, and finally said, "La, La Land!" Everyone involved in that film leapt from their seats and hurried to the stage, taking their turns at thanking the Academy, etc, etc, for this great honor.
But then something happened that has never happened before in the history of the Oscars - one of the members of the La, La Land crew stepped to the microphone and said, "wait, there's been a mistake. La, La Land didn't win. Moonlight won. This isn't a joke." And he held up the card to a shocked audience. It was confirmed and so everyone involved in THAT film leapt form their seats and hurried to the stage to retrieve their statues.
It was a fiasco and the reason it occurred has been solved so if you are interested in hearing how that happened, you can easily find a news story about it online. I want to get straight to the lesson I have taken from this "fiasco." The group I feel a little sorry for (even though in the end they won) is the cast of Moonlight. Here's why - most people who make movies and star in them have one dream above all others - to hear their name or the name of their movie called out after that legendary pronouncement, "And the Oscar goes to..."
Moonlight will never get to experience that. It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Even if any of those folks win Oscars in subsequent years, for this film they didn't get to hear "And the Oscar goes to... Moonlight!"
So, why do I care? What's the lesson I have drawn out of this "very Hollywood" moment? Well, as with most things, after-the-fact it is easy to think about how something maybe could have been handled differently, better. And, it is even EASIER to think such things when we have nothing to do with it! (ha, ha...) Having said that, this is the thought I had as I pondered the Moonlight folks missing out on that one quintessential Hollywood moment. If the person who noticed the mistake would have taken five seconds to collect his thoughts instead of simply stepping up to the microphone and saying, "hey, there was a mistake, Moonlight won", they could have preserved the moment for those folks. They could have gathered the cast of La, La Land to the back of the stage and had the presenters step forward and say that there had been a mistake. And then say they would re-announce the winner, which obviously wouldn't be La, La Land but there were several other nominees. Then the presenters could have said, "And the Oscar goes to.... Moonlight!" And they'd get "their moment."
The point in all of this, for us "regular, everyday folk" - there are moments in all of our lives where a hiccup can occur - a small one or a big one. And, if we don't have our wits about us we might make a knee-jerk reaction that could result in an outcome that was less than desirable. However if we take a pause in those moments, sometimes it might only need to be 5 seconds, we might gather our clarity of mind to make an informed decision that will be to everyone's benefit. This is a skill that takes much practice and determination. How often do we make knee-jerk reactions. And, more importantly, how often do we go on to regret those knee-jerk reactions.
I realize it is quite literally a Hollywood story. But, we can reach into our own lives and draw a truth out of it for ourselves. I hope you will. Our lives most certainly will be better for it.