I have not been a modern music aficionado since Barry Manilow’s day, when I could have told you all the top ten songs in a given year. I didn’t watch the Grammys until a few years ago, when I started tuning in to watch the oldies-but-goldies they brought on to teach the one-hit wonders what longevity is all about. Now I’m hooked. At the same time, I am now a movie aficionado in a big way. I see a number of movies a week and review them on my other blog, Movie and Popcorn No Butter (which, thanks to you all, is doing very well).
As I watched the Grammy performances this past weekend, I had a few epiphanies. First, it takes a lot to perform at the Grammys. Beyoncé and Tina Turner worked on their performances before they went on stage. They honed their dance moves. They synchronized their harmonies and they practiced with the other people on stage who backed them up. Second, they spent a lot less time with their thank-yous (and their self accolades disguised as thank-yous) than actors do at the Academy Awards, and the show was all the better for it.
Then I thought about the Academy Awards, and how women prepare for them by deciding what to wear and whom to accept freebies from in exchange for hawking their wares. Buccellati Jewelers was once a marketing client of mine, and I can tell you that getting an Oscar nominee to wear a piece of jewellery is the Holy Grail. And I mean holy. So then they get up there and do their rehearsed and practiced thank-you speeches—some of which are ostensibly off the cuff, but really aren’t.
“Oh,” I said to myself, “no wonder you like the Grammys better these days.” And I thought of a fabulous idea: instead of ninety seconds of thank-yous during the Academy Awards, how about we ask the actors to get up and do a monologue chosen through a Facebook Contest? Seriously, let them perform the way the musicians do. Let them practice for their moment in front of a few hundred million fans, and let them perform the ‘craft’ they constantly refer to with such reverence in their thank-yous.
In other words, how about they sing for the Oscar Statue’s supper? Get up there and wow me with something from a past Academy-Award winning movie. Give me thirty seconds of a rendition of Liza Minnelli’s phone booth monologue, which was the finest moment in her career. Or how about Gregory Peck’s plea to all of humanity in To Kill a Mockingbird? Give me something that entertains me during the awards, instead of something that entertains you. Strut your stuff with the same pride and earnest effort that your musician counterparts do. Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce and the rest of the gang who sweated up there Sunday night worked hard for their money.
So increase your ratings—and my admiration—and show me; show all the world why you deserve the golden statue that seems to mean so very much to you.