(Written directly after the Oscars)
I remember when I was a little girl, about 12 years old, I went to the circus in Idaho with my family. After the circus, somehow I was introduced to a boy, a little person about 19 years old, who was sent away to work in the circus. How this happened, I really have no idea. All I know is that he lived and travelled with the show and had no idea that a life outside the circus tents might be possible. When he found out that my father was a teacher, his eyes lit up and he seemed surprise that such a path might be possible. What was conveyed to me most specifically was the realization that the world had not changed very significantly from the days little people were side show acts in the “carnivale freakshow”. While I understand that this was probably a rare encounter, it impressed upon me that my human dignity could only be taken as seriously as I carried myself. And that certain privileges had been bestowed upon me, an education, that had I remained with my biological parents in Israel, would have never been possible. A scary encounter but an encounter that planted a mustard seed of hope that sparked a desire to live boldly and fearlessly.
A little over ten years later, I find myself at the Academy Awards. While not on my own merit, it was certainly a “full circle moment”. Over the years I’ve heard Oprah talk a lot about dreaming. Often times, during the course of her specific shows, women will say that their biggest dream was to attend the Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah will usually smile and say, “you’ve done it honey, now dream a BIGGER dream.” My experience at the Academy Awards was never exciting to star-gawk or wax poetically about being less than five feet from so-and-so. While that was random and surreal, that was not the reason I was so weepy at nearly every acceptance speech and moving moment. (The weepiness has not faded three days later). My tears come from the fact that the realization of achieving a smaller dream now allows me to have just a little more confidence to dream a bigger dream. The immense gratitude I feel in even being allowed to experience this makes me abundantly thankful. I now have just a little more spark inside me to realize my own potential and be able to carry the liferaft and hopefully be able to pull someone else up too. I have always wanted to be an actress, without it, nothing else in the world makes sense.