Friday, January 10, 2014

Gay Superbowl and Quotes

Edited 01/12/14: I woke up this morning and realized I had forgotten probably my favorite acceptance speech ever. So check the bottom of the post.

The Tony Awards Show, AKA the Gay Superbowl (the 2nd one, Oscars are the 1st), isn't until June 8th but I am already looking forward to it. I love the stage, acting and beyond all else the writers who create these stories. I love the way that theater combines all of the arts in one place. 

I also love quotes. I collect them, really. I have notebooks full of them, little pieces of paper taped to my desk, my bookshelves. I save them on Goodreads and I write them in the margins of my favorite books.  My banner on this blog is a quote I ripped from a magazine advertisement years ago. As a child in love with Harriet the Spy I hoped to grow up to be like Golly. To be able to pull a quote from memory at the right time just to help someone I love.

Some of my favorite quotes have come from acceptance speeches. This article about Meryl Streep's Feminist Tribute to Emma Thompson last night started me on a kick of watching old acceptance speeches on YouTube and remembering some of my favorite moments. (If made to choose between Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson for an award I would quit and give the job to someone else.)

When she received her 2004 Emmy for "Angels in America" Meryl Streep said, “The bravest thing in the world is that writer that sits alone in a room and works out his grief, his rage, his imagination and his deep desire to make people laugh. And he makes a work of art that then transforms the world with the truth. Because that's all we want, ya know? That's all we need.” She was talking, of course, about the great Tony Kushner who wrote "Angels in America." 

The New Yorker published an article about Meryl Streeps True Artform: The Acceptance Speech. Worth a read/watch. I just think Meryl and I could be really good friends, ya know?

Meryl isn't the only one with quotable acceptance speeches, although she really does have a lot of them. One of my favorites came from the Clybourne Park Tony Awards acceptance speech in 2012.

"There are those rare people who can look at the world and see things the rest of us don’t see until they show us. These are the writers. There are the special few who can take that vision and turn it back into a world. These are our directors, designers. There are fearless beings who can live in that world and show us who we are. These are our actors. There are dedicated people who know why that world matters so very much— crew, theatre staff, producers, investors, managers, marketers. And then there are the people who step forward and say ‘Show me this world. Open me. Change me.’ These are our audiences. And when all of these people come together and say ‘Yes’, there is theatre."

One more. Nikky Finney's acceptance speech. Finney, an incredible poet, won the National Book Award for Poetry and her speech, which I've heard now dozens of times, gives me goosebumps.

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