March 12th, 2001


(no subject)

I really enjoyed the SAG awards. This is my union. I wanted to belong for so long, it meant so very much to me when I finally got my card. It was like crossing a threshold between real and unreal as an actor, and I know that's unfair and untrue but that's how it felt.

There were so many moving moments in this show, the speeches, the tributes, even an ad with the artist who was so uncontrollably overjoyed (and who is unable to control the movement of his muscles) that he fell out of his chair when the documentary about him won an Academy Award last year, where he says, I am unbelievably lucky, but the most moving was the tribute to Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. They were so lovely, elegant, gracious. Tom Hanks, ever the polite journeyman actor even got up and gave her his arm. They stood there listening to the applause, saying thank you, and marvelous, over and over, and then took a bow. Well, it was just one of those magical moments, the ones that make me cry. God how I want to be closer to the center of this life that I love so much, rather than here on the fringe, worrying about my health and battling with mundane but terrifying family and financial issues.

Here are my favorite moments from the speeches;

Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award
Actor� Recipients: OSSIE DAVIS and RUBY DEE
standing ovation

RUBY DEE: Oh, thank you, thank you. Well, well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [applause continue] Thank you.

OSSIE DAVIS: Thank you.

DEE: Thank you.

DAVIS: Here we are in Hollywood.

DEE: Yes.

DAVIS: In heaven.

DEE: As close to laughter as we are to tears.

DAVIS: We thank you.

DEE: Thank you, thank you.

DAVIS AND DEE: We thank you.

DEE: For the plaudits of our union and our peers.

DAVIS: Celebrities, we are, and stars, we actors. Peace workers on the Hollywood plantation. [laughter] But that is not all. We are more than that.

DEE: We are artists also, and workers above all. We are image makers. Why can't we image makers become peacemakers, too. Why cannot we, in such a time as this, use all the magic of our vaunted powers to lift the pistol from the schoolboy's backpack? [applause]

And replace it with bright images of peace, with images of hope and faith in humankind. Of life lit by some large vision of goodness and beauty and truth?

DAVIS: Artists, we are, but we are citizens also. And as free men and women living in a democracy, we cannot escape our First Amendment obligation to our children. To elevate by precept and example.

DEE: To lead.

DAVIS: To inspire.

DEE: And to challenge.

DAVIS: To touch their hearts and minds.

DEE: With love's redeeming fire.

DAVIS: This is our right.

DEE: Our duty.

DAVIS: This is our privilege.

DEE: Tonight, again, we profoundly thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you.

DEE: Again and again.

I'm including this piece from Julia Robert's speech because it validates something I believe very strongly about, artistic expression and giftedness. Not all artists, but sometimes the most gifted ones, feel insecure about their work. Agnes DeMille said it, Jodi Foster has said it, so many very talented people have said it, that they feel like frauds. They're always striving to prove themselves. They're never satisfied. They feel not good enough, that they don't deserve the acclaim, as if they believe their success is all some kind of mistake or a joke, and are always striving to reach this kind of unbelievably lofty level of achievement where they can finally say, "Ahh now there, that proves that I am a good actor, painter, writer, or musician." So this is just another one of these examples, where someone who I think is pretty wonderful, someone who is widely adored and about as successful as you can become in this business, is still obviously insecure about her work and is still doubting herself. I guess it just makes me feel better in some way.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Lead Role
Actor� Recipient: Julia Roberts ERIN BROCKOVICH - Erin Brockovich

JULIA ROBERTS [applause] "God, I'm just shaking. And thank you, actors -- just great, great actors -- and now I really feel so much better about my level of talent than I did this afternoon. [laughter]
(She started crying and patted her chest when she said this last part.)
And I appreciate that so much, because I'm not always sure."

This award made me so happy because I have always loved her (well, since I was eleven and saw her in Mary Queen of Scott's, and then later in Julia) and thought this was the performance of the year. It's so sad because she never seems to come to award shows anymore, maybe it's because she's so outspoken politically, and was so condemned for her comments years ago. Anyway I'm thrilled she won because she deserved it, if you didn't see this, please find a way to.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie Or Miniseries
Actor� Recipient: Vanessa Redgrave IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2 Edith

ELLEN BURSTYN "The Actor� goes to Vanessa Redgrave. [applause]
Vanessa Redgrave is onstage in London, but I know how much this honor means to her, and I accept it for her. Thank you very much."

This was also really sweet because it speaks to me of perseverance, and I so know the place she's talking about.

Outstanding Performance By A Female In A Drama Series
Actor� Recipient: Allison Janney THE WEST WING - C.J. Cregg

ALLISON JANNEY "This is truly a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful surprise, and I was just thinking about the fact that it's amazing that I'm standing her tonight because there were so many times back in the early '80s and early '90s when I was in New York trying to be an actress and not succeeding very well, and I quit so many times.

And I finally decided I was quitting for the final time -- this was it -- and I went in to take an aptitude test to find out what else I could possibly do in this world. [laughter] And they told me I would make an excellent systems analyst. [laughter] I still don't know what that is. [laughter] So I'm just to be able to be -- say I'm a working actress. I'm Alison Janney and I'm an actress. [applause, cheers] Thank you."

I wanted to share this with you because God what I wouldn't give to have a job like this, to be so happy every day. I love what he said about being kissed on the lips every day.

Actor� Recipient : WILL & GRACE

ERIC McCORMACK "If this ensemble shines, it's because of the ensemble behind us: two producers who are best friends first and then bosses second, a room full of brilliant writers that are as close as we are, a crew that loves their jobs. A network that is supportive, a studio that is supportive and a director that kisses us on the mouth every day, it's remarkable. [laughter] Remarkable.

We're very lucky to have them. We're extremely lucky to have each other. And we're very grateful to the Guild for reminding us of that. Thank you."

Oh God I'm so stiff. Well here goes, another scary week, maybe I should say, woohoo, here comes another wonderful week, a week that will put an end to my financial stress and troubles, try to be more positive, okay.

I love my digital camera. I like to have it with me all the time, just in case, and I saw two cool things that I had to stop and take photos of, to share with you.

The first one speaks for itself. I saw this on the way to see O Brother Where Art Thou, which I really enjoyed. I bought the Cd weeks ago, it's wonderful.

I'm trying to see everything that's nominated before The Oscars. Last night Scott and I saw Pollock. I always do this, it just makes it so much more exciting, makes me feel involved somehow.

This was just a beautiful sign of Spring. The first flowers on a fruit tree. It was so pretty. I think it's an ornamental pear.