Much fuss has been made of Leonardo DiCaprio and his “almost” Oscar awards. He’s come close so often that his name is being considered as a replacement for the word “horseshoe” in a certain popular phrase.
The reality of awards is this: being nominated for an award, or being in the running for a possible award is, in fact, more prestigious than actually winning it.
How can I claim such a foolish statement to be true? Isn’t anyone other than an award winner an award loser?
When it comes to awards such as Oscars or any other award involving human judgement, the difference between winning first place or second place could be the difference of whether a judge is in a good mood, had a good meal, slept well the night before, or has a bad case of indigestion. The subjectivity of awards is too, well, subjective to put too much stock into the ultimate decision. That doesn’t mean that an award-winner shouldn’t be proud of her accomplishment. It only means that the real accomplishment was getting into consideration in the first place.
I’ve been involved in a bunch of theatre festivals over the years, and I am always thrilled when I’m lucky enough to walk away with an award. But when going head-to-head with many various scripts and a myriad of judges who will view each competing drama differently, I can only hope to cross my fingers and feel lucky. It is, however, an honor when one of my scripts is chosen or shortlisted for an award. That is the recognition that it stands out from the crowd.
Two of my favorite young actors were competing in a duet acting competition this weekend using one of my new scripts. Out of a field of many different schools, they were chosen to compete in the finals with five other competitors. They ended up by pulling in the silver medal for the competition, and I am most proud of them. Should I have been more proud if they had won gold instead? Certainly not. I am proud of their dedication and their attention to detail that gave them the opportunity to shot for the gold. That is the real accomplishment. Judging is fickle and can vary from day to day, but excellence stands out from the crowd any day of the week.
So even if good ‘ole Leonardo doesn’t win for “The Revenant” this year, the nomination his way is achievement enough and proof that winning isn’t everything.