And the award goes to… THE BEST NIGHT EVER! The Academy Awards are for girls, what the Super Bowl is for Boys: A day to start drinking at 11am, shout at the TV, wear your team colors (sequins), and consider cookies one food group and Fried Edible Things another. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am obsessed with the Oscars. And it’s not because I’m a Star F*cker (I like food and the spotlight too much to be a celeb’s dream date; while I admire those ladies’ willingness to be sleek, chic arm candy, I think I’m more a melty King-size Snickers).
No, the Academy Awards were an observed holiday in my household growing up. My mom and I would put on our rattiest sweatpants or pajamas, park it in front of the TV at noon, and watch the whole day through, from viewing C-listers who allowed cameras film them getting their make-up done to A-listers strutting down the red carpet. My dad would get our favorite take-out (burritos) for lunch, and cook a fancy meal for dinner, served to us on TV trays. I guzzled sparkling apple juice, Mom got drunk on champagne, and Dad did the dishes (quietly, and only during commercial breaks). Next to Christmas, it was the most highly anticipated day of the year for Mom and I. Besides selling a screenplay, my career goal is to one day attend the Oscars, and then for my perfect designer gown to be ripped to shreds by Joan Rivers the following morning. A girl can dream.
I’m a St. Patrick’s Day baby, so anytime the Oscars fell anywhere near mid-March, I had an Academy Award-themed birthday party. We’d don the fanciest duds we could get our hands on (and were always blown out of the water by my bestie Jax, who resembled a 12-yr-old Cindy Crawford, complete with a mole her mom drew on her face to be on theme for my birthday). We’d have a red carpet photo-shoot on my parents’ blue shag rug, and would get krunk on birthday cake like the Bridesmaids ladies on Scorsese.
Nobody in my family has ever worked in the movie industry, but I think my brother and I both attended USC’s film school because our family worshiped movies. So naturally, a night celebrating the glitz, glamour, hard work, and magic of making them is something I want to be a part of so badly. And last night was the first time I felt (despite sitting on my sofa with a plate of cheese in one hand and a bottle of bubbly in the other), that I was close…
One of my Groundlings Sunday Company directors, Jim Rash, not only was the first Groundling to win an Academy Award, but he also stole the show with the funniest moment of the night, silently mocking Angelina Jolie’s sexy-robot pose:
Rash and his writing partner, fellow Groundling Nat Faxon, won for Best Adapted Screenplay, for one of my favorite books, The Descendants — also my favorite project to come through George Clooney’s production company when I was interning there in college.
The ladies of the Groundlings were red carpet proof that funny is funny; the box office, reviews, and nominations for that movie proved that gender isn’t even an issue, a good story with good performances is. I remember crying I laughed so hard watching Melissa McCarthy in a Groundlings sketch about a woman trying to take out a loan for a business eating people’s leftover pizza, and another where she played a hooker auditioning for a Broadway show; while at USC, I would go to several Groundlings shows a week, in awe of Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and the pictures of Maya Rudolph and Wendi McLendon-Covey on the wall at the theater. They were as funny as they were pretty, they stole the show from the boys, and I wanted to be them.
I may still have been watching at home in the couture-est sweats I could find, but last night was a really proud moment for me: I fetched coffee and washed dishes at the company that let me look at The Descendants when it was still only a book, but the executives asked me what I thought. My boss Clooney, the most generous, kind, talented and funny gentleman Hollywood has ever seen, the type who knew the interns by name and truly loved and appreciated his career, was nominated for a much-deserved Best Actor award. My director for the Sunday Company not only co-wrote the adapted screenplay, but won an Oscar for it. And it took me six years of hard work training and making it through the competitive cut system, but I achieved the accomplishment I am most proud of thus far: I got into the Groundlings Sunday Company, and became a Groundlings girl, like the ones I’ve admired for so long and got to watch as they got their due at the Oscars.