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Oscar Parties in My Past


Herman was asking me last week when I started having Oscar fever, for which I still carry a torch today.

As of late, my Oscar parties include myself, Herman, two cats, a dog and some popcorn. But back when I was an aspiring actress, I would get together with all my unknown actor friends and we’d have our own red carpet celebration.

I remember being at Geri Miller’s house in West Hollywood two streets away from where I lived on Spaulding Avenue. Geri had dated John Stewart (of The Daily Show fame) some time before that and hosted an Oscar party yearly.

I know we’re nowhere near Oscar night, but I’m still very much looking forward to it.

I’ve seen friends like Julia Roberts win for Erin Brockovich while other friends won Emmy’s. I’m also a devotee of the Emmy’s and was happy to see my friend and coworker Edie Falco win for The Sopranos and Micheal Chikliss win for The Shield.

I especially enjoyed seeing Edie’s first interview with Dave Letterman after her win. Dave asked her to tell some actor memories and she said she had none. This was her first big part, all she had were waitress stories to tell. As she told Dave, “All my memories are restaurant memories.”

All of us unknown actors liked to rehearse our Oscar acceptance speeches. It was all in hopes that someday we’d have the opportunity to give a speech people would really remember.

In my speech of thank you’s, I would always include all my unknown acting buddies by name and they would include me in theirs.

To this day, I’m still excited for award shows, even if I haven’t kept up with the latest movies coming out.

I see the award shows as the Holy Grail of acting. It’s not just the fame and fortune thing, it’s being recognized by your peers.

Probably the closest friend I still have in Los Angeles is Nancy Baker, with whom I still correspond and talk on the phone. When her play, “Dear Mrs. Baker” won the L.A. Play of the Week and was optioned for a movie of the week with Sela Ward, we all hoped she would get to be on one of the award shows.

It wasn’t to be, but the play about her mother’s correspondence with Viet Nam soldiers struck a chord with many people and had the recognition of her peers if not of the national press.

And sometimes that’s all you get.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site