Did you watch the Oscars last night?

I did. And before that I watched a documentary on the history of the Oscars on Netflix. So it’s safe to say I listened to a lot of Oscar speeches yesterday.

Oscar Speech

 

We all know about the music that subtly ushers winners off stage when they talk too much, but if you think about it, Oscar winners are given a minute to give a speech about anything AND to have millions and millions of people listen. Oscar speeches are powerful.

Examples of Great Oscar Speeches

Some winners, like John Legend and Julianne Moore, use the Oscar platform to highlight important themes in the movie they represent:

Nina Simone said it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times we’re in. Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.” – John Legend, 2015

So many people who have this disease feel marginalized. People who have Alzheimer’s disease deserve to be seen so we can find a cure.” – Julianne Moore, 2015

Others view the platform as a chance to embrace the artistic community:

There are sixty thousand actors in this Academy…and to that artistic family that strives for excellence, none of you have ever lost and I am proud to share this with you. And I thank you.” – Dustin Hoffman, 1980

Still others take the opportunity to make a political statement in their Oscar speeches:

I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you…that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry…” – Sacheen Littlefeather, 1973

To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” – Patricia Arquette, 2015

What Would You Say In Your Oscar Speech?

We writers often hear about the importance of building a platform, but what will you say when you have one?

What would you do if it was ridiculously large like an opportunity to give an Oscar speech?

Would you use your platform to inspire other writers? To shed light on a political issue? To share your passion for 90s music, the Yankees or Picasso?  Tell us in the comments!

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to write an acceptance speech for a highly influential award that you won for your current project. Share in the comments section!

Monica M. Clark
Monica M. Clark
Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).