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Locust Day

My buddy Tom Myers, who was in Los Angeles for his second consecutive Oscar nomination Sunday night, is on his way to becoming the Jeff Bridges of sound men. He lost to a Swedish dude with two middle initials who made a slightly less grandiose speech than the Indian guy who managed to work the definition of “Om” in to his thank-yous last year.  If Tom does follow Bridges’ route, and hangs in there until his sixties before taking home a statue, it may be the most savvy move in the history of technical awards. I don’t think they keep these behind the scenes types around if they’ve already won. They certainly don’t sit them front and center for on-camera eye candy like George Clooney, or even prop them up in back for the Ed Asner/Robert Duvall sympathy vote. My guess is that it’s a one and out kind of thing, so best to get in as many trial runs as possible while rubbing shoulders with Kate Winslet and Maggie Gyllenhaal at the concession stand. Tom sent me a text message Sunday afternoon (as close as I’ll ever get to the Big Show) telling me he’d suppressed the urge to yell “Hey now!” as Jeffrey Tambor passed him in the hall. I didn’t point it out at the time, but Tambor has never been nominated for an Oscar, and yet I’d put five minutes of his Hank Kingsley from The Larry Sanders Show up against anything I saw in The Hurt Locker.

Despite coming from a family with arguable ties to the film industry, my only interest in the last two Academy Awards has been in Tom’s nominations. It’s difficult to get past the self-congratulatory, celebrity circle-jerk element of the whole deal. If hearing Whoopi Goldberg tell her fellow actors “I’m really glad we do what we do, man – we are amazing” didn’t make me cringe, it would probably be time to call it a day. And this new trend of having one group of actors stand on the stage and shower glorious platitudes upon those nominated while the canonized touch their hearts and put their hands together in saintly appreciation is enough to make Joey Chestnut gag. Still, the brief mention of our company during a ’91 acceptance speech generated more attention than any ad campaign we ever ran. Tens of millions watch the broadcast every year, and I can’t make a solid argument that the interest is any more vacuous than my own in Joe Montana winning a Super Bowl or Tim Lincecum the Cy Young. Further, Tom Myers, the most prominent example among fellow employees to emerge from my era of working at our company, is also the most un-Hollywood type you could find. I just wish he’d worked a little harder on his pitching delivery, growing up playing baseball in Philadelphia. This won’t, however, prevent my rooting for his nomination again next year.

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One Comment

  1. dick monaco wrote:

    Good piece…Much better than my Stefanelli induced “Dick Monaco who was deeply involved in Mitchell Bros. activity” in the Calamari Club news letter….Dad

    Friday, March 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

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