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A journey through grief, self discovery & singleness

  • Writer's pictureChristine Angelique

And the Oscar goes to...

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The timing of this post worked out perfectly since the 96th Academy Awards are this weekend! If you know anything about me, or have read my previous blogs, you know that I LOVE cinema and filmmaking! Before all the events that occurred in February, that I discussed in my last post, I decided to start off my birthday month with a self-love date I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time — visit the Academy Award Museum of Motion Pictures! When I was a kid, I used to romanticize the Academy Awards. I would dress up like I was one of the celebrities just to view the award show from my living room. Now, being an actress and in the entertainment industry, attending the Academy Awards is still on my bucket list. Though it isn't my time to win an Oscar quite yet, I decided to do the next best thing and geek out over all the Academy Awards' memorabilia while immersing myself in the museum's amazing exhibits.

Now, if I were to go into every detail about my experience at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, this blog post would turn into a 10-page, single-spaced essay. So, I’ll just highlight my two favorite things.

  1. The Stories of Cinema Exhibit

  2. The Oscars Experience  

The Stories of Cinema Exhibit spanned across three levels of floors and was the heart of the whole museum. I absolutely LOVED this exhibit because it breaks down every aspect of filmmaking. There’s a section on sound and how foley artists make the SFX in popular movies, like Indiana Jones. There was a section called, Story, which showcased movie storyboards and scripts. Hair and Makeup, Cinematography, Set Design, Animation and my personal favorites, Editing and Performance, were all included in the exhibit.

The Performance section was so cool because it had a video loop playing actor’s audition tapes for popular movies they've booked! I saw the audition tape the little kid in ET did! There was also a wall of polaroids of actor’s headshots taken at casting auditions, including Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek, Tobey McGuire, and Tyra Banks! They all looked so young. They looked my age. I honestly got chills just thinking about how many auditions they had to do before they became the celebrities I look up to today. I also thought about how I’m currently going through this process. I couldn’t help but think, "Which of my auditions is going to make it into this museum one day?!"

As I expected, there weren’t many people in the Editing section, but I didn't mind having the whole room to myself. It was like my own, private viewing of this documentary-style video playing different film editors talking about their editing choices and experiences working on movies, like The Woman King and ET! I loved learning about how Terilyn A. Shropshire made her cuts based on Nanisca's emotions in the scene and her character arc. I loved hearing Carol Littleton talk about the challenges she faced with editing around ET's puppeteering so he appeared real on screen.

And don't get me started on the Academy Awards history room. It was spectacular! The room flowed like a circle with a timeline of Academy Award Show events in the center. There were Oscars showcased for Sunset Boulevard, Star Wars, Shrek! There was a video loop of famous award speeches from when the Oscars first started to present day. There were even a few of the envelopes displayed! I saw Lupita Nyong'o's Best Supporting Actress winning envelope for 12 Years A Slave. I literally had to actively keep myself from squealing and crying the whole time I walked through the Stories of Cinema exhibit. It was all so inspiring and SO COOL!! 

But what really made my visit one to remember was their Oscars Experience! They set-up a mini Academy Awards stage and red carpet for you to live out your dreams of accepting an Oscar! It was so much fun! The staff's performances were as solid as Disney Park characters, not breaking once! They were acting like I was a real Oscar nominee the whole time! Lol When you get to the stage, there are cameras to capture your “award speech”, and a cheering crowd simulation. I had a blast walking through the red curtains and seeing my name show on the screen. I walked onto the stage, and there it was, a real Academy Award!! I held an actual Oscar!! You’re supposed to act like you won for the cute souvenir video, but I’m not sure I was even acting at that point! Every actor’s dream is to win an Academy Award someday, or to just be recognized for their talents (especially when we spend most of our careers getting rejected!) I’ve practiced my award speech a hundred times in my bathroom mirror, but now actually holding an Oscar made this dream feel so much closer. It felt real! 

“Your mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy. Your mind acts on what you feed it. Feed it good thoughts.” - Zig Ziglar 

At the 92nd Academy Awards as a server

There are numerous quotes about your mindset and manifestation. The idea behind all of them is that what you think or dream about is already yours, and you’ll attract it. This is why I love vision boards and visualizing my goals. Seeing it helps you believe it, and it becomes your reality. When I look at the pictures I took with the Oscar I held, honestly, it looks so natural to me. In my mind, it’s like, “Yea, that 100% makes sense. You won an Oscar!” Now without even being conscious of it, I'm manifesting my dream, simply because I believe it.

The Oscars Experience also meant a lot to me because it felt like a step forward. I actually got to attend the 92nd Academy Awards… as part of the scullery team. Yup, when I first moved to LA, I worked at a culinary temp agency that sent servers all over LA to work events and parties. I was so excited I got the Academy Awards gig, but didn't realize I'd spend the entire night outside, in the cold, organizing and cleaning dishes. I could hear the cheers and laughs coming from inside and even snuck a peak while celebs were leaving to go to their after-party locations. I didn’t see much besides dishes that night, but even then I was ecstatic to be there! I was in the same place as the actors I looked up to. Within a year of moving to LA, I was already at the Academy Awards! Sure, I was cleaning dishes, but being at the Dolby Theatre made my dreams feel so much closer. “One day, I’ll tell this story when I’m on that stage, and it’ll make all this worth it.” Cut to four years later, and now rather than holding a dirty plate some celebrity at the Oscars used, I'm holding an actual Oscar. That's a step in the right direction in my book (especially since I also started booking acting gigs in that four year gap.) It's only a matter of time before I’m holding MY Oscar!

Holding my friend Henock's Emmy

Side Note: My friend Henock, a Story Artist and Writer, just won his first Emmy and let us all hold it! Shoo I’m about to collect these manifestation pictures like Pokémon, and manifest my EGOT! Don’t play with me! lol ANYWAYS....

As I continue along this grief journey, I'm starting to piece together the parts of my identity I thought I had lost. The first few months after my mom died, I truly felt like I'd never be my hopeful, optimistic self again. "Dreams? Manifesting? What's the point?" And let's be honest, if you read my last blog post, you'll know I still feel like I don't have as much control over my life as I would like. But as I continue to self reflect, go on these self-love dates, and create better moments for myself, I truly am starting to find my way back to who I am. I won’t ever be the girl I used to be before my mom died, but I’m glad to know there’s some traits God gave me that will always remain. And being a dreamer and movie lover will always be a part of who I am.

If you’re a cinephile, museum/history lover, or you just love watching the Oscars every year, I highly recommend visiting the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures! This museum is also budget baddie approved! Admission tickets are $25, but if you have an EBT card it’s free! The Oscars Experience was priced separately and was $10 (best $10 I ever spent! lol) Definitely check it out! And for all my dreamers out there, manifest it baby! It’s already yours!

For more information on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures:

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1 Comment

Aruth Samuels
Aruth Samuels
Mar 09

Love that I can read the joy that up the road for you

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