Who Made All the Difference? by Brenda Moguez

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Who Made All the Difference? by Brenda Moguez

~:: Passionate Pursuits ::~

I started writing and reciting my Academy Awards’ speech, the year Dad let me stay up late to watch the show on television. I sat cross-legged on the floor, wide-eyed and speechless, until the curtain dropped and the credits rolled. We lived off Hollywood Blvd back then and were a few miles from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where the gala had only finished. I had a million questions, but as it was past 11:00 on a school night, Dad marshaled me down the hall and into bed.  Instead of saying my nightly prayer, I recited my first acceptance speech.


I didn’t aspire a life behind the camera, but I learned that it was the writers who wrote the stories being filmed, which gave everyone a reason to don evening gowns and tuxedos. It took hold of my already vivid imagination. Dad, a closet poet, said I could do anything I wanted while Mom said I could, but only after my chores were done. Both encouraged me to follow my heart.


On Saturdays, after the morning chores were done and I was told to go play, I’d gather my block buddies and play movie stars. I’d walk the length of the garage and step up on a blue milk crate dressed in my white-on-white Holy Confirmation dress. I’d look out over the crowd, imagining I was center stage at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater, addressing the audience — my formative years were spent under the Hollywood sign, which only contributed to my delinquency as a starry-eyed creative — comprised of the gang, my kid sister, and my mother’s rabid poodle whose favorite pastime was extracting skin from our shins.


I’d scoot to the center of my crate and throw back my hair. I’d hesitate as if there were no words worthy of the moment. I give my best impersonation of a true starlet’s smile and then utter my heartfelt thanks to the audience. If Dad was out mowing the lawn and caught my act, he’d give me a nod, which was a big deal for a stoic Latin man. If Mom were emptying clothes from the laundry basket into the Kenmore, she’d roll her eyes and remind me to sweep the garage out once the after-party had finished.


As I matured, so did the theatrics of my scenes. I’d be wearing something vintage, something Edith Head would have designed, but something a cut above stunning. I’d imagine myself sitting in the center row, the camera scanning all of us up for the award. It’d pan the room before zooming in. I’d imagine myself channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn, willing myself to walk with her pose, grace, and not bop along like Miss Piggy. My imaginary stage and scene has changed over the years but never has the essence of my speech.


 “And the Oscar goes to, Brenda Star.”


Cut to camera zoom out: thundering applause from the faceless crowd.


I glide across the stage gracefully, as if a million butterflies are lining the stage floor and lifting me with each step. Can this be real? Really, truly, is this my life? Yes, it’s you. Smile. Remember to wave like Princess Diana.


 Cut to camera zoom in: thundering applause and Rhett Butler walking towards me with the Oscar.

Finally, the only audible noise heard is the thud-thud of my heart. My moment has come. I don’t need to read from a cue card or look into a teleprompter.


“Thank you. I’d not be standing here tonight if not for the strength my mom taught me through her words. Never back down. Never give up. Fight for what you believe in. Walk away from love before it dies inside of you. Don’t waste time worrying about what others think or what is waiting around the corner. Live in the moment. My dad bestowed an undying love in me for music, words, and books. He gave me permission to dream, to challenge the status quo, and to remember that I only had to believe. Combined, they taught me to take life head on, to live fully and brilliantly. But mostly they taught me to appreciate the fleeting nature of a sunrise, how in that moment I am everything and should seize the opportunity. Everything I am today is because of what they gave up and to me…”


 Cut to camera zoom in: me sitting at my desk


I don’t know if the night I saw my first Academy Awards shaped me exactly as I romanticize it, but I do believe in the depths of my soul the two people who were most influential in my life were my parents. I realize many contributed to me arriving at my current destination of me, myself included, but without the love of my family, a nudge here and there, I might not have found my stage.


Acutely aware the camera is cutting to commercial, I hasten to add,


“Times are not what they once were. Each of us is struggling in one way or another. We are looking forward for an indescribable feeling of peace and comfort. We’re throwing our hands up in the air, complaining, feeling angry, hard done by, questioning our choices, and asking, what’s the plan? If ever we needed inspiration, it is now.

“This year when you join hands and give thanks, I suggest finding a moment in your life that shaped or influenced you and share it with those closest to you. Tell your son or daughter about it. Write a letter to your mom and/or dad, a great aunt, a next-door neighbor, a lost love. Someone, somewhere, made all the difference in your life. Tell them. Give thanks to them and pay it forward. Who knows? We might start a trend and find our inspiration.”

If you wrote your acceptance speech, whom would you thank?

brenda moguezABOUT BRENDA: Brenda Moguez, is writer embracing her inner Xena, Princess Warrior, as she tackles the list of possibilities. She favors writing a story over vacuuming the dust bunny commune growing under her bed. When she’s not sitting on her bed writing she’s thinking about writing.  She is currently finishing the second novel while shopping the first one. She’s lives in San Francisco with her family and a fat cat.  All but the cat has accepted her passion for writing. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com/, where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

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This piece was written by Brenda Moguez from Bonbon Break Media, LLC.