Daniel Kaluuya

Did you watch any of the post-ceremony Oscar interviews? The diverse and intimate awards show reflected in winners’ responses. Good Morning America’s (GMA) Lara Spencer mined true Oscar gold from winner Daniel Kaluuya.

#JudasandtheBlackMessiah #susanstrasser #susanstrasserblog #amwriting

GMA to Daniel Kaluuya: “Is it the experience you dreamed it would be now that you are in fact an Oscar winner?”

Kaluuya: “I never really dreamed of it in that way… I don’t really live life with expectations.”

Whoa! What?! An actor who never dreamt of winning an Oscar?

You remember Daniel Kaluuya- he was King T-Challa’s best friend in Black Panther. (another Oscar-nominated film). I’ll admit, I have not seen JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH about iconic Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, who was tragically murdered at only 21 years of age. But it’s on my list! Also, as many Oscar nominees had hosted Saturday Night Live earlier this Spring, Kaluuya did, too, and he killed it! I would highly recommend that episode. But I digress…

An artist’s life without expectations.

For me, I need to say that twice: An artist’s life without expectations.

My God, what would that be like?

For Kaluuya, obviously, that attitude has led to success. And I bet a lot of happiness!

If I imagine that I stopped worrying about how many followers and likes that I have on my blog, for instance, wouldn’t I be happier?

If I didn’t sweat my deadline for an edit of my manuscript, and just kept doing my best until then, keeping my due dates and deadlines moderately in line, how would that be?

I read a lot of stuff about the secret to success.

Kaluuya’s got it, as do all Oscar winners. The timing, the universe, presented the right content for them, the right inspiration, the right vehicle for them to “do their thing”. Or as my recent INFP friend asked lately, that million dollar question: What is it you do that makes you lose track of time?

None of my friends watch Oscar movies. I try not to take it personally, but as a sensitive soul, its tough. Gotta keep working on letting people be who they are, as they let me. I watch Oscar movies, because 9 times out of 10, they tell me a story unlike one I’ve never heard before:

This year, I was let into a universe where a Korean family tried to be farmers in Arkansas in the 1980s.

Another story was based on an old play which featured Chadwick Boseman as the worst menace I’ve seen since Heath Ledger’s Joker. Horrific!

I watched J.D. Vance’s memoir- based (memoir- you know I’ve got a soft spot for that one lol) tale of fighting, or surrendering the fight, to grow up and away from his dysfunctional and abusive extended family.

Great artists, storytellers and writers don’t expect accolades. I’ve read so often this year as I blog and write my memoirs regularly… just keep going. Do what you love. And I do.

And I’m in awe of fellow creatives/actors like Kaluuya who claim (Okay, I mostly believe him, but really??? NEVER??? lol) they don’t worry about the awards. It appears he simply enjoys them.

In my 12th step meeting the other night I heard: Expectations are premeditated resentments. One day, I hope my memoir will be selected for an Oprah’s Book Club Pick or be a New York Times bestseller. I can hope that, but I do not want that to be my end goal.

Or as author John Green states: “Don’t make stuff because you want to make money- it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous- because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people- and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.”

A great performance, a good book— these are gifts. To both the artist and audience to enjoy.


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