Thankful for twitter user @L_mitch15 ‘s contribution to You Decide Sunday! He requested I watch and respond to this video montage of Audra McDonald accepting her six TONYs.
(Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill)
I’ll be honest by admitting that when I received this request, I didn’t really know how I was supposed to react to a video of an actress receiving six of the same type of award. I’ve always been an Audra fan, but I wasn’t sure that I could motivate myself to watch over twenty minutes of this type of footage.
Now, as I sit here thirty minutes later because I had to rewind some parts due to my inability to hear over the sound of my own crying, I am so glad this video was presented to me. Even if you are unfamiliar with Audra and her work (which, you need to immediately run to YouTube following this post and familiarize yourself) you can appreciate the absolute humility that she possesses. I think that’s what blew me away the most in this video.
SIX TONYs. SIX. Most actresses would kill to have ONE. Does she act like she has SIX of these suckers? Not one bit. Too often, entertainers get big heads about them when they become accomplished. As you heard Audra repeat several times in her acceptance speeches, only two main things for which she cares are made apparent: her family and her craft. Audra is so devoted to her family, especially her daughter Zoe. You can tell that they really are the most important things in her life and even her second biggest love, theatre, takes the backseat to the love she has for her loved ones. She really does love the theatre though. Audra has had, and continues to have, a very extensive career, both onstage and onscreen, but she loves nothing as much as to act live. From a young age, it is all that she wanted to do. She feels at home when she is on the stage and that’s what separates her from the rest of them. She BECOMES her characters. Most actors will say that they found their “home” onstage, but she really means it. She is not someone who just “goes through the motions.” She takes the songs and these characters and she milks them for all they are worth. There is a reason she cries during all six of her acceptance speeches and that reason is that the work she is doing is so important to her. She will not do a role if she doesn’t think she is a right fit and that is something that is SO rare among modern performers. She truly cares.
This might be rather presumptuous, but I’d be willing to bet that it wouldn’t matter to Audra if she were performing in front of a full house or an empty theatre; she’d deliver the show just the same and would feel just as grateful when it ends because she was given the opportunity to do something that matters so much to her. I can’t think of something as admirable as that.
Six down and so many more to go. What a gift she is to the entertainment industry and the world at large. Thank you for the music and brava, Audra!
Love and light, all!