It’s been half term and as usual, absolutely choc-a-block, yet I’ve still not managed to fit in quite as much or seen quite as many people as I have wanted to! Despite that, I’ve had a jam-packed wonderful week full of adventure, fun, laughter, friends and family. This afternoon I was finally able to unwind and relax and as I had an early bath, pulled on fresh pyjamas, poured a glass of wine and watched a film, I found myself finally stopping and reflecting on the whirlwind I’ve been living in for the last eight days.
There have been many moments across the week, moments where in the noise and hustle and bustle, something has stood out, made me stop and held my attention, if only for a few seconds. And some of them have woven themselves together into a single gold thread winding itself carefully through the events and happenings.
In London last weekend, I found myself in Covent Garden, walking around the corner of a street to the Royal Opera House and stumbled upon the preparations for the BAFTAS, due to be held that very evening. People were laying down the red carpet, cameramen were setting up ready for broadcasting, huge trailers lined the streets and the atmosphere was filled with excitement and anticipation of the appearance of the huge movie stars due to arrive there just a few hours later. Getting swept up into the excitement ourselves, we decided to stay in the area until the evening and be a part of it so we headed towards the centre of Covent Garden itself.
As expected, there were street artists everywhere from magic shows to human ‘floating statues’ of gold and silver, to musicians to street performers and plenty to keep us entertained. As we arrived there was a street performer in the middle of his act that had just finished juggling chainsaws only to then ride an impressively high unicycle while juggling machetes. The crowd was huge and responsive and clearly enjoying the talent before them as they stopped and gave a few minutes of their day to a man that had clearly practised his art for weeks and weeks, if not years and years.
The night before, we had walked around the West End and had eaten in a restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue. As we walked around I was so aware of the wealth of theatres around us and knew that had we decided to see a show, we could pick from any one knowing we’d be guaranteed to see a top class show performed by some of the best actors and actresses in the country, men and women who have trained and rehearsed for hours on end.
Later that evening, as we sat and dined in the window of Café Rouge on Wellington Street, a few hundred yards down from the end of the red carpet and then wrapped up warm and ventured out with steaming hot cups of coffee to stand opposite the carpet, we watched a constant stream of shiny, expensive top of the range cars drive up. We watched doors being opened and beautifully dressed and styled actors and actresses getting out to be dazzled by camera flashes and faced with microphones and interviews while the crowd constantly cheered. We watched the world of celebrity and recognition unravel before our very eyes. And then when it was so cold we couldn’t feel our noses, we headed back to watch the ceremony live on the television just because for one year, we’d been a part of it.
As we watched it, I couldn’t deny the talent and high calibre of acting talent and writing and cinematography. Films such as The Revenant and Room have really impacted me. But. Are they more talented than the actors and actresses performing around the corner in the West End? Are they more talented than the street artists in Covent Garden? Are they more talented than the professional musicians performing live in the busking pitches on the London Underground?
I personally know some amazingly talented people who perform on the stage or sing and are truly talented, some of which are just young children starting out in life. And I wonder what it will take for them to realise just how beautifully talented they are. Does a BAFTA or an Oscar or a Grammy or a Brit define talent? Does fame define talent?
Because it shouldn’t. Each of us in our own ways have talents and gifting and ability and we simply need to embrace it and recognise it in ourselves. I’m not suggesting being arrogant, I’m suggesting not being so British in shying away from stating and recognising what we’re good at. I’m suggesting being confident in our own individual strengths. And not relying on the validation of others to define our talent and abilities. I’m suggesting we hold our own little individual BAFTA or Brit or whatever award fits our particular talent high in the air and celebrate what we bring to the world. Because every single one of us brings stardom to the world in one way or another.