I played visiting press at the Oscars last night.
That’s code for: I went to Asbury’s Highbridge Film Festival with my camera, taking pictures for a class project. It’s more fun to call myself press, though, and pretend Highbridge really is the Oscars.
My lovely dates, or, as I prefer to call them, my posse as I ran around on serious business, were Emily Deinert and Kelsey Campbell.
Even though it was just Highbridge and there wasn’t really anybody I needed to impress, I fretted and fluttered the same way I used to when getting ready for JSB back at BFA. I went so far as to paint my nails – with purple nail polish that smells like grapes, a throwback to ninth grade, when I thought I was really hip but actually wasn’t – and take off my trusty bright blue digital watch and Taylor Swift armband.
After spending all that time primping, we headed out to a fancy dinner…at Jimmy John’s. A deserted Jimmy John’s, no less, where the two guys working laughed to themselves at the ridiculous sight of three girls all dressed up and ready to party eating 8″ subs and Salt and Vinegar chips.
A quick trip through the Starbucks drive-thru later, and we were on our way back to school. It was 5:40 p.m., and the show wasn’t starting til 7:30 p.m., but we were dead-set on getting a good seat. And we did. Up in the back of the balcony, second row, where the only thing between me and the screen was the side of the obnoxious guy in front of me’s head. I made up for his interference by accidentally poking him with my black heels every time I rearranged my legs. Take that, boy who sat in front of me and tried to block my view of my roommate and Jen hosting! In keeping with the Oscars-like feel, they performed a student-film themed parody of “Do you hear the people sing?” and tripped on their way onto the stage. What a pair of winners.
It wouldn’t be an almost-Oscars if there weren’t awards. The only one really worth mentioning, though, is Best Actress, because my beautiful roommate and best friend, Rebeca, won. The other thing worth mentioning about that is that I called it. Way back before the show even started, I told everyone around me that I was hoping she would win. And look who was right after all — me.
In true award show style, there was a reception at the Miller Communication Arts building when it was over, complete with a red carpet and tons of free Chick-fil-A – a staple at any Asbury event. I carried my Canon Rebel T3i with me through the whole night, and it was here that I let my inner photojournalist come out. I caused so many roadblocks after planting myself in the middle of the hallway to snap photos, and freaked out so many strangers by pointing my camera in their face in my attempt to get a candid shot, that I’d be surprised to have any friends left.
When I did get a chance to put down the camera and just enjoy the show, though, I was overwhelmed. Not by how oppressive the crowds were, or how hungry I was after just five itty bitty chicken nuggets, or even how proud I was of all my talented friends for following their dreams and making movies that occasionally almost brought me to tears. No, I was overwhelmed by how magical it all was.
It was a tiny taste of how I hope my life will someday look. There I’ll be, with a camera in hand and a notepad and fountain pen tucked under my arm, recording the events and occasionally brushing shoulders with the glamorous – whether they are movie stars, talented writers, or politicians in charge of making decisions that affect our future. For a few hours last night, I stepped out of the world of Karis Rogerson, college student, and into the world of Karis Rogerson, journalist and author, and it was breath-taking.
I felt like Cinderella, having a godmother sprinkle some magic dust over me, and when it all ended at midnight and I stepped back into reality – a reality which consisted of hopping in a car and driving to Tolly Ho with some friends – I realized that it was good. All of it. The present, the future – it is good. More than that – it is great, it is exciting, it is a land full of opportunities and I am so excited to see them. But until then, I am excited to live my college life, take classes, and prepare for my future.
It wasn’t just last night that was a magic wonderland, guys. It all is. The future is wide open in front of us, just waiting for us to take it and do something incredible. And we totally can. We can win Oscars for best directing, Tonies for best acting, Pulitzers for writing, and Nobel Peace Prizes for doing more than just having potential. We can make the wonderland of Highbridge into the reality of world-rocking, mind-blowing, earth-shattering success.
To steal a line from “Perks of being a wallflower” – we are infinite.