Just in time for tonight’s Academy Awards, I have a story sort of related to the Oscars. A kind of brush with greatness, if you will.
That title sounds something like a book or a movie, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I don’t think the screenplay of this story would win me any awards, let alone an Oscar. But I think it’s a neat story, and it’s one I’m willing to share here on the blog. As with a lot of my stories, it begins in the mists of the past…
The story begins back in college during my freshman year. My first semester there, I’m trying to get in where I fit in. Even though the school was practically a stone’s throw from my hometown, I had never been anywhere near the area growing up. After I got settled in, I met a few guys in the dorm who I hung around with and we would go to parties or to the student coffee house. And it being a bit more permissive in allowing kids under the legal drinking age to drink on campus then (or it may still be, but I figure it’s a bit tougher now), I would have a couple drinks to settle my nerves.
At that time, I was doing what many kids across the nation were doing—attempting to pop-lock and break dance. I was never one to get on the floor and spin, but I had pop-lock moves that weren’t too shabby, if I say so myself. It turns out, after dancing and doing some of those moves at a couple of parties, that I got noticed by the other students on campus, especially the girls. One girl in particular got in touch with me and asked me to show her how I did those moves. I told her that I would be glad to try and show her how I did what I did. So we arranged for a date and time to get together and for me to begin my first (and what would prove to be only) dance lesson.
Come the day and time, and I’m as nervous as all get out. I got a friend of mine to go along with me, just so I wouldn’t completely freeze up. We get to the girl’s dorm room, and we begin to get ready to dance. The song I chose for this exercise was Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life.” (I like the song, but looking back, I could have thought of many better ones. Must have been the nerves).
So I start showing her some of the basics, and she picked those up pretty quickly. It was when I went to the more “advanced” moves that she started having some trouble. Come to think of it, I was having some trouble too. I guess I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment. This girl was a very attractive junior (wait: very attractive didn’t do her justice. She was flat-out hawt) and I’d seen her dance before. She could dance very well. I knew this because we had danced together prior to this. But she wasn’t quite picking up these moves. So we kept going over them, and I tried my best to concentrate. After a while, we agreed to end the lesson. I think I was both relieved and disappointed, all at the same time. Still we kept in touch, and whenever we saw each other at parties, we made sure to get a couple dances in.
Fast forward to the recent past, and I found my former dance student on Facebook. We became Facebook friends; I was surprised she even remembered me. Her career had taken her to Hollywood, where she got a Master of Arts degree from the American Film Institute. While there, her master’s thesis film won an Oscar for Best Short Film, Live Action.
That guy who tried to teach her some dance moves? He’s now an accountant. And yes, he still loves to dance (as you no doubt know). And that’s the story of the accountant and the Oscar winner.