Why the 2023 Academy Awards Proved There’s No Such Thing as Too Late

Anything Articles

After seeing the results of this year’s Academy Awards, I’ve realized that maybe it is okay to slow down on working toward my dreams.

In recent years, the biggest problem that I’ve dealt with is the fear of being too late. I want to be successful in my life and career and I feel that if I want to be successful, I need to make it happen NOW. I’m reaching my 27th birthday and worry that I haven’t achieved anything substantial in my life. I fear that if I don’t do anything now, it’ll be too late. I’ll have nothing.

I know that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people my age, but I can’t help it. I look at all the other people I know, the ones who are making names for themselves, and wonder why can’t I be like that? Everything falls into place for them, while no matter how hard I try, nobody seems to take me seriously. I sometimes feel trapped while everyone else has a perfect life, and I’m left thinking to myself: When is it MY turn?!

That question is why I push myself every day to work hard and make something of myself. Admittedly, there are times when I can push myself a bit too hard, but I just feel that I need to make myself be recognized for my work NOW. The biggest worry for me is that if it doesn’t happen now, in ten years’ time, it’ll be too late.

There are some people who don’t understand my feelings because they’re settled; I’m not. There are some who say that I should have a life as well. That makes me mad; I don’t spend every day holed up in my room working. But at the same time, you can’t just laze about and dream. You have to work hard to make your dreams come true and I feel that I don’t have the right to waste time not working toward success. Is it wrong to have a desire for success as well as happiness?

I’ve always worried about being too late in achieving any success or recognition in my life. That is until I saw the results of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Much to the relief of everybody, there were no major scandals (or slaps) at the Academy Award ceremony this year. The biggest winner this year was Everything Everywhere All at Once, winning seven awards in total. There was a very touching moment when Harrison Ford presented the award for Best Picture to the cast and crew of this film for reasons I’ll explain down below. Meanwhile, John Williams broke his own record for the most received nominations in history, receiving his 53rd nomination for composing the musical score for The Fabelmans, while Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won Best Animated Feature. There was even an Irish victory with An Irish Goodbye winning Best Live Action Short Film.

But it was those who won the acting accolades who really struck a chord with me. Some of them were anticipated, and others were unexpected. But it was these four people who proved to me that maybe it’s never really too late to reach success in your life and achieve your dreams.

(From left to right) Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, and Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating their victories at the Academy Awards

It was these four people who proved to me that success is not defined by your age. They have shown me that it is never too late to achieve success in your life.

Ke Huy Quan‘s amazing story of going from a forgotten child star to an Oscar-winning actor has captivated everybody. He started off his career as Short Round in the 1984 Indiana Jones movie, The Temple of Doom, starring alongside Harrison Ford himself. The embrace they shared during the Best Picture session, touched everybody. Quan also starred as Data in the 80s’ classic The Goonies. But as he got older, he found it harder to land roles, so he ended up leaving the film industry in 2002, thinking he’d never act again. In 2018, he decided to take a chance and return to acting and it paid off brilliantly. He has now become the first Vietnamese-born actor to win Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. He finished off his Oscar speech, reaching out to everybody with a dream.

“Dreams are something you have to believe in, I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you so much for welcoming me back — I love you!”

– Ke Huy Quan

Meanwhile, actress Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the aforementioned Everything Everywhere All at Once, her first Oscar nomination since she began her career in 1977. She is most recognized for her work in the horror genre, starting off her career as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise. Since then, she has achieved great success in both film and television, with roles in Trading Places (1983), My Girl (1991), and Freaky Friday (2003). Only now, however, at the age of 64, has she been ever nominated for an Academy Award. To be nominated is an achievement in itself. But to win is at a whole other level. Sometimes, with all of her success, it is easy to forget that Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of popular 1950s actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Both of her parents achieved Academy Award nominations throughout their careers (Curtis for Best Actor in The Deviant Ones in 1958 and Leigh for Best Supporting Actress in Psycho in 1960). But there is a difference. Her parents were only ever nominated; they never won. But their daughter did.

“To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for all these years, the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people, we just won an Oscar together.

And my mother and my father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories. I just won an Oscar.”

– Jamie Lee Curtis

Another award this movie achieved was Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh. Starting off her career as a stunt person, Yeoh gained recognition for her work in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000). However, it wasn’t until she joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery (2017-2020) that she gained worldwide recognition for her work. Now, at the age of 60, Yeoh has finally gained worldwide acceptance for her work after winning the Best Actress accolade this year, the first Malaysian to win an Academy Award in any category. Yeoh has proven to herself and to the world that dreams do come true, no matter what age you are.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that … dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”

– Michelle Yeoh

But the biggest success of this year’s ceremony is certainly Brendan Fraser who won Best Actor for his role in The Whale. His story is probably one of the greatest career comeback stories in history. For a long time, many said that his career was over and that he had no chance of ever achieving success in Hollywood again. But now, Fraser has proven everyone wrong with this win at the Academy Awards. He started off as a successful 90s star before his career slowed down in the 2000s due to marital problems, health issues, and a serious allegation of sexual assault committed against him in 2003, which essentially saw him blacklisted from Hollywood. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d see him act in a movie ever again. But as it turned out, I and millions of others were completely wrong. With The Whale, Brendan Fraser gives the performance of his life and proves that success is out there. At 54, it was finally his turn to reach success. From his speech, it’s clear that he was overwhelmed by said success but it was certainly well-deserved.

“I’ve been at that sea, and I’ve rode that wave lately and it’s been powerful and good and I’ve also had that wave smash me right down to the ocean floor and drag my face along there and wind up on some strange beach in a different world, wondering ‘where am I now?’ But believe me, if you just stay in there and you put one foot in front of the other, you get to where you need to go. Have courage.”

– Brendan Fraser

These four people and their victories at the Academy Awards this year really struck a chord with me. All of these actors have achieved recognition and success at different times in their lives. They proved that it is never too late in your life to achieve success and recognition.

I keep looking at the pressure that I’ve been putting on myself to achieve success in my own life. And I’ve realized that maybe it’s okay to ease off on the pressure a little bit. I’ve been worried that if I don’t achieve anything now, at this point in my life, it could be too late in ten years’ time. But maybe it’s not. I’ve felt that I need to reach a successful point in my life right now. But looking at the four success stories from this year’s Oscars, I understand now that success will come for me at the right time. It may not be right now, but it will happen. I can work for it, there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s also okay to ease off a little and enjoy myself. That’s success in its own way.

Right now, I don’t know when I will achieve success and recognition in my life. But it’s something I can work towards and enjoy living my life at the same time.

Burnouts and the Beginnings of Doubt

Anything Articles

Sometimes, you reach a point in time where you just feel like you cannot do anything at all. Where you just feel so drained, physically out of it. Where you’ve lost all love and desire for the things you enjoy doing in life. I hate it when this happens. As somebody who is passionate about the things that she does, I don’t like to lose the enjoyment I feel in the things I do.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ll admit that I went through a complete burnout. I was emotional, I was tired, work was taking its toll on me and I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I just felt so low, so unsure of myself. I hated it.

People who look at the work I post online can see how passionate I am about my work. I love to be able to create my little history videos, write my articles, and express myself. So I will be honest and say, that to lose all of my passion for all of this over the last few weeks were terrible.

These last couple of weeks were tough, no doubt about it. I had to go through a lot of things in my job and while it was good things that happened, all of the things I had to do was just really draining on my mind. When I would finish work in the evening, I’d be too tired to even switch on my laptop, let alone write anything.

As some know, my greatest passion is writing. One of my dreams is to become a published author and have a book published. I’m not going to be the sort of person who makes empty promises about her writings (I know that there is a certain someone who has done that but I am not going to name her), I know what I want to do. It’s not like I am empty-handed in terms of my writing. During COVID, I actually to write the full drafts of not one but TWO stories, which was amazing. I would love to be able to have at least one of my drafts edited and properly written out. One of my resolutions for this year is to send a story off to publishers.

Over the last week, I tried and tried to put together a writing schedule. Set myself a little time during the week to just sit down and actually work on my writings. But no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get a schedule together. I found it so frustrating that I couldn’t even put that together, let alone work on my passions. I hated feeling so burned out because it made me doubt myself and my dream of being an author. Looking at all the people getting their work published left me wondering ‘Am I really as good as them?’ I began to wonder if maybe I wasn’t.

Slowly but surely, I began to recover from my burnout, letting myself rest over the weekend and trying to find myself in my writing again. With this post and my freelance position, I’ve managed to regain my love for writing. I still haven’t worked out a schedule but I will get there!

Doubt is always going to be there. I think I’ll always question my skills and whether I’m as good as the writers who came before me. And there will be times where I will feel like my candle is burned out and I can’t do it anymore. But like the Take That song, you can only relight your fire, and find your passions for life once again.

The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Anything Articles, history, research

Disney’s Peter Pan celebrates it’s 70th anniversary this year. But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of its lead actor…

The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Find the second star from the right and fly straight on till morning. Those are the instructions given to Wendy Darling, Michael and John by Peter Pan as they fly off to Neverland, a place with no rules, no grown-ups, nothing but magical forests and endless adventures. Home to the boy who never wants to grow up.

This year, Disney’s Peter Pan is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It is one of Disney’s most successful animated movies of all time and has inspired different sorts of merchandise, amusement park rides and video games.

But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of Peter Pan’s voice actor, Bobby Driscoll. It’s a story that reflects on many child stars today. Child stars have great success in movies, tv shows and are recognised everywhere…until they grow up. And while there have been some who have successfully transitioned from child stars to adult roles, other have not been as fortunate. Bobby Driscoll’s story is only one of them.

Bobby Driscoll

Born an only child in 1937, Bobby Driscoll started his acting career at five with a small role in the family drama Lost Angel (1943). His role only lasted 2 minutes but it was enough for him to land the role of Al Sullivan in The Fighting Sullivans (1944).

Alongside Luana Patten, Driscoll was one of the first two actors placed under contract with Walt Disney, and quickly landed roles in Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948). His success continued into 1950, starring in Treasure Island (1950). With a steady workload and recognizable talent, Driscoll received an Academy Juvenile Award in 1950 (which in an ironic twist of fate, was lost in a house fire years later).

Bobby Driscoll receiving his Academy Juvenile Award

Driscoll was on the rise when he landed the lead role in Disney’s latest animated movie Peter Pan. His co-star, Kathryn Beaumont (who voiced Wendy Darling) remembered him as ‘very lovely. went to his own public school when he was not working. He had normal experiences with his peer group—just as I did.’ By 16, Driscoll seemed to have it all – until he did the one thing that his character never wanted to do; he grew up.

Bobby Driscoll dressed as Peter Pan in Disney Studios

By the time, he had reached his teen years, Driscoll had grown from a cute little boy to a lanky teenager with bad acne – a precursor for child stars of today. By 1953, he had unexpectedly been dropped from Disney Studios, despite having signed a multiple-year contract. Overnight, he had gone from Disney’s Golden Child, to thrown out in the trash. As Hollywood biographer, Marc Eliot explains, ‘When Howard Hughes bought RKO, he, in effect, became the owner of the Disney studio. He controlled the money and he hated Bobby Driscoll. He hated Hollywood kids. He thought they were precocious, weren’t real, and were incredibly annoying. He didn’t want Bobby Driscoll to be with Disney anymore.’

Having been dropped by Disney, Driscoll was left wondering where to go. At 16, he moved to New York City hoping to study acting but ultimately dropping out of UCLA and Stanford. He found some happiness in TV work and tried to settle down with a young woman named Marilyn Jean Rush. They eloped to Mexico five months after meeting, but three years, three kids, two marriages, and two divorces later, their relationship was over.

Moving to Topanga Canyon, Driscoll befriended Beat Generation artist and photographer Wallace Bearman. Driscoll even dabbled in art himself with some his work surviving today. But then he began to dabble in drugs, ultimately getting arrested in 1961 and sent to California Institute for Men. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin for his acting career as he was unable to find any work after his release in 1962. “I had everything,” he said in an interview after his sentence. “Was earning $50,000 a year…working steadily with good parts. Then I started putting all my spare time in my arm. I’m not really sure why I started using narcotics. I was 17 when I first experimented with the stuff. In no time at all, I was using whatever was available…mostly heroin, because I had the money to pay for it.”

Bobby Driscoll under arrest for drug possession

Driscoll seemed to drift in his final years, unable to truly find a place where he belonged. Nobody knows how he ended up alone in a derelict apartment block in 1968 when two young boys discovered a body lying in a cot. Beer bottles and religious pamphlets were scattered around his body but investigators could not find any identification. With nothing to go on, the body was buried in a mass pauper’s grave on Hart Island.

In fact, the discovery of Driscoll’s death would not be discovered until a year later, when his mother, Isabelle, who had not seen her son in years, tried to get in contact. A fingerprint match at the New York City Police Department would reveal Bobby Driscoll’s death at just 31 years of age. News of his death would only come to light in the 1970s, due to the re-release of Song of the South. From one of the most recognized stars of his generation, to being just a brief news report, is a tragic fall for this young man who once had it all.

Bobby Driscoll in his final years

Bobby Driscoll is immortalized as one of the most tragic child stars in Hollywood history. He was truly a Lost Boy who after being cast aside by the movie industry, couldn’t find a place where he really belonged. Even now, he is still lost on Hart Island; the whereabouts of his grave are unknown as the burial records between 1961 and 1977 were lost in a fire.

The story of Bobby Driscoll has proven to be a cautionary tale for the child stars of Hollywood today. One minute you can be the most adored little star, then the next, you can be cast aside for the next big thing.

Perhaps Driscoll described his downfall best in his own words: “I was carried on a silver platter—and then dumped into the garbage.” But thanks to bringing Peter Pan onto our screens and into our childhood memories, many believe that Bobby Driscoll has emerged from the garbage heap. Hopefully now, he has finally found the second star to the right and has flown on to eternal peace.

Experience on Erasmus: Europe Excursions

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To be perfectly honest, there are truly no words to describe all of the places that I was fortunate enough to visit during my time on Erasmus. So what I am going to do, is show some of the photos that I took.

I went to several different places while on Erasmus, some of them being places that I’d never even heard of. These are only a few of the photos I took, but every place was fantastic.

Beautiful Bonn….

Captivating Cochem…

Amazing Amsterdam…

Noble Nancy…

Stunning Strasbourg…

Kindred Koblenz…

Luxurious Luxembourg….

Mesmerizing Metz…

Sensational Saarbrucken…

Serene Saarburg…

My Pictorial Postcard Collection…

I count myself extremely lucky that I was able to visit so many places that year. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to visit a lot more.