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Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you all so much. You have no idea how much this award means to me. The Academy Award for Best Actress is a big honor, a big deal, and a big privilege. And despite the fact that this is a “big” award, I want to take this moment to thank the little people. No, not like, hairdressers, or personal assistants, or like, Jeremy, who does the craft services table. Like, they’re important, but they’re pretty interchangeable.

No, I mean the literal little people, the wee magical folk who live in the spaces that man has forgot; tiny creatures that I coerced into doing my bidding, to destroy my enemies and expedite my rise to the top.

I first met the little people when I was struggling as an actress in my late twenties.

I hadn’t met much success in LA, and was living on the outskirts of the city, squatting in an apartment complex that had been closed due to financial issues. I was living day to day, hoping for small-time work but dreaming of all the success in the world.

I’ll say this, to all the young, hungry artists who are out there right now: You can do it. If you dream big enough, if you work harder than all the rest, and if you wind up squatting in an apartment that turns out to be filled with a race of tiny people who are easily subjugated.

One of the first nights I slept there, I woke to the sounds of tiny feet and assumed it was rats. Imagine my surprise when I instead stumbled upon a small tribe of grayish, humanoid creatures, who were attempting to open up the small amount of canned food that the previous occupants had left behind. That’s right. My canned food. I snarled at them, and most scattered, but some stayed, with tiny spears. I didn’t know what was happening—if they were aliens, or what—so I used my immense acting skills to convince them that I was the queen of these lands, and they were trespassing.

This failed—not because of a lack of acting skills, I’m sure. Probably some kind of interspecies communication issue. I mean, they speak English, but like, not well. Anyway. I’m an amazing actress, ha ha. Look at this award! You can’t get an award if you’re a terrible actress. Who cares what tiny people you had to use to get it? Long story short, I learned I could bribe them with the candy I was shoplifting from the convenience store (a victimless crime!!!), and we were in business.

At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to use the little people for. Maybe I could put on some kind of freak show? Charge admission? Call the Smithsonian? Or, like, whichever misguided production company was behind The Smurfs?

In the end, though, I realized what they were actually good for: sabotage.

Stealing other actresses’ scripts before an audition. Erasing their names and contact information from audition sheets. Swiping their phones, and using my spectacular prowess at acting to impersonate them and turn down the role, over and over, until eventually they got all the way down the list, to little old amazing me.

Yes, I know I’m going over time with my speech, but you’ll find the little people have rerouted the audio board, and you can’t cut off my mic.

After that, I had my first actual role. And then my second! Eventually, I realized that sabotage was only so useful, but blackmail was a whole other matter. I started having the little people snoop on other actresses, and casting directors, and used their personal information to blackmail myself into each major project I was a part of since them!

It just goes to show—success will come to you, you just have to really want it!

Enough to ruin lives, families, and tiny little civilizations!

Oh, speaking of which—those poor little gray guys. They were really uncomfortable with the whole blackmail thing. It turns out, though, that they have this economy formed around the the food scraps and little trinkets and garbage-type things they find on the ground. So, having a tall person to gift them things from the tall-world completely destabilized their local market, and basically made them have to work with me. Ha ha! Anyway, I learned a lot from it, and it’s what inspired to me to do so much of the charity work I’ve done overseas in third world countries.

Ha ha! I’m an amazing actress and philanthropist!

Again, thank you all so much for this award. It’s been a long, hard road to get here. Harder than you might think! Very few of you voted for me, in fact—those that did, please know, I love you, and there are absolutely zero little people monitoring you in your private homes. Those that didn’t, well—does it need to be said? Acting is all about the subtext, after all. Thank goodness I have a race of tiny folk I can use to switch out the awards envelope. Ha ha!

I’ve wanted to win this award my entire life. I’ve spent years praying for this very moment. And tonight, I sat with my fingers crossed, just hoping for my dreams to come true.

Maybe that’s all success really is, in the end. A pair of crossed fingers, hoping for good fortune. Two eyes, full of wonder and excitement. And one mouth, shouting orders to a miniature society that you’ve bent to your will.

Goodnight, Hollywood! I love you! And would you just listen to that applause? You’re too much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, all the little people.

Elijah Sloan

Writer of societal manifestos, ransom notes, bomb-making manuals, secession declarations, new constitutions, and children's picture books.

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