June 5th, 2009
08:02 PM ET
I just returned from the 6th Annual Inspiration Awards for Step up Women’s Network at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where journalist Lisa Ling, Lauren Zalaznick President of NBCU Women & Lifestyle Networks and “Desperate Housewives” actress Marcia Cross were being honored.
Step Up is a non-profit group that helps women and underprivileged teen girls through professional mentorship, health education and empowerment programs. Through the organization kids who really didn’t have a shot at realizing ANY dream do now. They were articulate, poised survivors of hellish, mostly inner city lives. Step Up is largely responsible for motivating these kids to accomplish their goal to enter college.
Inspiration Awards recipient Marcia Cross gave, in my opinion, the most moving speech. She actually pulled a “Ving Rhames”. Ok, for those of you who don’t remember, Rhames won a Golden Globe Award in 1998 for the HBO TV movie “Don King: Only in America”. He was up against the late, great Jack Lemmon who was nominated for “12 Angry Men”. Rhames became very emotional in his acceptance speech, tried to give his award to Lemmon and asked him to get on the stage.
Marcia, who grew up in Massachusetts, told a story about how as a 14 year old girl she threw herself at her drama teacher Betsey Joseph and begged her to take her to New York. So along with a few other students off she went with Joseph. It was on this trip that she saw her first Broadway play and was forever bitten by the showbiz bug. She told us Joseph taught her everything she knew about acting, giving her large roles as well as small (much to Cross’ dismay) in school plays. Cross went on to graduate from Juilliard in New York and credits Betsey Joseph as her inspiration. She paused to collect herself several times during her speech and in the end handed her award to Joseph who was at the event.
Hugs and tears all around. A nice way to end a work week.
So who’s been the inspiration in your life?
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