Let that sink in. I repeat. Meryl Streep and I were in the same room. Granted, there were a few thousand people also sharing this space with us, but I still feel special. Let me start making myself clear.
The Jorgensen lecture series invited Meryl Streep to come to Indiana University. The best part- the tickets were FREE. Today President McRobbie and the trustees of this beloved university granted Ms. Streep an honorary doctorate. Afterwards there was "An Afternoon Chat" presented by Professor Barbara Klinger. This was the part that everyone was there for, Meryl Streep unplugged.
In this chat, Meryl Streep talked about past roles and ways she prepares for a character. She did not gloat about her various awards (and trust me, there is a hefty list; 3 Academy Awards, 8 Golden Globes, and more nominations than any other actor male or female in history) but focused on her roles as not only an actress, but a mom, and a role model. I did not know this, but she is a very heavily involved philanthropist. She is very passionate about women's history and is going to be playing a very powerful character in a film set in the British suffrage movement. Ms. Streep said that this role has prompted her to notice how body-conscious our generation is. There is a 12 second clip of the woman she is portraying, and she was gawky and did not know how to act in front of a camera. This is completely opposite of the selfie-generation we currently thrive in. Because of this, Meryl Streep commented on how she is trying to become more un-conscious of her body. I think it's a really powerful concept.
If I am going to be blunt, I was so overwhelmed and starstruck, that I have already forgotten most of the fine details of what she said. But as Maya Angelous once said, "At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” I can tell you honestly that Meryl Streep is inspiring. She has an air of grace and is so poised it's unreal. She can make you laugh and say things about being a part of a family that will make you miss your own.
At the end, there was time that was allotted for questions that were tweeted before the ceremony started. One of the questions asked if she had any advice for budding actors trying to get into the field. And to demonstrate how tactful she is, "For young women, I would say: don't spend so much time worrying about your weight. For young men, for everyone really: whatever's weird about you, whatever's different, that's your strength." This logic applies to everyone's major. Needless to say, I've been inspired by the lovely Meryl Streep today, thank you IU!