The Hollywood publicity machine is hard at work now that we know the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards. Several of my favorite stars and their movies are in the running, but for me, as a Feng Shui expert and professional colorist, the best part about the Oscars is watching the activity on the red carpet.
In my business, color is paramount, and anytime anyone -- celebrity or mere mortal -- walks a red carpet, both physically and symbolically, it's a big deal.
Throughout time, red carpets served as the transition of the gods, the threshold device for moving ordinary people into an extraordinary world. For countless significant weddings, including the recent marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, couples walk a long red carpet to the foot of their first moment together as husband and wife.
Also, for most of the world's nations, their leaders roll out the official red carpet for VIP guests attending their State dinners. When hosting foreign dignitaries, the president and Mrs. Obama spread out America's official red carpet, which also includes travel on Air Force One. And prior to air travel, in the early days of railroad, dapper conductors opened a plush, vivid red carpet, directing passengers from their common world onto the magic chariot of the rails.
First, some history: I first saw mention of a red carpet in the play Agamemnon, written by Aeschylus in 458 BC. Aeschylus's wife, Clytemnestra, welcomed the warrior home from Troy with a red carpet, saying, "Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord, touch the Earth. Servants, let there be spread before the house he never expected to see, where Justice leads him in, a crimson path." Agamemnon, not feeling worthy, responds, "I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path." I'll bet George Clooney and Steven Spielberg won't feel that way when they enter the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
In Renaissance paintings, dazzling red carpets line the steps to thrones, a very clear symbol that sets kings and rulers apart from their constituents. Cardinal red lifts the heart with spiritual power and enhances fame and reputation. At the Oscars, Hollywood's elite must walk a red carpet, because no other color signifies the same power, style, confidence, or good fortune as the color red. Can you imagine someone trying to buck the tradition of the red carpet? How would you or the celebrities feel walking down a yellow, brown, or blue carpet in front of millions of people? Certainly not as regal or important as a long stroll down a radiant red carpet, that's for sure.
Red is also the color of the first chakra, the access point in the body to your personal power, grounding your roots firmly to the earth. Walking a red carpet facilitates the absorption power through your feet, bringing all the earth's forces up into your body. The only way the red carpet experience could get any better is walking in your bare feet.
Just a few years ago, my husband, Robbie, working at the Oscars, with client and uber chef, Wolfgang Puck, got an excited call from daughter, Molly, on his cell phone. "Daddy, daddy, daddy, I see you on the Red Carpet wearing your pink shirt! Can you wave to me?" He did, and that was the extent of our family's red carpet moment. But believe me, we've never forgotten the thrill.
Celebrities and notables must wait for a special event to walk publicly on a red carpet, yet I counsel my clients, both famous and not so famous alike, that to support their own path to greatness they should consider placing a red carpet at the entry way to their home or office. Every soul is uplifted by walking a red carpet, because, as it says in Psalms 82:6, "...You are gods; you are all children of the Most High."
Here are my 2012 Oscar predictions: I love War Horse for best picture. It's a classic, grand film, in the spirit of Gone with the Wind and National Velvet. For best actor, I don't care who wins as long as it's George Clooney. And for best actress, my vote goes to Meryl Streep, a genuinely noble, amazing and beautiful woman.
Yet even before the show inside begins, we'll be glued to one of the more famous red carpets in the world, watching ordinary humans (and possibly a horse), take that long, proud walk down the crimson path, in the hopes that they, too, will soon emerge a winner.