Life ad­vice Tim Chap­pel on how it feels to win an Os­car.

In 1995, Aus­tralian de­signer TIM CHAP­PEL won the Academy Award for Best Cos­tume De­sign. Now 50, he re­lives the mo­ment the en­ve­lope was opened and he heard his name

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents -

Iwas in a su­per­mar­ket in LA with Lizzy [Gar­diner, fel­low Best Cos­tume De­sign win­ner for The Ad­ven­tures Of Priscilla,

Queen Of The Desert] at 4am when I found out we were nom­i­nated for an Os­car. Back then, you found out through the news­pa­per. We had set the alarm early and were so ex­cited we didn’t even wait to get changed – we were still in py­ja­mas.

When we saw our names in print, we ran around scream­ing, much to the amuse­ment of all the su­per­mar­ket work­ers. I re­mem­ber I called my mother, but mostly peo­ple were call­ing me. Ev­ery­one knew it was a pos­si­bil­ity we’d get nom­i­nated, and I think Aus­tralia got the in­for­ma­tion the same time we did. So there was a feel­ing of joy all round.

On the day of the cer­e­mony, we didn’t have a speech pre­pared as the odds weren’t in our favour. But we be­gan to get rum­blings of “maybe we have a chance” when the usher checked our names and told us, “Now you two, don’t move. You have to sit in your seats. Don’t swap with any­body.” We were on the aisle, and be­hind us were all the other cos­tume-de­sign nom­i­nees. One of them had on a huge dress and was about 15 seats in, so I knew she wasn’t go­ing to win. The mu­sic would’ve started play­ing her off the stage be­fore she was even on it!

When our names were called and we were stand­ing in front of that au­di­ence, it was the most amaz­ing mo­ment of the

whole ex­pe­ri­ence. Here’s a tip: if you’re go­ing to win an Os­car, try to make sure there’s two of you. It al­lows you to have a mo­ment where you can ap­pre­ci­ate what’s hap­pen­ing while the other per­son is mak­ing their speech. While Lizzy was speak­ing, I looked out at the sea of faces. I ex­pected them to be bored, but they were all su­per-ex­cited. Oprah and Tom Cruise were look­ing straight into my eyes. It was like this en­ergy loop spi­ralling up and I thought that at any mo­ment I’d ex­plode into a cloud of glit­ter.

In con­trast, the af­ter-party was a dis­as­ter. By the time we had fin­ished do­ing press and gone to the Gover­nor’s Ball, it was late. Then our limo driver didn’t know where the party was, and we ba­si­cally got lost. It turned out the El­ton John party was at our ho­tel. But I made up for it be­cause, as an Os­car win­ner, I was in­vited to all the par­ties in the fol­low­ing years. I would rock up with the award – and pre­tend I’d won it that night. Tick­ets to Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert – The Mu­si­cal are on sale now; priscil­lath­e­mu­si­cal.com.au.

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