I used to think awards were foolish and that you should be content with doing research and enjoying it for its own sake. As a painter I was reluctant to sell my creations. But research is not done in isolation. Recognition from other people is important. Firstly from your direct peers who encourage you and cite you. Then there is your family and friends who are not necessarily knowledgeable in your area of expertise. With paintings it was easier: anyone either liked them, didn't care about them, hated them or bought them.
I seriously never expected to get any of these awards. And I am very grateful to the computer graphics community and the Academy for bestowing (give) me these awards.
"Oh yeah but you didn't get a real Oscar."
(friend of mine, thanks man)
I haven't considered acting yet.