As musical theatre fanatics, we usually are asked and told some unusual statements and questions. One of the most frustrating questions I have gotten asked was “how do you know so much about musicals if you will never be in one? I decided to try my best to explain that today.
This connects to the musicals BEFORE the love was sparked. Musicals like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Grease, Sound of Music, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of OZ, and Annie were those particular musicals. From that list, Annie became my favorite childhood musical. From those musicals, I really didn’t know much about musicals- I was aware of spectacle, excitement, and joy. Here is the question- did I even know about love, as in romance, in those days??
The Love Spark
I am only going to refer to just one musical. Wicked sparked my love for musicals- 15 years ago in NYC. It was a trip with just my mom, so my first memory of seeing musicals was a date with my mom. What I discovered about musicals through Wicked really does say a lot. I started to really understand emotional connection and its importance. I even started to understand the complex and emotional side of musical. Through Wicked, I was able to discover four core emotions: excitement, love, joy, and sad. There came a point where I thought musicals were at their deepest emotional level- they couldn’t do anymore- little did I know they were powerful than that. Little did I also know there was a 5th core emotion among other things.
It was a passionate and epic musical that made me become a musical theatre fanatic. It was through Les Mis where I would be challenged in a number of things- the emotional capability, what I think about death, and even with genre. Here is why a 5th core emotion started to exist- heartbreak was the one I was blind to. Do you what also became true when it comes to emotions- they became even more powerful than they used to be- emotional wreck nature and even words alone can’t describe the nature of Les Mis’ songs. Genre- well, prior I thought ALL musicals were happy, but capable of sad moments, but Les Mis showed me tragic musicals do exist and that I can love tragedies. Death- well, because of Les Mis, I was able to realize even death can be memorable.
Everything I know about musicals is a COMBO of going to musicals in person and their musical movies. Part is also from being a theater minor. Than when it comes the meaningful musicals, I dig deeper into them due to how much the characters’ lives and stories stay a part of me. The musicals I grew up laid down a foundation of WHAT I want from a musical even though some musicals, like Les Mis, are much different than what I think of. Than, what is confusing to others is how am I aware of all the actors I can name- that is usually one of the hardest question to answer (same with the question, “why do I love romance in musicals”). How can I fully describe why I know everything I know about musicals? There is just too BIG of a topic to explain why.