Home » Featured, Headline, Love, Play

I Second that Emoticon

Submitted by Bonnie Sludikoff on September 13, 2010 – 8:00 amComments

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe. Thanks for visiting!

life is a musical

I don’t want to come right out and say something embarrassing like “I constantly compare my life to a movie musical.”  I mean, that just sounds silly, right? (Then again, I need something to think about while I’m out and about in the world and everyone else is playing on their iphones as I manage with a prehistoric 2009 phone that I don’t even use to access the internet.)

In my personal movie musical, I imagine a big opening number where the screen gets divided into several portions- like the airport hugs collage in Love Actually, and each little square contains someone updating their facebook status instead of talking about their day in person. And then my square lights up -  Cue the wistful, but driven ballad from a girl who has more to say than will fit into a status box.

Consequently- I’ve just begun rehearsals for a show where I sing a wistful, but driven ballad all about things no one knows about my character. Coincidence? There are few coincidences in life, and there are even less in musicals. Good ones anyways…

As far as musicals go, for me,  it’s all about the message. Sure, it’s easy to put theatre geeks on a shelf. Imagine that we sit in our cars and sing “Oklahoma” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” all day. But, contrary to such beliefs, they didn’t stop making musicals in the 1940s. And, as much as a rousing melody can be a barn-full of fun, many musicals carry a deeper meaning. Most of my favorites do.

For instance, in Hair we learn about fighting for our convictions, and in Godspell we learn about loving one another. Then there is Wicked where we learn that what seems like a curse can turn out to be a gift, and my new favorite, Next to Normal, where we see life as a journey where we must choose to let go of the past and live each day with intention. And to top it all off, every few minutes, someone bursts into song. I don’t want to say something oppressive like, “I don’t like people who hate musicals”- but if I’m being truthful, I have to say that…well, I understand them less.

But regardless of my love for spontaneously bursting into theatrics, what draws me into musicals is a credo I learned at a theatre camp where I spent 10 of the most pivotal summers of my life. The musical theatre teacher said simply “When emotions are too big to speak, you sing.” When my teacher uttered that statement I was practically moved to tears. But I typically try to keep my tendency to have an emotional reaction to Kodak commercials and serious life events under wraps. (Go back to my last article for a reference as to why.)

In the age of social networking, it’s easier than ever for a lot of us neglect to share our emotions in person. It’s acceptable to post a status that you’ve had a shitty week, but slightly less fashionable to be anything other than perky at a social event. I, myself, would rather stay home than be “that girl.”

And yet, I spent this entire past weekend being social while (mostly) pretending to be fine, in spite of several difficult weeks. But I figure there has to be that scene in the musical where the main character sings that disillusioned song, and why shouldn’t mine be one with some good back up singers- especially with the talented crowd I run with.

So it’s with a slightly angsty emoticon ( :^ /) and a song in my heart that I wade through the last few weeks of my 27th year of life – thankful for the people who sing along with the songs in the virtual movie of my life, with hope that my upcoming birthday will bring me many happy group numbers, a fulfilling solo number chronicling my success and maybe even a romantic duet if it happens to be written in the stars.

Meanwhile, I’ll let the camera pan back to the collage shot as I update my FB status with something cryptic but emotive- possibly a well-known musical theatre lyric of some sort? Yes. I think it’s gonna be a Sondheim night.

Share this Post!
[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Reddit] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Email]

  • Erin Farrell

    Bonnie - this was wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing! I wish you all of those numbers - the group ones, the fulfilling solo, and even the romantic duet! And in the meantime, just break into song!

blog comments powered by Disqus