Life As A Musical

“Legacy. What is a Legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see” /Lin-Manuel Miranda

On my long expedition this past week from Paris to Los Angeles, I was able to catch a film I have been longing to see on the plane: In the Heights.  This was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical which he wrote as a college student, but only recently was released on film.  As I watched this, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the emotions, drive, and motivation of the characters.  

There is something spectacular about almost every musical I have come in contact with, ever since I watched Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease.  In junior high, my friends and I wanted to emulate the Pink Ladies, and nicknamed ourselves with their names.  We found joy in being silly, learning how to hand jive, outburst into song, or recite the lines from memory.

Although I love books and film, there is something different with musical theater.  My connection is heightened when their lines are sung, versus simply read.  It’s pure brilliance: storylines, dance, sound, emotions, desire, conflict, and drive all contained into words that rhyme.  How I used to long for the world to exist as a musical!  As I’m watching this magic being performed, I can feel everything the actors are feeling.  The inspiration is contagious.  I’ve caught what they have been trying to convey.   And my motivation to live a fuller life exists for days or even weeks after the show is complete. 

I have never been an actress, and was only in one high school musical as a background singer.  I do not yearn to be on the stage.  But I do want to embrace the drive and zest for life these performers exude.  There will always be a special place in my heart for musicals, and I’m so grateful for the brilliance that playwrights and lyricists have shared with the world.  

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