I believe that the solutions to all of life’s problems can be found within the realm of musical theatre. When I find myself in a predicament I can not fully understand or a situation in which nothing turned out as I had hoped I think to the many musicals with which I am familiar for a “pick me up.” For instance, I frequently feel like I made the wrong decision when I chose my university. I came to this school to study a field in which I no longer have any interest. Now I am tasked with the unfortunate job of applying to universities both closer to my home and more specialized in the field I am currently majoring in. However, at the same time I am afraid to transfer because it would mean an entirely new system to learn. I would also have to make new friends as I am just beginning to get close to people here. It is often at these times I am reminded of the musical, The Sound of Music. Very early on in the film, Maria, the main character, is asked to leave her “dream” and as she does so, she remarks, “Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” As I struggle with this decision and its ramifications everyday, it gives me hope to think that any decision make is not the end of the world.
I am not entirely sure where this belief came from, although I am positive some part of it stems from my mother. She would sing to me when I was small and it was almost always from a Rodgers and Hammerstein show. I think I may have some how internalized this and now a simple four bar introduction to one of those songs brings me comfort. In some small way, these songs allow me to remember a time when my mother could solve any problem I had. I sometimes long for these times.
As I am now, whenever I am faced with a tough decision or personal crisis, I turn immediately to musicals to find just the right song for the moment. The perfect song not only matches my mood and outlook on the situation at hand, but it recalls the potential impact of my decision. It reminds me that no person is an island but everything that we do or say eventually makes it way around the world. At times I have used many different snippets from many different shows, including, “wishes come true, not free (Into the Woods),” “there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got (Avenue Q),” and “happiness is anything and anyone that’s loved by you (You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown)”. Everyday, as I walk down the street rocking out to any of these shows, I get a little dose of optimism or a little affirmation that all in all life isn’t as bad as it could be. After all “it’s just life, so keep dancing through (Wicked).”
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