Spoiler alert: Not the typical thing I post on here. :o)
I was reminded of something tonight as I sat in a packed theater watching Newsies — for work no less — I know. Feel free to be jealous. ;o)
If you know me at all, you know theater is my first love. I blame the free reign of PBS in my house when I was young. No, no I kid...kind of... I grew up in an environment that naturally fostered a deep love of the arts as a whole. My mom always encouraged my curiosity about many kinds of music, books, a nightmarishly large collection of crayons, markers, pencils, paints and paper, and my bent toward wanting to take dance over participating in sports any time it was an option. But theater... Theater was different.
In theater I found a world where all of the normal rules that parents impose by parents on the entertainment we consume didn't seem to apply. Especially with musicals. Many of my favorites from high school handle dark subject matter, contain colorful language and all manner of what my niece would call "inappropriate" behavior in live performances. And I loved it.
Actually, my love of theater began when I was four or five and we went to see my cousin in various plays at her high school. We saw The Sound of Music there and I was so enthralled by the performance that my mom rented the film for me to see. I was 5. My world was flipped upside down. I didn't understand what happened in my five year old brain, but I knew I wanted to grow up and do "that". My mom had no idea that The Sound of Music would be my gateway drug into a lifelong adoration of musical theater.
As an adult (which doesn't sound like the right way to refer to myself) "that" has taken on quite a different form from what I expected, but for me theater stands above all other art forms. Every time I see a show, I feel like hold my breath for two to three hours and just absorb everything that's happening in front of me. It's not just something I think is fun to do on a Saturday night, but something that I'm fiercely protective of and I don't know, as silly as it may sound, to me it's more like a noble calling than a chosen profession.
Tonight, I was reminded of that and I was thinking about how glad I am that this very strange path I've been traveling for the past 12 years has led me here. There are many things I don't understand about the way life works, but tonight I am feeling grateful and I just wanted to share.
One last thought: If you find yourself in a place where Newsies is touring, go see it! It's amazing.