Wednesday, 27 March 2019

What Musical Theatre Means To Me

Hey lovelies! I hope you're all been having a wonderful start to the week :) To be honest, mine has been tough and I have been really struggling mental health wise. Today, in a bid to uplift myself and determined to start my day on a much more positive note, I put on my favourite musical hits as soon as I got out of bed. Songs from musicals never fail to make me feel better, even if I'm in the gloomiest of moods, I won't be able to make it through more than five songs without bursting into song myself! Musicals have always been a big part of my life; from being a small child, I have loved them! I used to watch them on repeat for days, and when I wasn't watching them, I was reciting them and dancing around my house singing :D They taught me so much and have brought joy into my life for the last twenty years, they have been something of an escape for me when things were hard and it felt amazing when as an adult, I could finally afford to go to see them in person, which was surreal and just phenomenal! Did you guys know that today is World Theatre Day!? It just seemed like perfect timing that I really appreciated how much listening to those songs this morning, and experiencing that feeling of warmth and emotion flow through me, made me feel 10x better. I couldn't not share that with you guys! This might be another rambley kind of post, because I'm just going to write and not think too much about it :) However, I hope you enjoy reading it nonetheless!   

World Theatre Day- a selection of musical theatre magazines, leaflets and photographs

I've decided that I'm going to write all about the reasons why I love musicals! Right now, I am listening to the original soundtrack for Cats, which is definitely my all-time favourite musical, and I'm having such a marvellous time having a good old sing-along (my family are probably not enjoying it as much, haha!). I would love to know what your favourite musical is! Please let me know in the comments :) 

One of the main reasons why I love musical theatre, and so wish that I had the musical and dancing talent to participate in them myself, is because of how unique a way of emotional expression they are. Everything in musicals is so deep and moving, whether the emotions being conveyed are those of sadness or anger or extreme happiness! I am a very emotionally empathic person and I feel things strongly, and so I find watching musicals therapeutic in a way, they allow me to experience intense feelings and give me an outlet, if that even makes sense. I cry a lot during musicals :D Is anyone else the same? 

I just love how extra musicals are when it comes to portraying emotions, and I feel like people who are less emotionally expressive will gain a lot from watching them. When I was around ten or eleven years old, I first started to experience the onset of my depression and I bottled up a lot of my feelings, because I wanted to pretend that everything was okay and I didn't want to be a burden to my loved ones. I would keep my feelings internalised when I was around others, but when I was alone, I would still find it hard let go of the tension of constantly trying to put on a happy face, and that's where musical theatre came in. I would put on one of my favourite shows and as I watched I would be able to channel my emotions through the stories and feelings of the characters. I always felt kind of refreshed after watching, pretty similar to how you might feel after you've had a good cry.  

Another reason why I love musicals and why they helped me so much was their depiction of individuality. I struggled a lot as a child and a teenager with my identify and embracing my personality and my quirks, who I was as a person. I dealt with bullying for most of my school years, and it was very challenging for me not to see myself through the eyes of people who were mean to me. I struggled with learning to love myself for all that makes me unique, and although I am a lot better now, like I value so many things about myself and I think I'm pretty awesome, there are still days when everything comes back to haunt me and I falter. There were many things that helped me on my journey of self discovery and acceptance, and one of those was musicals. 

World Theatre Day- A photo of a musical theatre magazine and a playlist from rocky horror picture show

Musical theatre is a beautiful, expressive art form and there are so many creative details and inspiring characters. There are lots of themes about societal outcasts and people who stand out as different from the crowd, for example Dr Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors. Watching characters like those, who are so amazing and gorgeous and intriguing because of what makes them unique, because of their individuality, made me feel not so alone, and that it was not only okay to be different, but empowering to. So that was very important to me, and still very much is now that I'm a grown up (even though I feel like I have Peter Pan 'syndrome' sometimes XD). 

Coming back to the fact that musicals are an art form that are beautiful and scream creativity, this is another reason why I find myself so in love with them! I adore how emotions and scenarios are interpreted throughout dance and song, and how the staging is stunning and full of colours and features elaborate set up's. There is so much to look at and take in. You really get to feel like you are in the scene along with the preforming artists, and for me I feel like I'm transported into another place or time for the duration of the show, even more so when I'm viewing in person! They are enthralling and make me feel all the things :) 

There is something uniquely moving about watching a scene unfold in song rather than word, and it is fascinating how much meaning can be expressed through certain lyrics. I feel like listening to these songs throughout my childhood helped me with my own emotional understanding and expression, because they provided something different to the music in the charts (not that they didn't influence me in their own way). Listening to Annie, in the musical of the same name, sing about her longing for a family to call her own, and to Fantine in Les Misérables pour her heart out about all of the suffering she endured, is moving in all kinds of ways. No matter how many times I see those scenes, I am moved just as much as if I'm watching them for the first time! But I am a bit of an emotional wreck anyway XD Crying is my default response, no matter what emotion I'm feeling. 

Something else that I love about musicals is how fun they are! They empathise positive feelings just as much as they do for the heart-wrenching moments. A lot of the time, everyone is just so elated and animated and are expressing pure happiness through song and dance. Such as in Cats, in my favourite song of the entire musical, 'Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat', the cast are running and leaping about the stage celebrating the fabulousness of a ginger tabby cat who lives on the trains! Or in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, people are literally dancing around congratulating a guy because he has the rainbow gown of dreams! And I am all for this :D Seriously though, what's not to love about musicals!? They make me feel like I want to sing and dance through life too, and I feel so joyous after watching them! 

I'm going to stop writing now, because this is becoming an essay :D But I just wanted to end my post by saying a huge thank you to all of the creative geniuses out there who produce musicals, who write the storylines and create the costumes and sets, who choreograph the dances, to everyone who does their bit to put together such wonderful works of art! You enrich my life and the lives of lots of others. Happy World Theatre Day! Keep doing what you're doing, and bringing more happiness into the world. I cannot wait to go watch my next musical! 

Thankyou for reading! 

What is your favourite thing about musical theatre?

Do you have favourite song that never fails to uplift you?


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