Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Once The Musical

Hello.  And welcome back.  And by welcome back, I mean to me.  I have clearly not been blogging lately.  I would love to say I'll be back for realsy, but I'm a final year grad student...  

That said - I finally saw Once.  And it coincided with one of my besties getting married.  Both of these things will be important in a minute.  

But first, my history with Once.  I saw it first as a movie.  Like the week it came out.  There were three of us who saw it, thought I only remember one of them strongly because our opinions we so diametrically opposed.  I loved it. Loved it with every fiber of my being.  I laughed, I cried, I woke up early the next day to get to barnes and noble before class to buy the cd (hey, it was the old days).  I think I saw it like 2 more times in the theatre.  (Which, for me is SUPER weird, I rarely watch movies more than once - you can square almost never to get the number of times I see them multiple times actually in the theatre.) There was just something about it though.  First off, it is def an Irish love story.  Or rather, it's really the story of two broken people helping each other not be quite so broken.  And that relationship is told through the music they share.  

Now, I have always had a personal attachment to music.  I was in choirs from the time I could talk.  I've danced since I could walk.  I have always owned more music than any human should.  I used to listen to my mom's old records on my fisher price record player until I scratched them all.  Music calms me, excites me, makes me sad, holds my anger out - whatever mood I'm in or whatever mood I want to be in, I can normally do it with music.  All done through music.   I've been reading lately about cultures who believe the world was created through music.  I have no reason to doubt this.  

A few years ago, let's say a few, maybe more than a few... for those playing the home game, I was still acting then...  Anyway, one of my former directors once (no pun intended) said that musicians were a different breed than actors.  That most musicians will play with other musicians in a heartbeat.   And he's right in so many ways.  Most of the musicians I have met in my life have been open and willing to play with whoever wants to play.  (Maybe I've just been lucky.  Don't ruin my illusion if that's the case.) 

And now we get back to that wedding.  The wedding was the wedding of one of my besties and his girlie.  He has made his living being a theatrical musician for the last...  ok, his whole life.  He plays ALL THE THINGS.  She can actually play a slide whistle and make music from it instead of just crazy noise.  They are both playful, and joyful, and loving, and pretty amazing humans.  And jam sessions at his house have always been some of my favorite, soul restoring things ever.  

So, it was no surprise really when the night before their destination wedding, I walked into a living room of musician preparing for the service the next day...  playing music!  What I love about hanging out with generous and kind musician is this - they were rehearsing for a thing that was kind of important the next day, but when I, a stranger walked in, one of them immediately asked if I played - I do not.  I do sing a little, but I'm not great at it.  She was very excited anyway and told me to come sing with them.  Later on, it came out that I am learning the spoons.  She told me to go get them and play with them.  It was just very welcoming and nice.  

When I got back to the city, I went to see Once.  Once starts 15 mins before the show actually starts.  And it starts with a traditional Irish jam session.  It reminds me of the jam sessions I have been to all over the world.  And I have been to quite a few Irish jam sessions.  I love them.  It's a past time of mine.  From there, the show started.  

Once, once again, hit me in the gut.  It is such beautiful story and so very well done.  The moments of movement and theatricality and staging were... I loved it.  I am beginning to realize how much I love moments of realism within the theatricality of theatre.  What I mean by that is that the emotions in Once were never in question, the connections real, the story told.  And yet.  It was told on a relatively blank stage, an Irish pub to be exact, that was two apartments, some bedrooms, a recording studio, a bank, a street corner, a moonlit walk on the hills....  The more I learn about the work I want to do, the more interested I am in simple theatricality.  The beautifulness of simplicity.   The "Let's Play" of theatre.  

So, Let's Play.  Let's make art together.  Let's do this.

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