Are you drawn to musicals? Does watching a musical move your emotions, lift your spirit, reveal the secrets of your heart, sift your feelings?
While many movies can do that, there’s something extraordinary, in my opinion, about musicals. Telling a story through music and dance adds an element that is enchanting, elegant, and creative. It adds flair and class to what would normally be an ordinary discourse or scene.
Consider how Maria calms the fears of the Von Trapp children with carefree style as they sing and dance around the room to “My Favorite Things” in The Sound of Music.
Or how Christian and Satine profess their love and devotion with endearing emotion as they sing “Come What May” in Moulin Rouge.
And the recent movie hit La La Land, where Sebastian and Mia take the contemplations of their possible interest in each other in “A Lovely Night” to a playful, stylistic level as they dance and sing.
In musicals, you can take the tragedies at hand and sing about your sorrow and pain with an emotion that belies normal words. You can explore the uncertainties and the drama in ways that brings in a bigger and new perspective.
You can profess your love with an intimacy of body and soul that stirs the heart. You can make light of a blunder or error that allows you to laugh and smile, instead of cry.
Musicals have always made me feel wistful and nostalgic for the ways the characters bring such passion and beauty to their lives through song and dance. This got me thinking, why can’t I live my own life like a musical?
With soaring melodies, could I express my thoughts and feelings with passion and rhyme? Could I spontaneously burst into song while the rest of the world is put on pause, as I eloquently sing (and maybe dance) the longing and desires of my heart? Could I delight in an intimate duet with my lover as we share our feelings?
While I’m not a great dancer and I have a mediocre voice, I am not deterred. If you, like me, would like to live your life with the fun, style and grace of a musical, here are my tips:
1. Put the world around you on pause and express your feelings with passion and heartfelt emotion. The characters in musicals don’t care what those around them are thinking as they start to sing their feelings. To live your life like a musical means you say what needs to be said. Imagine the world around you stops, and focus on the person in front of you. Share from your heart.
2. Let the creative muse out when you are alone. You don’t need an audience to express your joy, hurt, or the conflict of decisions. Think of Sandy singing about her sadness and confusion over Danny in “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from Grease. Say it out loud, sing about it, write about it —the point is to let it out and don’t censor.
3. Bring more music into your life. Surround yourself with melody and lyrics that move your body and soul. Attend more live musicals. Get used to allowing music to be the backdrop to your life.
4. Think and fantasize in music and song. Characters in musicals often daydream into a musical number. Why not do the same and play out that creative musing with the flair of a musical in your head?
5. Feeling good? Dance! Move your body. Let your movements reflect how you feel. Have some fun with it. Try dancing on the furniture like the characters in Dancing in the Rain.
6. Find a partner who will reveal their emotions through poetry, rhyme, song and dance. Everything feels a bit more romantic when expressed through poetry and song. Or just entice your current lover to share their feelings in more creative ways by doing the same for them. Take the first step, and instead of the usual good morning, say it sing-song or in rhyme.
7. Discover the theme song for your life. This might take some time, but consider how a good musical has a melody, often taken from a song, that is woven throughout and becomes the lead-in for other songs. What is the overall message and feeling you want as the theme for your life? Is it upbeat and lighthearted? Is it meaningful and sacred? Does it have a range or depth? You might pick an actual song, create your own, design a melody, or even write a mantra. Then play it, sing it, say it everyday.
8. Turn the ordinary, mundane moments into playful scenes by singing about them. Create a tune about the warmth of the sun. Sing about the never-ending dishes. Belt out how you feel about that traffic jam. My brother and I made up a song about our dog looking out the window at the snow. It’s all fuel for more magic in your everyday life.
If you’re a fan of musicals, you know that singing and dancing your joy and your sorrow is much more fun than saying it. So start living your life like a musical today, and create the whimsical, enchanting story that is uniquely you.
Author: Ruth Barski
Editor: Lieselle Davidson