I Am Emotional… And That’s Okay.

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”

Roger Ebert

I am emotional. I am a romantic. I love deeply. I care greatly. I don’t think any of those things are something that people should be afraid or ashamed of. However, in today’s society I feel that women especially are supposed to pretend their feelings don’t matter or that romance is just something created in film. And to an extent that’s true, particularly the latter.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I grew up in the arts, and artsy people tend to be more forward and in touch with their emotions, but I prefer to follow my heart, as cliché as that sounds. If I have strong feelings about something, why should I ignore them? Why should I pretend that they don’t exist? Maybe they’re not reciprocated or don’t line up with those of others, but they are still how I feel and aren’t I entitled to feel how I want? How I respond to things is just one of the ways that separates me from other people.

I can think of many examples where I ignored that gut feeling and didn’t act on it. In those cases, be it telling a boy I like him or trying something new, I reasoned with myself and talked myself out of doing said thing. When the opportunity had passed, I always instantly regretted not doing anything. However, things where I have acted upon my feelings nearly always turned out to be a positive experience.

Living in NYC, you would think I’d find block after block of people following their dreams, following their hearts. What I’ve mostly found is unhappy people talking themselves out of doing what they love in order to do something that will eventually allow them to do what they love. Yes, in NY you need to be head smart. But I feel like so many people move there because it’s “where dreams are made of” and then after the initial shock of grandeur end up doing things that don’t fulfill their dreams.

Like the quote above, I find that the more I think about a situation and stress over it the more confused I become. My emotions, however, are always clear. I always feel a certain way about everything, even if I can’t back it up with facts. It’s just something I feel. I remember being in classes like English where you always had to show why you came to that conclusion. I always struggled with that because a lot of the time I didn’t know how I arrived at my thought, I just felt it. I felt that that was what had to be said.

I guess what I’m struggling the most with is if your heart is telling you one thing, but someone’s head is telling you another, what do you do? You’ve already expressed how you feel so are you supposed to pretend that you don’t feel anything even though that would be a huge, painful lie –to yourself and to the other person? Or do you cut that thing out of your life until you don’t feel as strongly about it anymore and then hope you can eventually invite it back into your life?

 

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Beautiful Review #TheatreThursday

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I’ve decided that if I post anything theatre related it will be on #TheatreThursday. Theatre is a huge part of my life (which I will explain in an upcoming post). Last semester I had the opportunity to write a review of the Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. I then submitted it to a website called Center on the Aisle, where I got a job reviewing NYC based shows. So that’s just one of the exciting opportunities I have in the city.

In honor of the shows 1 year anniversary (which was a few days ago) I thought I’d share my review. This musical surprised me by how much I ended up loving it. It is definitely top three. A real blog post is coming soon!

Liz

Beautiful is “Some Kind of Wonderful”

Liz Lombardi ‘16

Beautiful is not just a musical currently running on Broadway. It is also a word that describes said musical perfectly. I have now been able to see Beautiful the Carole King Musical twice. Both times I woke up early and got to the recently renamed Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Both times I was met with a piece of paper stating that standing room only tickets were available for that day’s performance. Both times I received a ticket for $37 dollars to a show that would change my life.

I had no idea who Carole King was going into this show. Both friends I saw it with were fans of her, though, and Jessie Mueller is the title character (more on her later) so I figured why not? The first song (“So Far Away”) I recognized immediately, as I did with many more in the coming two and a half hours. So did the rest of the audience. I’ll never forget the collective sigh of acknowledgement I heard both times when the opening chords to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” started playing. Other popular songs include “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Natural Woman,” “On Broadway,” and “The Locomotion.” Yes, you read that right.

It also should be said that I am not a huge fan of jukebox musicals. Sure, they can be entertaining but they’re usually not very moving, and can feel like songs were forced into place because they felt that they needed to include them just for the sake of it. Beautiful, however, defies anything I’ve ever felt about these kinds of shows. Book writer Douglas McGrath did an excellent job connecting King’s life story to the songs she and her friends wrote. Each song blended seamlessly into every scene and furthered the emotion or energy given off by the actors.

The target demographic for this show is people who were growing up during the time period that the show is set in: the 60s and 70s. But don’t let that deter you from seeing this. This is a show that has, refreshingly, not turned to the use of celebrities to grab the attention of a wider demographic. Instead, Roundabout Theatre Company has chosen a cast of extremely talented Broadway performers. No one disappointed, and I could talk for days about how well every cast member, from lead to ensemble, accurately portrayed the lives of people who actually existed.

One who stood out was Jessie Mueller. I saw her for the first time two years ago in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I remember thinking how great she was then, so that, plus seeing her performance on the Tony Awards enticed me to go see this show. And I was blown away. My goodness, Jessie Mueller is a force to be reckoned with. The show takes place over the course of a couple decades and Mueller does a superb job at portraying King’s progression from the young, love struck, collaborative songwriter to the older, seasoned, independent solo artist. I could feel every emotion emanating through her voice. Speaking of her voice, Mueller sounds just like King. Seriously. I listened to a song from King’s record-setting album Tapestry and then listened to the recording of Mueller singing the same song. They are nearly identical. It’s no wonder that Mueller took home this year’s Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. She is more than deserving of it.

Beautiful can boast that it won two Tony’s and it was the first show of the 2013-2014 season to recoup its $13 million investment, doing so in just nine months. For reference, most shows never recoup. I would wholeheartedly recommend this show to anyone. I think there’s a little something for everyone in this show. Whether it’s nostalgia of a time gone by or being able to connect to Carole’s passion or struggles though love, this show is a must see. And people must agree with me because it plays to completely or nearly sold-out audiences every night.

As I mentioned before, this show changed my life. It opened me up to the world of Carole King. I left the show feeling like I had grown up with Carole King and it inspired me to learn even more about her. There is a ling from one of King’s songs that has stuck with me to this day and I’d like to share it with you because I think it’s so important for everyone to hear. So, on that note: “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart.”

Hello.

Hello to you, the reader. Hello to the new year, I can’t believe it’s already a week in. This particular post is probably going to be very cliché, not unlike how I feel my life is going currently, so I apologize in advance if it seems that way to you. I have wanted to start blogging for awhile now, but I could never figure out what to blog about exactly. But the best way to start doing something is to just do it. So instead of sitting around any longer thinking about what put here I decided to just go for it. Hence the name Blank Space. Maybe I’ve been listening to too much T. Swift, but this is going to be space that will probably have a little of everything, so blank space as in a fresh canvas to create. Hmm maybe I’ll change the name later on… I’ve thought about doing a theatre related blog, as well, but maybe I’ll just do a Theatre Thursday feature or something. who knows. I also don’t know how often I’ll post at first. So please bear with me as I work out all the kinks to this blogging thing.

The thought that inspired me to finally write this post? 2014 brought on a lot of change. Some things I welcomed (new friends, a new attitude about school, a new sort-of-job, excelling at my current job) and some things I did not (my like-a-sister best friend getting a job in Europe, the end of my long term relationship that resulted in me loosing my other best friend, various situations that should have turned out differently than they did). Not that I haven’t experienced change in the past, but up until my high school gradation in 2012 my life was fairly consistent. It was after then that I experienced a multitude of huge life/plot twists. I won’t get into those just yet. Perhaps I’ll save them for later. The end of 2014, however, was when I finally learned to accept that change is inevitable and that it only hurts to fight it.

So I am welcoming 2015 with open arms. There are some moments that I’m dreading, but I need to remember that I have a lot of exciting things lined up (biggest of all? TRAVEL!) and I’m sure there will be other things I can’t even dream of that pop up along the way. Here’s to embracing change and staying positive.

Liz