Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How Lucky We Are to be Alive Right Now!

If you’ve spent any amount of time with me since last Tuesday, odds are good that you’ve observed me running around obsessing about a new musical called Hamilton. It’s kind of taken over my life, ruining it in the best possible way. One review I read called it “a hip-hop masterpiece,” and I completely agree. Honestly, I didn’t expect to like it. My historical circle of enmity has long included Alexander Hamilton, and hip-hop isn’t usually my scene. But this show is GENIUS. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before, and talking about it results in me exclaiming, “It’s too good to express in words!” and screaming.


One of the repeated lyrics is “Look around/ Look around/ At how lucky we are to be alive right now!” This sentiment has been echoing through my own life lately. I love being alive! I have been very busy and haven’t had the opportunity to blog about the whirlwind of joy that was The Drowsy Chaperone.

This show has been one of my favorite ever casts, and performing an upbeat soundtrack with them three times a week was wonderful. I played a character I named Olga Moloscovitz: a gangster undercover as a pastry chef, who used to be a golfer. They called her Hole-in-One Olga. I wore fantastic green argyle socks, which I got to keep as a souvenir. I carried a giant frosting gun, which I referred to backstage as a murder carrot. It was pretty legit.

While delivering food-based puns was fun and I always love singing my heart out (“Toledo Surprise!”), the love flooding my soul is derived from the time spent backstage. What a cast! I was tortured with more fish puns than one would think it possible to make. The women wrote funny quotes on the mirrors in our dressing room. (It was dry erase marker, don’t freak out.) We built marble towers, went to Village Inn, and speculated on putting down yet another coat of paint to cover the glitter still appearing on the stage from the previous show.

I had my first experience with performing improv during Drowsy Chaperone, thanks to several cast members who were willing to teach me some games. (I am a natural at ones like A to Z and Hecklers. Anything involving charades, however, is basically death.) I entered a sports bar for the first time. (Too loud. Too many televisions. Good mozzarella sticks.) And I met Emma Martin, who is basically an extension of my soul. Fans of LM Montgomery will recognize the phrase “kindred spirit.” Emma is my kindred spirit. Many cast members commented that we were like twins, and able to communicate in a language no one else spoke. What can I say: we’re pretty great. I could gush for paragraphs, but suffice it to say that I am #blessed.

“Look around/ Look around/ At how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

It’s General Conference weekend. Three new apostles have been named. Jeffrey R Holland’s talk on the majesty of motherhood inspires me to keep working on myself. Let’s be real, many of the talks inspire me to keep working on myself. I have so far to go. But as one of the speakers said, “It’s not your speed that matters. It’s your direction.” And I’m determined to keep my heart and life pointed towards Christ.

While driving down the interstate the other day I saw one of those light-up message boards used to relay messages about construction or delays. It said: “Buckle up. You are loved.” It was a beautiful message in a simple setting. I’d like to repeat it here. You, gentle reader, are loved. Don’t ever forget it.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Love. There are so many different types of love beyond romance. My love for fictional characters, for example, is pure and strong. Friendship can be transformative. Family bonds are uplifting. My love for the gospel of Jesus Christ keeps me struggling to move forward on even the darkest of days. My love for passionate people has been well documented every time I go to Comic Con. Dating, right now, basically makes me nauseous, and that hopefully will pass. Eventually. In the meantime, McDonalds has announced it will serve breakfast all day. This is the day I have long dreamt of.

Recently it’s come to my attention that several of my friends are going through trials I was previously unaware of. You know the saying: “Be kind, everyone is fighting a hard battle.” Due to this I’ve been thinking, and there’s something I have to say:

I don’t know what struggles are going on in your life. You may not feel lucky to be alive. But I know that there is a reason you are here, and you are loved. Wow, this post got a little more serious than I intended. Whoops. Go listen to Hamilton. (They’re all the best song, but this one, sung by King George, is the first one I heard, and I think it’s perfect.) Or watch The Guild. (Season four is my favorite.)

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