One of the hardest things to understand in a book, musical, play, or film is how do you know you have an emotional connection. The emotional connection is crucial: it is the want, desire, and reason for loving feeling the emotions: no matter what they are.
Look- the emotional connection is complicated to explain. There has to be a reason for loving what you are feeling. Long after the curtain falls, you usually keep the characters’ alive, but that only happens if the emotional connection exists. There are both positive and negative emotions: look, it is natural to have a want and desire to feel the positive emotion. So, why would you want to feel the negative emotions, which are the ones that hurt- that does come from emotional connection. It really is not easy to describe how you know you have an emotional connection.
One of the reasons comes from being able to relate. I relate to Belle, Anna from Frozen, and Elphaba- so it is very easy to emotionally connect to those three characters for instance. If you relate to characters, the emotional connection is going to exist: but you still need to get into the songs and plot as well.
What about the characters you don’t relate to? Any character I have emotionally bonded with are characters I love. Glinda, Fantine, The Friends of the ABC, The Newsies, Eponine, Aladdin, Jasmine, Simba, Nala, Annie, Roger, Mimi are examples of characters I do love—-some of them I still do not know why I love them and others I know the reason. What I tend to look for in a character is complexity and believability- there have been a few exceptions. Strength, courage, compassionate and romantic are just four of the characteristics I have found in characters I do love. I want characters to be flawed as well- I know that sounds crazy, but it adds to the complex and believability side.
If you go to a musical, and you reach an emotional song——and get emotional or end up in tears, that usually means you formed an emotional connection. If you go a musical, and end up on the edge of the seats—-that also can be sign of emotional connection. If you go to a musical and you are intrigued and want to know what is going happen next—–that usually means you have an emotional connection. If you go to a musical, and at the end you have fallen in love with the musical—–that defiantly means you formed an emotional connection.
Still, describing how you know you formed an emotional connection is not easy.