Beyond the Barricade

Last night, I attended a “Les Mis” party at a friend of my mom’s house. Even though I was not able to dress up as a character, I did get to wear a “Les Mis” shirt that my friends made me. It says “Keep Calm and Talk About Les Mis”. The house I was at had signs of the musical throughout the house. Just outside, I saw the famous red flag from the barricades and there were lyrics from songs attached to things that represented the songs. For instance, I saw the line “rain will make the flowers grow” on a flower bed. Inside I saw the famous candlesticks and a loaf of bread. In one of the rooms there were actual quotes that Victor Hugo wrote.

There was karaoke going on. I sang “On My Own”, a song about unrequited love, which is Eponine’s solo. That song has turned into my favorite solo from the musical. That was the only song I sang solo that night. Minor spoiler alert: Eponine is probably my favorite female character from the musical. She may be tragic, but I love how despite her love for Marius being unrequited, she still shows true love towards him.

Somehow she was able to see good in him even though she was raised by abusive cruel parents who raised her to be a criminal. But she decided to be more loyal to Marius then her own family. When I sang “Bring Him Home”, it was sung as a trio. Singing “One Day More” was challenging considering how many people were trying to sing and all of the overlapping bits especially the part towards the end. I sang “Come to Me” and I sang the part of Valjean. I also got to sing “Red and Black”,  and “At the End of the Day”.

I was surprised with a signed copy of a souvenir book. Mom’s friend has a friend who knows one of the actors who played Valjean. The man who played Valjean ended up signing it. I was not expecting that all and I did not except this party to happen.

My mom’s friend and I both have a massive love of the musical. I still know that “Les Mis” is different than other musical. I cannot put into words how strong and powerful the emotional impact is. The way in which the emotions come together is very special. It may be so tragic, but it is very inspirational in so many ways. I am still learning new things about the musical despite watching the movie several times, 25th concert ten to twenty times, the stage show four times, and listening to the soundtrack loads of times. I love how this musical is very soul and emotional driven. It just touches you in such a way that is different from any other musical. My journey with this musical has been incredible because of what I have been able to gain from it because it truly changed what musical theatre is.

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Theres No Business Like Show Business

Last night, I got to watch the musical movie of “Annie Get Your Gun”. It was a musical comedy and I loved it. The songs were memorable especially “Theres no Business like Show Business”, “Doin’ What Comes Naturally”, and “Anything you can Do I can do Better”.My favorite character in the movie was Annie Oakley.  I thought the plot was very funny.

I especially loved the actor who played Annie Oakley. Annie Oakley is the main character in the musical. It is interesting seeing the character’s development over time. Annie Oakley is clearly an uneducated  woman. She started out living on a plantation of some sort and was quite dirty. But it was interesting to see how she became more and more well known as her journey continued. Throughout the journey her outfits got even more beautiful.

Coming into the movie, I was at least familiar with two the songs. I knew for a fact that “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” was in there and I already heard the song “Theres No Business Like Show Business” before, but I was unaware it was in the musical. I also know I was going to love it because I had already fallen in love with both of these songs.

Bye Bye Birdie Review

Last night, I was introduced to another musical. It was the musical movie of Bye Bye Birdie, which is a musical comedy.

I really enjoyed watching it. The plot was very funny with a few twists and turns because I did not see them coming. The songs were memorable especially “Put on a Happy Face,” ,”Kids,” and “How Lovely to be a Women”.

The show takes place in Ohio when Conrad Birdie was drafted to the army. It was decided that before he leaves, he will kiss one lucky fan on television. That plot seems a bit crazy but then again quite hilarious. It also was filled with a lot of fun dances.

Experience of Don Quixote

Throughout break, I have challenged myself to read the book, Don Quixote. I feel determined that I will finish it by end of summer. It is a challenging book because it is long and has a very complex plot. It is also a famous classic and the main character is tragicomic. When a character is both tragic and comic, learning about that character becomes complicated because it takes full knowledge of what it means to be comic and what it means to be tragic.

In fact,  Don Quixote is meaningful to me because he is tragicomic. He is the only tragicomic character I know about in literature. I did a Spanish research project on the book and character last Fall. The moment I heard he was tragicomic, I was a bit confused. I had gotten used to comic and tragic elements intertwined in the same plot, but never in one character. While figuring out why Don Quixote is tragic and comic, I realized I knew more of what makes a character tragic then what makes a character comic.

This research project led me to wanting to see the musical movie, “Man of La Mancha”. That musical is based off of the book. Because of the importance of the character, the musical became meaningful. The musical’s best song is “The Impossible Dream”. The thing that I love about the musical is how the songs sound Spaniard and how it is a show within a show.

What it means to be a Bulldog?

What does being a Gardner Webb bulldog mean to me?

To me, I feel proud to be at Gardner Webb because it feels like home. I have only been there for three semesters, but yet it is helping me become the person I am meant to be. It is the place where God wants to be and it is helping me figure out what I want to do with my life. This semester, I think I found out I want my dream job to be. I hope to start a theatre for those living in poverty and homelessness. This idea combines both of my biggest passions into one. God called me to give back to those living in poverty and homelessness and I also have a passions for theatre especially musicals.

It is making me become more independent and is allowing me to go outside of my comfort zone.I am becoming more spiritually strong due to weekly Gathering services, volunteering, Fall Break mission trip, and relying on God to get it through the school year. The Gathering is Gardner Webb’s student-led worship service. Whenever I sing the songs we sing, I know I am being filled up with the Holy Spirit and it makes be closer to God. Looking at Gardner Webb’s sunsets makes me realize that I am at the right place.

I have made the most wonderful set of friends. Lots of fun memories were created by spending time with them. It includes celebrating birthdays, having sleepovers, eating dinner off campus and just hanging out. As each semester goes by, it gets harder and harder to see them, but it allows spending time with them even more special.

I am learning how to be a leader here. Next semester, I will continue being the leader of a support group I am a part of. I have learned different leadership skills through attending a Disney World leadership experience over Spring Break. Next semester, I am about to become a peer mentor, which is another way to help be become a leader. I still do not see myself as a leader, but I want to.

In fact as each semester goes by, my experience at Gardner Webb improves. This semester I was able to join my school to attend a production of the musical, Wicked, which was meaningful to me for more then one reason. Not only was I going with this school, I was seeing it during the tenth year the musical has been part of my life. That musical means so much to me and it still is spectacular. I also made a stuffed pink bear and named it Magenta. I attended my school’s Disney Leadership Spring Break. Seeing all of the work that happens backstage helped me learn to love Disney more. I learned how they use storytelling at every park. I was able to see costumes up close. Besides the two classes, I spent most of my time exploring the parks. I was able to meet a lot of characters during meals and during meet and greets. I attended a pinterest night and painted something to represent that trip. I went on one hike at Looking Glass Rock, which was challenging, but worth it in the end.

Overall, being at Gardner Webb has been one of the best experiences of my life. I cannot wait to see what the rest of my time at Gardner Webb will do for me. Being there has challenged my ways of thinking.

The Core of Musicals

The question is “what do all musicals have in common?” That in many ways is a difficult question to answer. Naturally I would say that all musicals are happy, have dance, and have positive and negative emotions. But that is not the case with all musicals.The reason why that cannot work is because some musicals are sad and some are not filled with the dance. In addition, some musicals are pure fun and basically just have positive emotions. I believe that all of them are connected in such a unique way. There is something special that makes each and every musical known as a musical.

In my opinion, the main thing that makes a musical a musical is their ability to tell a story through song. Through the song, the storyline is able to show its true colors. In my opinion,  joy is part of every single emotion. Love, excitement, and joy are the only emotions that can bring musicals together. The positive emotions do not have a weakness at all because they are part of every single musical and I am able to feel negative emotions truthfully just by seeing it through joy. The negative emotions on the other hand do have their weaknesses and their limits. It is true that there are some musicals that are strong in their negative emotions.Emotional is what makes a musical a musical as well. That is due to discovering the characters through song and the songs make you connect better.

Sad is in many ways kind of like the underdog of musicals. I understand it is a common emotion, but it still is a hard emotion. I say it is the underdog because it is not always strong, vulnerable, or captivating. But I have realized recently that is has much more to offer than it what it appears to be. I love the emotion the most when it is able to unlock its strength and vulnerability. I can barely relate to any of the sad musical songs, but I connect to them. Usually sad is at its strongest when a show has tragic elements and the tragic elements are very difficult to interpret. They are part of the happy musicals and if you can understand them in those musicals, you will be to understand them through all musicals. Happy musicals have unrequited love, racism, discrimination, animal abuse, and death and a lot of those elements are present in the tragic musicals. Sad shows do have their positive nature and are joyful.