What makes a Musical Character “Believable” (Part 2)

I did a post a couple weeks back about what makes musical character believable. As time went on, I realized I left off a characteristic. So I am doing another post.

Below are the characteristics:

Complex– Musical characters have to be complex. These are the characters that have so many layers. There is a lot to be explored in them. They are the ones who usually face some kind of conflict in their lives. Complex characters range from Jack Kelly, Eponine, Elphaba, Jean Valjean, Beast, Glinda and Marius.

 

Negative Emotions– The characters who express the negative emotions are also “believable”. In real life, we deal with brought times and we do express negative emotions. It all goes back to the idea of complex. Conflict plays a huge impact on the negative emotions. The conflict has to be strong enough in order for the negative emotions to appear. Eponine, Phantom, Fantine, Marius, Jack Kelly, Beast, Nancy, Jean Valjean, and Crutchie all express negative emotions. A character does not have to be tragic to express negative emotions: it just has to do with what happens in their lives. Marius, for instance, faces a lot of trauma at the barricade- he first has to watch Eponine die during “A Little Fall of Rain”, which leaves him devastated, and then he ends up being the only survivor so he is an example of a character who expresses negative emotions and who is not a tragic character.

 

Positive Emotions- Characters who express positive and negative emotions are even more realistic. I know there are characters like Eponine who expresses a lot of negative emotions but are able to experience the positive emotions. Eponine experiences happiness when she is able to die in the arms of Marius. Marius like I already said, experiences a lot of trauma at the barricade, but he does experience positive emotions such as his love for Cosette or the hope he did have for the rebellion.

 

Other characters like Jack and Crutchie, they very easily express positive and negative emotions. Prior to the big fight and “Santa Fe”, Jack expresses the positive emotions and does not express any negative emotion, but when he is upset that his boys are getting hurt and Crutchie gets arrested, he goes through a lot of “inner conflict” from “Santa Fe” all the way to “Something to Believe In”. Crutchie mainly expresses the negative emotions in “Letter from the Refuge”. So you have both tragic and non-tragic characters expressing the positive and negative emotions.

 

Flawed– This is the characteristic I forgot to include last time. Characters have to be flawed. Sometimes it can be hard to notice a character’s flaws. But it is so true. Flaws help a character become even more “believable”. Elphaba for instance can be a bit impulsive. Fiyero starts off as rather rude, but he soon learns to soften a bit and eventually matures. Beast has a hard time controlling his temper but soon learns how to control it.

 

All of these characteristics are part of humanity. We all have our flaws and we all express positive and negative emotions. Plus humans are very complex. There is much to humans. So when a character has all of these characteristics, they feel the most “real” and those characters are more enjoyable to get to know.

Do you agree?

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Courageous Characters Found in Musicals

Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear.

-Seize the Day, Newsies

What does the word courage remind me of in the world of musicals? Well, in musicals, you come across many brave characters who show their bravery in many ways. I decided to make a list of various characters who do show courage. I will do my best to explain why they are brave in the first place.

Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Newsies- Even though they have to survive off of Pulitzer’s newspapers, they still stop buying papers. They end up going on strike to go up against Pulitzer to say this isn’t right. They stay passionate towards the cause. Going on strike was a brave thing to do because if they don’t buy papers, they will barely survive, but still go on strike to make a stand.

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Les Mis: 

Friends of the ABC- they are very similar to the Newsies. They have a cause as well and are planning an uprising to go up against the weak government. They stay passionate towards the end even when they know they are going to lose and know they will most likely die.

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Eponine- She risks her life several times. Even though she loves Marius, she does anything for him just to make sure he is happy and safe. At one point, she goes up against her father when he tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius is there and ends up screaming to protect the one she loves. Then at the barricade when Marius is about to get shot, she protects him by sacrificing for life so he could survive. She does not have a very good life, but yet risks her life several times for the sake of Marius.

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Jean Valjean- he is an ex-convict. He ends up turning himself in when an innocent man is “Valjean”. Than at the barricades, he goes there to protect the one that his adopted daughter, Cosette, loves. When Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean takes Marius to safety even the only way to is go through the sewers.

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Wicked: 

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Elphaba- she is brave in many ways. She goes up against the Wizard even when he is spreading “rumors” and “lies” about her. She always true to herself no matter what people say about her.

Beauty and the Beast

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Belle- she ends up saving her father when imprisoned by the Beast. She ends up taking his place as prisoner. Then towards the end when Gaston and the citizens want to kill the Beast, she goes back to warn the Beast and wants to make sure he comes out alive.

Beast- when he falls in love with Belle, he lets her go. Then when Belle returns, he protects her by fighting Gaston. So because these two would protect each other, it makes them such a beautiful couple.

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Can you think of other courageous characters I did not put on this list?

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The Magic between Beast and Belle

This is my 2nd Disney couple post I did. Unlike Jack and Katherine, Belle and Beast are more recognizable. The Beast was a bit selfish at the beginning and as a result, the enchantress put a curse on him to turn him into a beast. It affected everyone living the castle as well. The only way to break the curse was to fall in love with and be loved in return, but had to happen before the last petal falls on an enchanted rose. Beast eventually fell into despair and felt like there was no hope for the curse to be broken.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Belle is only staying at the Beast’s castle because she agreed to take her father’s place after Beast imprisoned Belle’s father so Belle took his place. That moment shows just how brave Belle is. Lumiere and some of the other enchanted objects believe that Belle is the girl to break the curse. Beast acts out sometimes against Belle and has a hard time controlling his temper. So it doesn’t seem likely that Belle is the girl for him.

But one day after Belle leaves Beast’s castle after she went to the West Wing, Beast realizes his mistake. He ends up going after her and protects her from wolves. Beast has softened up a bit at this point. Both Beast and Belle are arguing and Belle is defiantly not in love with him.

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But over time, Beast learns to control his temper. Belle teaches the Beast how to love and that is part of why he falls in love with Belle. During “Something There”, their relationship starts to blossom. Eventually Beast invites Belle to dinner and a dance in the ballroom. During “Beauty and the Beast”, you finally get to realize that the two have fallen in love. Because of Beast’s love, he lets Belle go after Belle discovers that her father is in trouble. So Beast makes a big sacrifice even though Belle is the one to help break the spell. But back in the town, Gaston and the citizens plan to hurt the Beast and eventually kill him and in that moment, Belle realizes just how much she loves the Beast so she goes back to try and protect the Beast, but what Beast does is protecting Belle. But things turn out okay in the end even though Best almost dies.

Just like “Something to Believe In” from Newsies, “Beauty and the Beast” pulls you in with this kind of magic. That is part of the beauty of Disney love songs. With Belle and Beast, their love develops over time. That is because Beauty and the Beast is a love story. Belle does not start to fall in love with Beast at first. But when Beast starts to change and learns to love, Belle finally starts to fall in love with him. Yes, Beast imprisoned Belle and loses his temper at Belle at times, but at least he learns to love.

What I Love about Belle

Belle is one of the Disney princesses and she is one of the best ones. There are many reasons to love her. She is quite a strong, independent and brave girl. She strongly loves her father. She is very different from her town mainly because she is a bookworm. Her being a bookworm is something that I can relate to. She rescues her father from the Beast’s castle by agreeing to take her father’s place and that takes an incredible act of bravery.

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While at the castle, she teaches the Beast to love. She eventually falls in love with him as the story continues. She learns that beauty comes from within.  Belle teaches the Beast many life lessons. She is constantly annoyed by the Beast’s anger, but she eventually helps him. Even though she is a prisoner in the Beast’s castle, she takes him back after he got hurt from saving Belle from the wolves. You start to see their love unfold during “Something There” and later during “Beauty and the Beast”. Beast eventually lets Belle go but after Belle realizes that Gaston and the town are going to hurt the Beast, she realizes just how much she loves the Beast and she goes back to try to save him. So Belle is such one of the best Disney princesses.

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What I Love about the Beast

The next character I will explain why I love the Beast.

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Possible Spoilers:

In Beauty and the Beast, the Beast in my opinion is so complex. For starters he is under a curse an enchantress put on him because the enchantress saw no love in his heart. The Beast after all is a prince. The enchantress says the curse will not be broken until he learns to love and if someone learns to love in return. But he only has until the last petal falls on an enchanted rose. As years went by, he slowly fell more and more into despair. The curse affects the people who work there as well and they become enchanted objects. That is just some backstory about the Beast.

The Beast originally imprisons Belle’s father. But Belle ended up taking her father’s place. The Beast obviously at the beginning has this anger problem. He eventually does open up to Belle. After he loses his temper after finding Belle in the West Wing, Belle escapes. But the Beast realizing what he has done rescues Belle from being eaten by Wolves. That is a big step for him because he ends up saving on so he starts to learn how to love and becomes less selfish, but he still has anger problem, but he slowly is learning to love.

A lot of my love for him comes from how he develops through the course of the Beast. The Beast learns how selfish he was and starts to learn his lesson because of Belle’s presence in the castle. Soon after the wolf attack, you start to see Beast finally learn to love. Belle teaches him that beauty comes from within. His feelings for Belle start to be noticed during “Something There” so we learn that he slowly has love for his heart and that the curse has have capacity to be broken. During “Beauty and the Beast”, it is discovered that the two love each other. Right after this scene, through this mirror she allows Belle to see her father. Belle is terrified by what the towns people are doing to her father so the Beast lets her go and that shows he has learned that love does come with sacrifice at times. This is where “Evermore” happens in the new 2017 movie.

imagesSo Belle finally has learned to love, but he doesn’t know if Belle has learned to love him as well. The audience obviously knows the two are in love, but Beast doesn’t know it. Belle does eventually come back after she learns they are getting ready to hunt the Beast and it is in that moment just how much she loves him. Beast seeing that Belle has returned starts attacking Gaston in order to make sure Belle is safe. Beast almost dies in the story but he doesn’t. In the end the spell has finally been broken and he no longer is a Beast and the enchanted objects are now human again. So really a lot of my love for the Beast has to do with his transformation from a selfish and angry man to a man filled with love in his heart and what it means to love. Love means sacrifice and it shows that through him finally letting Belle go and eventually protecting her.

My Favorite Musicals and Why I Love Them

Today will I be writing my second Mega post. Today, I will write about many of my favorite musicals and my reasons I love them. They will not be in order of where they rank. Some of these musicals will have a longer explanation and some will be quite short.

Spoiler Alert:

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There are several reasons why I love Les Mis and even that is hard to describe. There is something special in Les Mis that is not seen is many musicals. It has these brilliant songs, which are powerful, passionate, epic, revolutionary and highly powerful. It perfectly complements the characters and plot. It has this incredible story about how Jean Valjean, an ex-convcit, and his journey on becoming a better person when he is given a second chance at life.

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Valjean came out of person as this hardened and angry and hateful man and felt even more anger as he recognized the injustice he was going through due to how society treated him since he was an ex-convict. But when the bishop gave him a place to stay and food to eat, Valjean stole from him. However when he was caught and sent back to the bishop, the bishop forgive him and Valjean was taught the ways of the Lord. This act of mercy is what caused Valjean to turn his life around, but to do that he had to break parole, which led Javert to want to capture him to return him to jail.

He eventually becomes mayor and indirectly caused the firing of Fantine, a single mother struggling to provide for her child. This led Fantine to turn to prostituion, but when she was attacked by a man and she attacked him in self-defense and Javert wanted to send her to prison, but Valjean saw the whole thing and showed Fantine an incredible act of compassion by preventing her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to care for her child, Cosette. When Valjean picked her up from the abusive Thenardiers, Valjean realized she was quite a broken child and he ended up becoming a father in the most unexpected of ways and Cosette was the first person he loved in the most unexpected of ways.

On to the love triangle between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius. One of the most fascinating things about Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette. Cosette started out as this broken child who was horribly abused by the Thenardiers and forced her to be a servant. But Eponine was spoiled and appeared to be loved by the Thenardiers, but as the girls get older the tables are turned. Now Cosette has a father that loves her and her life improves. But with Eponine, her life has gotten worse due to living in poverty and being unloved by her parents. But look what happen when both fall in love with Marius.

Eponine ends up with unrequited love for him, but she would do anything for him to make him happy so she protects him no matter what and makes sure Cosette and Marius end up together. She protects Marius when the Thenardiers try to rob Valjean’s house. She is quite brave and risks her life several times for him. Her love for Marius is her greatest strength even though it leads to her death at the barricade. When Marius was about to get shot, she took the fatal shot herself, but died in the arms of  Marius.

On to the students now. The last important story is the one between the barricade boys. The Friends of the ABC is led by Enjolras, the most passionate of the group and Marius is this part of the group. They are planning an uprising to stand up against the weak government. They are quite hopeful and even when they know they are going to die, they stay passionate towards the cause. Marius is the only who loves due to Valjean because his adopted daughter loves Marius so he does everything for the sake of his daughter.

So you see the plot of Les Mis has a lot to it. I know I went on and on about why I love Les Mis. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. There is just so both to explore in Les MIs. The story is complex that if you take out an important detail, the musical just falls apart. So Les Mis is a tragic story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice and redemption.

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On to Wicked, which is tied for Les Mis for favorite musical. This musical focuses on the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda. How far will they got to keep friendship alive when they both fall in love with Fiyero.

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Everything about Wicked feels OZian. The costumes are so magical and fun and feel like they belong in Wicked. The Shiz costumes all have the blue and white stripe but each looks different. The set looks OZian as well. The dancing in Wicked also feels like it belongs in OZ. The costumes are fun and sometimes emotional. I have less reasons that I love Wicked than Les Mis, but they are still tied. At the end of the musical, Glinda and Elphaba realize that they have changed each other for the better. Below is a picture of the set and an example of a Shiz costume.

Next musical I will talk about is Phantom of the Opera.

I love it due to how beautiful it is. It is also quite haunting. The overall story is a mysterious and dark love triangle which is also angelic and beautiful. I know why I love it, but is hard to think of reasons why I love it. You have one love which is beautiful and angelic and innocent, but you have another one which is dangerous and haunting, but saddens you. Phantom is quite an emotional character because he has such a tragic past and deals with unrequited love, but he is so filled of anger that he acts in revenge and terrorizes the opera house. But the love between Raoul and Christine is beautiful considering the fact that they used to be childhood sweethearts, but eventually fall in love. Raoul treats Christine better than the Phantom and Christine and Raoul deserve to be together.

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Annie is another favorite musical of mine. It is about an orphan girl named Annie who gets to stay at Daddy Warbuck’s house for a week over Christmas (Fourth of July in Movie). She is so optismtic and basically adopts a stray dog and names him Sandy. Eventually she gets adopted, but I have loved it since I was a little girl.

Sound of Music is another favorite musical of mine. Just like Annie, I have loved it since I was a child. It is about Maria and how she becomes a governess to seven children. She teaches them to sing. It is about family and music. It has very memorable tunes that many know. Its songs are so fun and sometimes emotional.

Next up is Newsies. It is such an inspiring story of how a group of Newsboys went on strike when Pulitzer raised the price of their papers. They are so passionate about the cause and they have this wonderful brotherly love that they are family. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares for all of his brothers especially to Cruthcie. Crutchie is the most vulnerable of the batch due to his bum leg. They dancing is mind-blowing and the songs are fun, exciting, and at times emotional.

Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical Disney musicals. It revolves around Belle. When you father is imprisoned by the Beast, who is under an enchanted curse, Belle agrees to take her father’s place. But Gaston wants marry Belle, but Belle has no interest in him. Belle in the castle meets several enchanted characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip. It is how Belle learns to see Beauty from within. The Beast eventually learns to love and the two slowly fall in love with each other.

Next up is Rent. Rent like Les Mis is sad but its story is inspring. It is about a group of starving artist and their life in a year. It is about how to live life to the fullest. It is about living the moment and measuring your lives in love. Its the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. But it is set during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This group of friends is like a family and deals with three couples, who are Mimi and Roger, Angel and Collins, and Maureen and Joanne. The main relationship is between Mimi and Roger. Mark is the narrator of the entire story. The songs are so emotional, but teaches a lot about life. It reminds us of how precious life is.

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Next up is Pippin. Pippin is about discovering where you belong. It is about Pippin and his journey on discording his “Corner of the Sky”. He gets help from the Leading Player, but without him knowing, the Leading Player is causing him to make several wrong decision and even the audience can’t detect it until the end of the musical. It is like watching a circus that has singing in it. Its song are fun and catchy and teaches you that we all have a “Corner of the Sky”. At one moment in the show, we are told to sing along to one of the songs, which is “No Time At All” because Pippin’s grandma tells us to.

The last musical I will talk about is Music Man. It is such a fun show that is very light-hearted. Its songs are fun and you always feel positive emotions with its song. It is about conman, Harlod Hill, who says he will create a boy’s band but in reality he will just buy them the instrument and leave, but Harold Hill eventually does create the boy’s band and he helps transform River City. He falls in love with Marian. Winthrop is another fun character who has a lisp, but Harlod Hill helps him. So he helps transform the entire town.

I know this is quite a long post, but it goes to show my love for musicals. It shows that I have wide range of favorite musicals. From the very happy ones to the very sad ones, they all bring me joy. The only emotions they all share are positive emotions. Below I will include pictures from when I saw these musicals.

Christmas Magic

So it has been Christmas morning already so it was time to open presents. I ended up with three musical related things, was the Beauty and the Beast DVD (2017), interesting set of Les Misérables colored pencils and a musical theatre book with pictures and facts about the modern musical. The new Beauty and the Beast is so amazing and am glad that I finally own it.

About the colored pencils, there are phrases on them, which are unique. Those phrases are Oranjolras, Javerte, Rosette, One Gray More, Color of Despair, Look Brown Look Brown, Tantine, Do You Hear the Purple Sing, Mustard of the House, Blue4601, Blood of Angry Men,  and Green Him Home. Those are the craziest things ever, but in a way they work.

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Also got some clothes, a gift card, and a brand new purse along with other things.

My Christmas still isn’t over as there is still is Christmas dinner to look forward to.