Sympathy and Empathy in Musicals

The word sympathy reminds me of musicals. A musical has the advantage of song to make you feel for the characters. They want you to feel empathy for the characters, but sometimes all you can feel sympathy for them especially if you are feeling for a character you don’t like.

The emotions the actors are played to the audience makes the audience feel what the character is feeling. In my eyes, I feel like the characters personally know everyone in the audience and are comfortable with sharing their emotions to the audience even if they are not willing to share it to the other characters.

Some musical emotions are hard to feel and are tough. You don’t want the characters to go through what they are going through at times, but you still learn to care about them and they end up living in you. The negative emotions are the best example of feeling sympathy and eventually empathy for them. I don’t mind feeling the negative emotions especially if I fall in love with the sad and heartbreaking songs and fall in love with the character and plot because you feel like you are ingrained into the plot and when that happens, you end up having a positive experience.

What makes the songs make you feel for the characters? Well, for starters, songs are usually more powerful than words alone. Sometimes a musical’s use of crescendos makes a song feel strong and powerful, which is a very unique thing to see. The crescendo makes you see just how strong a character is and that can make you feel the emotions the song is trying to convey. There are key changes when it comes to a crescendo. Songs like “On My Own”, “One Day More”, “Defying Gravity” among others have a use of crescendos and crescendos help with emotions a lot. It lifts the song and makes a song even more powerful.

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I feel like the melody shows the nature of the emotions. A slow and quiet song is how you end up feeling love and the sad or heartbreaking songs fit under that category as well. “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love, but because the melody stays consistent throughout, it  shows that Elphaba’s love for Fiyero is not that strong at that point in the story. But with the case of “On My Own”, which is another unrequited love song, the melody which has this whole introduction shows just dark and empty Eponine’s life is and when that sudden key changes after “all I see is him and me forever and forever”, the melody has a sudden key change and slowly builds up over time sells how just strong and deep Eponine’s love for Marius is. So melody does play a part in the emotion of the song. The exciting songs have the pattern of starting and suddenly speeds up and that gives you the wow factor that an exciting is supposed to have.

What is your opinion about feeling sympathy and empathy in musicals? Do you like the use of crescendos in musicals? Why you think songs bring out the emotions in the characters better than words alone?

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My Wicked Journey

In today’s post, I decided to talk about my journey with the musical, Wicked. I have talked about the meaning behind the musical, but never talked about my journey with the musical in detail. There were be some holes in it because parts of my journey I don’t remember when they happened.

My journey with Wicked started in 2006. I was only 12 and my mom took me to New York City to see Wicked on Broadway. Little did I know that when I saw Wicked, it would have a huge impact on my life. I remember that my favorite song, “Popular”, was  the main thing I remember. I ended up buying the soundtrack after seeing it on Broadway. I don’t when it was, but Elphaba became such an important part of my life. The other two characters I fell in love with was Glinda and Fiyero. I remember that I always hated “No Good Deed” and “March of the Witch Hunters”. Also Wicked truly has my vision for musicals, which is a heartfelt story filled with spectacle, dance, positive and negative emotions in the score, comedy, romance and a strong emotional connection.

Honestly I don’t know it was, but I don’t know when I realized Wicked was home to a love triangle. But what I do know is that it had a relationship to the first and second time I saw Wicked. The second time I saw Wicked was in high school and I was more vulnerable then than the second time. I came in being aware of positive and negative emotions in the score. I feel like I already knew about the love triangle along with the main story of friendship and acceptance. I was more vulnerable in the second round.

Wicked actually was the musical that sparked my love for musicals. I began to understand what an emotional connection was, which clearly shows through my personal bond with Elphaba. As time went on in middle and high school, I realized just how much I related to Elphaba and that is a huge reason why I was able to begin to understand an emotional connection. I even began to understand that musicals have an emotional  center to them. The main songs where I definitely knew sad belonged to was “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good”

The third time I saw Wicked, I was more vulnerable than the second time. For the first time, I began to remember the song that is not in the soundtrack, which is “The Wicked Witch of the East”. I still have been overlooking both Nessa and Boq along with the Wizard and Madame Morrible.

In my mind, “I’m Not That Girl” was still just a sad song and nothing else. Little did I know there was more to that song. I went for a third time because I wanted my dad to get the opportunity to see it and yet he gave me the better seat because the tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me. Also I was aware that the love triangle was fascinating and provided a wonderful emotional nature, but I was still confused at Fiyero’s role in the love triangle as in why does the plot twist even happen.

A huge part of my Wicked journey had to do with Les Mis. In the first rounds, I was already aware of sad, but I had no idea that one musical emotion was an emotion I was 100% blind to. “I’m Not That Girl” was just a sad song in the three times despite feeling more vulnerable to the musical. Well, Les Mis made me discover heartbreak for the first time. I saw Wicked a third time a few months after I realized heartbreak existed in the musical emotion, but still wasn’t existent in Wicked.

Enter “On My Own”, it took an entire year for me to realize that “On My Own” was heartbreaking. Well, I was able to connect “On My Own” to “I’m Not That Girl” when I realized both were unrequited love songs. It  took “On My Own” and memorizing the lyrics for to realize “I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song. But one piece of the love triangle was still hard to understand so I was determined to understand Fiyero’s role in the love triangle when I experienced Wicked for the fourth time.

I saw Wicked for the fourth time on January 30th, 2016. By having the new knowledge that “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, I knew I would feel more vulnerable. In addition, I was seeing Wicked with Gardner Webb, an university that changed me for good. I had an understudy as Elphaba and she was brilliant and so was Glinda and Fiyero was incredible.

I was determined to pay closer attention to him and “I’m Not That Girl”. By closely examining the lion cub scene, I was able to pick up on the fact that Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba in his days at Shiz, but seems so unsure of it, but it made me understand why the love triangle’s plot twist even happened in act II. Also in the lion cub scene, it was the first time Elphaba realized that she was falling in love with him, which affects just how heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl” is because it doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking and is only moderately heartbreaking and the melody sells that. It took hearing rumors of Elphaba for him to realize he truly loves Elphaba and hates that Glinda is supporting everything they are saying even though she hates it. So he left her because he realized his true feeling for Elphaba.

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Well, the first three rounds I saw Wicked, I always hated “No Good Deed” and expecting not to remember or even appreciate the scene. Well, my Elphaba during the fourth time made me appreciate the song. I finally could pick up on its emotions, which is another reason why I felt the most vulnerable. I was to realize the incredible energy found in the song along with Elphaba’s anger and frustration after thinking she failed at saving Fiyero through her spells.

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So Wicked has had an incredible journey. It has deepened so much over the years in terms of emotions. The love triangle became more and more complex over the years and its emotion changed a lot based on the fact that “I’m Not That Girl” went from being a sad song to slowly building up to being a heartbreaking song. Yes, this journey has a few plot holes because I don’t remember when I discovered certain personality traits of Elphaba at what point in the journey. I still overlook some things. But without Wicked, the love never would have been sparked in the first place. All of these years made Wicked what it is and how I describe the different characters.

The link below is a review from the fourth time I saw Wicked

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/review-of-wicked/

What Wicked’s Love Triangle Once Was Viewed

The Wicked love triangle is a special one to me because it was the first one I ever connected with. The love triangle was very different from the time I was 12 to the time I was 19. In those days, I saw the stage show three times. This post will talk about how I used to view the love triangle once upon a time.

Possible Spoilers:

I don’t quite remember when I realized I knew Wicked was home a love triangle, but I do know it had a connection to the first two times I saw Wicked, which was in middle school and high school. I remember in high school knowing that Wicked’s love triangle was fascinating and emotional, but I don’t think I realized why I thought it was both of those things. Before college, I already was aware of the plot twist that happens in act II when the unrequited love shifts from Elphaba to Glinda.

I honestly don’t know how much I realized “I’m Not That Girl” was part of the love triangle, but I definitely did not call it an unrequited love song and I did view the song as sad. I feel like I knew that these two women loved the same man, but at the moment he was in love with Glinda, but not Elphaba.

I don’t know remember how I interpreted the song, but I definitely saw the song as being sad so it was one of the first sad songs that really stuck, which is part of why Wicked showed me the emotional side of musicals. I definitely knew “As Long As Your’e Mine” was part of the love triangle, which is a love duet between Elphaba and Glinda and I did not understand the irony behind that song.

By the third time, I was very aware of the nature of the love triangle. “I’m Not That Girl” in my opinion was just a sad song and nothing else. But I was still very confused at Fiyero’s role in the love triangle. I did not understand why the plot twist happens at all. Such as why did it take until act II for him to realize that he loves Elphaba or why he broke up with Glinda even though I love how this love triangle is set up in the end.  “I’m Not That Girl” was developed as far as it could go so it just stayed a sad song during the third time. From the first to third viewing, I only paid attention to the songs part of the love triangle and not the spoken scenes connected to the love triangle.

But everything I already knew did prepare me for the fourth viewing, which was last year.

Do you love the Wicked love triangle and if so why? Was there a time where you interpreted it very differently then you do now?

The Unexpected Musical Couple

Spoilers will be ahead:

Of all musical couples, I like to refer to Elphaba and Fiyero as the unexpected couple. Why do I call them that? Well, in Wicked, you honestly don’t expect them to get together. In act I, both of them do have feelings for each other, but Fiyero is in a relationship with Glinda at the moment and Elphaba is coping with unrequited love so Wicked is home to a love triangle, but a very complicated and non-straightforward one.

Throughout act I, Fiyero seems to be a bit unsure of his feelings for Elphaba. From the point of view of an audience member, I interpreted that Fiyero does have a developing crush for Elphaba, but he doesn’t seem fully aware of it and continues to stay in a relationship with Glinda. It was during the Lion Cub scene where you start to notice the feelings that Elphaba and Fiyero have for each other, but Elphaba is defiantly more aware that she is falling in love with him. So she is coping with unrequited love for Fiyero at the moment not realizing that Fiyero defiantly has a crush on her.

So eventually, the two become a couple you wouldn’t expect especially because Elphaba is green and does not quite fit in and would expect her to continue to have unrequited love for him. It would take rumors being spread about Elphaba for Fiyero to realize that he truly loves Elphaba and that Glinda is not the girl for him and so he breaks up with her so it can be questioning especially if you weren’t paying close attention to Fiyero in the first act. This happens in act II and he has truly matured at this point.

It is clear during “As Long As Your’e Mine” that Elphaba and Fiyero are a mature couple and that shows how much they have matured throughout the course of the story. The song is very mystical and they are a perfect couple for each other. Fiyero does accept Elphaba for who she truly is.

Part of my love for Fiyero comes from how much I love this couple and that he accepts Elphaba for who she truly is even though she is green. The fact that Elphaba ends up with Fiyero in the end shows just how complex Wicked’s love triangle is.

Even after “As Long As Your’e Mine”, their love for each other shines. Fiyero protects Elphaba whenever she is danger and she tries to save him when he is in danger. The moment when the guards try to arrest Elphaba, Fiyero defends Elphaba because he loves her and he is sent to the fields to be tortured and because of Elphaba’s love, she tries spell after spell to try to save him. So their love for each other defiantly is full of courage and maturity. “As Long As You’re Mine” is a wonderful example of how much I love this couple.

On a side note: Elphaba and Fiyero started to became a favorite couple of mine starting in 2006 at the age of 12 when I saw Wicked on Broadway.

Is there a musical couple in musicals you did not except to love? What do you think of Elphaba and Fiyero as a couple? Do you find Wicked’s love triangle complex?

Analysis of the Lion Cub Scene

This is still on the topic of musical love triangles. I want to focus on one scene that is connected to Wicked’s love triangle. Wicked’s love triangle is the first one I ever emotionally connected with and I find it to be the most complicated.

Spoilers Ahead:

Well, the Lion Cub scene could easily be overlooked the first time around. The first time you see the musical, there is a plot twist. In act one, Elphaba is feeling unrequited love for Fiyero, but in act II, Fiyero realizes that Glinda is not the girl for him and breaks up with her and starts going out with Elphaba so the unrequited love shifts. The plot twist is one of the reasons why this love triangle is unique. So why exactly does that happen? Well, let’s look back at this lion cub scene for some hints.

Leading up to the Lion Cub scene, Elphaba sees a scared Lion Cub in a cage and casts a spell on her class, which doesn’t affect Fiyero. The two run off into the woods somewhere to free the cub. Now, it is important to pay attention to the conversation the two are having and the way Fiyero is acting around Elphaba. Clearly the two have wonderful chemistry and Fiyero is flirting with Elphaba. In this scene, they are arguing, but in a  playful way it seems. There are clues that point to the fact that in this scene Fiyero might actually have a crush on Elphaba.

I actually think he does have a crush on Elphaba, but deep down doesn’t realize it at this point in the musical. The love triangle in Wicked can be questioning as to why does the plot twist even happen in the first place. Towards the end of the scene, Fiyero is trying to get Elphaba to explain why her spell didn’t affect him and in that moment, she realized she was falling in love with him and so the love triangle subplot has begun.

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So what are your thoughts on this scene? Do you think in this scene do you think he has a crush on Elphaba and do you think he knew or do you think he didn’t?  Do you think Fiyero started to have a crush on Elphaba on his days in Shiz?

Conclusion of Analyzing Wicked Characters

The past couple of days, I have spent my blog posts analyzing the Wicked characters. Some of these characters were characters I tend to overtook and some I love, but didn’t know how to analyze and one I fully understood.

In the case of Madame Morrible and the Wizard, I spend so much overlooking them and not even caring about them. I tend to forget about their journeys as well. I don’t even care about them.

Just like Madame Morrible and the Wizard, I tend to overlook Boq and Nessa as well. But through analyzing them, I realized that I don’t overlook them as much as I thought. They are actually part of the complex romantic arc that is in Wicked, which actually creates a love pentagon of sorts.

When it comes to Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda, I love them. They are characters that I am emotionally connected to. All three of them are part of a confusing love triangle. Glinda and Elphaba are best friends who originally hate each other. Fiyero and Glinda learn to accept Elphaba for who she really is and that is a huge reason why I love them. Glinda is outgoing, funny, and popular and Fiyero truly matures throughout the course of the musical because he does start out as being rather rude.

Elphaba is a character that means so much to me. She means more to me than Glinda and Fiyero. She is strong, smart, determined, big-hearted, talkative, courageous, unique, and believes in equality and staying true to herself.

It is crazy analyzing these characters if you only spent time getting to know three of them. So trying to write an analysis for Boq, Nessa, Madame Morrible, and the Wizard is crazy because I never really took the time to get to know them.

Who is your favorite Wicked character or characters and why?

Analysis of Fiyero

To be honest, Fiyero is a hard character to get to know. He is a character that doesn’t seem that complex, but in reality he really is. I already told you about Elphaba and Glinda, two characters that I love, and now there’s Fiyero, the last of three characters that I am emotionally drawn to. To be honest, I will do the best I can, but I cannot guarantee I will have a fully drawn out analysis of Fiyero.

Possible Major or Minor Spoilers:

When we first meet Fiyero, he is rather rude and throws a book at Elphaba. He has been kicked out of several schools and does not seem to care about anything. He only cares about having a good time and partying at school and does not seem to care about studying. His motto is basically “dancing through life. We learn that he is in fact the Winkie Prince. He decides to arrange the students of Shiz to go out to a dance because no one seems to do anything fun around there. Galinda wants to go out with him because he is one of the cool guys and due to his prince status.

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In class, Elphaba seeing a scared lion cub casts a spell out of anger and for some odd reason, it did not affect Fiyero. The two run off into the woods to free it. This is one important scene. If you pay attention, there are clues that Fiyero might have a crush on Elphaba, but at the time he might not realize it. He still is involved in a relationship with Galinda, but in reality he might be falling for Elphaba. The way he is talking to her and interacting with her gives clues that he might be developing a crush for her.

Elphaba still finds Fiyero rather annoying, but at least he isn’t so rude anymore and Fiyero tries to get Elphaba to tell her why her spell didn’t affect him and in that moment she realizes that she is falling in love with him and was scared to tell him and couldn’t tell him because it was her best friend that loves him so that was a test of friendship right there.

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Then there is the train station scene. He brings Elphaba flowers. So there are hints in act I that he might be developing a crush on Elphaba. Act II is a big step for Fiyero. Throughout “Thank Goodness”, he hears all of these rumors spread about Elphaba and he is shocked by those rumors and knows they are not true. Just by hearing those rumors, he realizes that he loves Elphaba and breaks up with Glinda. So there is an unexpected love triangle plot twist: that the unrequited love goes from Elphaba to Glinda in the midst of it all and in many ways the love triangle tests the friendship.

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Fiyero is able to understand and see who Elphaba really is. He has fallen in love with her. During “As Long As Your’e Mine”, the two confess their love for each other. You never see it coming. So the hints in act I were essential to understanding why Fiyero left Glinda for Elphaba in the first place.

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After the whole catfight scene Elphaba almost was arrested. But Fiyero came to Elphaba’s rescue because he loves her. Because he defended Elphaba, he was sent to the field to possibly be tortured. Elphaba desperately tried to save him and she thought she failed. But at the very end of the musical, Elphaba realized she did save his life. But her spell turned him into a scarecrow, but Fiyero didn’t care because her spell saved his life.

Boy, Fiyero is hard to get to know. He starts out as a very rude and annoying and cool teenager and eventually becomes a courageous and mature young man. I feel like my love for him might come from the fact that he learns to see Elphaba for who she really is and comes from the fascinating and complex love triangle. Like really: what other musical love triangle is home to two best friends, which is also home to an unexpected plot twist?