Yesterday, I finally owned the original Broadway soundtrack of Newsies. Newsies is the newest musical of my life and is meaningful. It is a Disney musical about the newsboy strike of 1899. To understand the strike, it is important to understand the life of these Newsies. A lot of the newsies are either orphans, homeless, or runaways. They survive off of selling the newspapers. But they are not allowed to sell back their papers. Before the strike, the distribution price was fifty cents per one hundred papers. However Pulitzer raised the price of their papers to sixty cents per paper, which is unfair to the Newsies and makes their jobs harder. To stand up to Pulitzer, the Newsies decided to go on strike.
As far as the musical Newsies goes, the main character is Jack Kelly, who is kind of like a father to the other Newsies in the stage show. He has quite a special relationship to Crutchie, who is more vulnerable than the other Newsies. Crutchie has a bum leg and has to walk around with the aid of a crutch. Jack is kind of protective of Crutchie and does not him to be sent to the Refuge. Jack knows firsthand how bad the Refuge is and knows just how vulnerable Crutchie will be there. Jack Kelly even has a talent for art.
Other Newsies you get you know are Davey and Les, who are Newsies who actually have families, but who join them to help support their family. The strike happens in the same manner as the real strike. Pulitzer does raise the praise of their papers and these fictional characters create a union and go on strike.
Another memorable character is Katherine Plumber and she is not in the movie. She ends up writing the article for the strike and becomes a love interest for Jack. At the end of act two, Jack has this inner conflict because he just saw Crutchie being arrested and knows that he will be sent to the Refuge. Jack was about ready to just give up on the strike, but in the second act Katherine helps Jack rejoin his brothers in the strike. Some people think romance is just thrown into a musical and is only there to add time. But romance in musicals is a wonderful thing because it transitions well to song.
I think one of the main things that makes the story so strong is that it is actually based off of a true story.This show is filled with mind-blowing dance, memorable characters and a wonderful score. The score does have both positive and negative emotions. Some memorable songs include “Something to Believe In”, “Carrying the Banner”, “The World Will Know”, “Santa Fe”, and of course the anthem of the musical, “Seize the Day”. In any musical, the songs truly help bring out the emotion and in Newsies, the songs bring out both positive and negative emotions and when a show has both sets of emotions, it makes a musical much more real and gives real strength to the plot. Even the dance adds something special to Newsies. One of my favorite lines in Newsies is “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think
Humans are a very unique species. Sometimes we don’t believe in ourselves as much as we should. Sometimes it is easy to truly know how brave or strong or smart we really are. We are one of the most advanced species on this planet. As a college student, it is easy to forget how hard college is. To get through college, you have to get though academics and the social experience. Sometimes you have to do things outside your comfort zone.
The quote above is so true when it comes to life. Sometimes in dark times, it is hard to see the strength inside of us. In college, it is easy to forget how smart we are. Studying can drive you nuts in college and it can be hard to find the right motivation. You have to be so independent in order to thrive at college. Sometimes you even have to have courage during a really tough assignment. Courage means something different to everyone. Courage can mean taking risks in times of danger or it can mean to do things outside your comfort zone.
Next time, you don’t really believe in yourself or feel weak or feel not that smart, just remember the quote above. I know that I am braver I think I am and stronger than I think I am. I know I am a smart. determined, hardworking, optimistic student. Sometimes college just pulls you down and makes you feel less smart than you really are. Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you really are.
Love rocks. Where there is love, there is no darkness
This is a lovely quote. One day at a school event, there was a station to make bookmarks. I picked a stamp and this quote was on that stamp. There is a lot of truth in that quote even though it doesn’t seem like that.
Love is the most powerful force of all. Even though there is always darkness, there is always less when there is love. Feeling love is important in life because it helps us thrive in dark times. Love makes us survive fearful and scary times in life. It still is hard to describe how there is no darkness when it comes to love. But I understand the importance of love. Everyone needs to feel love because we are social creatures and feel a need for intimacy. Love comes in many different forms and each one is so beautiful.
Love is even stronger than fear. God is love and he loves everyone unconditionally. We need to feel loved by God, our friends and family and others. If we feel unloved, than our lives could feel darker and even harder. That would makes us feel very alone.
Below is a blog post I wrote about the types of love in Les Mis. It is directly related to this post because Les Mis is covered with different kinds of love along with hope, compassion, and forgiveness.
What you think about the quote I talked about?
Sometimes the strength within you is not a fiery flame that all can see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers softly, “you got this”, “keep going”
This is the kind of encouragement I need right now. It is very easy to give up on my paper because it drives me nuts. I know that I am saying to myself ,”you got this”. Understanding a social theory and applying it to modern life is so challenging. There are times when I forget how hard it is to be a college student. This theory paper is the hardest college paper yet. There are times when I wish college was easier even though I love the challenge. I have had a little bit more encouragement over Fall Break. On Saturday, I went to “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other” Seminar where they talked about the problem of racism and that directly applies to my theory paper. Getting to twenty one pages is a challenge, but at the same time understanding the content of my paper makes it even more challenging. I know I have a positive attitude and am very optimistic and theory is the heart of Sociology. I am glad I am being challenged through this paper, but as I continue to work on it, it gets less and less intimidating.
Not only does this quote apply directly to me, it can apply to anybody. When you feel like you are ready to give up, just think of that tiny spark that encourages you to continue. Life is not meant to be easy. It is meant to challenge you and is meant to allow you to grow and mature over time. Even though I am just a college student, I am well aware that life is going to get harder as I get older. But my outgoing, positive, and optimistic spirit is going to help me thrive through life. Taking this blogging vacation is so challenging because this blog helps me deal with the stress and burdens of college. It even is just something I really love doing. I decided to blog this morning because I realized that I have some time.
The word, careful, can be applied to the negative musical emotions. I know that sounds crazy, but it is so true. Those emotions are so fragile and filled with a lot of vulnerability and strength, but they are trapped with a couple of limitations. I know all of this through experience.
The reason why you have to be careful with those negative emotions because they are going to hurt. It can be hard to deal with them and are difficult to truly understand . But the truth about the negative emotions is that they are worth feeling. However, there is a faint edge when it comes to the negative emotions. There are times when certain musicals don’t even have the negative emotions in any of the songs. There also are times where you can easily be aware of some kind of darkness, but the negative emotions can easily slip away and be forgotten. The faint edge of sad is like the mildest layer of that emotion.
So, in the shows where sad is truly present, don’t let it be forgotten and never ignore them. Let those negative emotions stay present. An amazing amount of the sad songs are in fact beautiful songs. They can be quite powerful filled with so much insight, honest truth, epic quality among many other things. Some of the beautiful sad songs include “I’m Not That Girl”, “On My Own”, “This Nearly Was Mine”, and “I Dreamed a Dream”. There are many other beautiful sad songs outside of those. I love the negative emotions in musicals a lot. Musicals make the negative emotions possible to handle and endure. In fact, I believe that the negative emotions are there to strengthen plot along with character. Those emotions add conflict to the story. They even help make the story more human. I am never surprised if I see a new musical and sad is one of the emotions in the songs. That is because I am aware that sad is a common musical emotion. In addition, I am also not surprised if it takes many years for the negative emotions to become a part of a musical.
I learned to truly embrace the negative emotions over the past four years. I have had to learn about musical emotions through sad musicals. I was able to see sad from a different perspective when Les Mis and Rent entered my life. Those two are tragic musicals, but they are wonderful musicals. Discovering the negative emotions through them actually allowed me to understand the point of the negative emotions in musicals. I was able to accept them more as emotions. Through tragic musicals, I learned how to fully accept negative emotions in all musicals. In my opinion, seeing the negative emotions through joy and light means that you truly care about the plot and characters. It means you are willing to be vulnerable and that you want to be moved by them. All musicals with sad in the score all have positive emotions as well. You need to truly understand how positive and negative emotions come together in order to create a plot. The songs have to reflect the story and have to best represent the characters.
What creates a strong musical?
I tend to prefer the strong musicals. For the most part, they are usually complex. They are the ones I tend to be the most emotionally connected to. They tend to have both positive and negative emotions in their scores. In my opinion, the scores are highly important in the world of musicals. The songs tend to reflect the storyline and characters really well. The strong musicals tend to have the strong scores. “Newsies” and “Wicked” for instance both have strong scores because their emotions are both positive and negative. The reason why I prefer musicals that have both joy and sad is due to the fact that those scores make me truly care about the characters and makes the experience even more memorable. Yes, the negative emotions do hurt, but describing sad through joy means that I accept the emotions and shows that I truly care about the characters and means that I am willing to feel those emotions.
Even the characters of strong musicals are quite memorable. The strong characters tend to live a life full of conflict and/or hardship. Sometimes it can be quite hard to know if a character is strong or not especially the first time around. Sometimes the strong characters end up living a tragic life.
Some of the strong musicals are based off of a true story like “Newsies”. The strong plots also seem to be complex. It can be quite difficult to describe the complex musicals at times. There are some strong musicals out there that seem to have a simple plot. The complex plots tend to be filled with conflict and usually have some kind of darkness involved. The characters truly develop in the complex plots. They tend to change throughout the show and have to deal with many challenges.
What do you think makes a strong musical?
Thank you for becoming an important part of my life. I first discovered your story in 2006 on Broadway with my mom. Coming in, I had no idea how much influence you would have on my life. I just have to say that you are like a role model to me. In all, I have seen your story come to life four times. Each time, I become more and more vulnerable to your story. Your story even seems to come to life when I am listening to the songs. I relate so much to you and I totally understand your situation. I may not share everything in common with you, but we still have lots in common.
Just like you, I am smart, determined, talkative, and different. Sometimes I have felt misunderstood. I know feeling misunderstood is not the best feeling, but you stay true to yourself. You take action and stand up for what you believe in. I totally understand what it means to be so different. I also believe in equality and staying true to myself. You have such courage when people have discriminated and misunderstood you for so long. I admire your amazing strength and your relationship to Fiyero and Glinda. Fiyero and Glinda truly understand you and you are lucky to have both of them in your life. It was quite surprising that you and Glinda used to extremely dislike each other when both of you first met. But I am so glad that the two of you eventually would become the best of friends.
I hope for many years to come you will remain an important part of my life. You are my all-time favorite musical character. You continue to inspire me each time your story comes to life. I just cannot believe that you have always been treated like an outcast even in your own family. But you remain strong and brave through all of this. I just want to say that you are not alone. Continue to inspire others and don’t let anyone place a label on you. I still cannot believe you have played such an important part of my life for ten years.