Bucket List: Theater
As a dreamer who’s longing for a great adventure in the future, I decided to start writing my bucket list instead of just keeping it as a secret in the deepest corner of my brain. Perhaps by writing them and posting them online, I would be more encouraged to actually do something worthwhile with my life and make my dreams come true.
Of course it is not so that my parents would spare me some pity and make them come true for me, no, sir.
And I start this bucket list by writing the one thing that gives me this burning passion to make it happen no matter what happens. No, it isn’t performing in a play or musical as a professional stage actor. That would be something I have to give up on since I lack both the talent and the passion. It’s something a lot simpler, which is sitting myself through a two to three hours stage musical in West End or Broadway. As a human who lives in Asia, there isn’t much theater around, let alone musical. No, the country is not as creative or as appreciative of art as the western does.
I was first introduced to a musical by something as silly as Disney Movie, which are High School Musical and Camp Rock, which then led to a love for a musical TV Show, Glee. From Glee, I started see bit by bit of the beauty of the musical world. If I remember correctly, my first musical was Grease 2, and my first favorite musical song is the Glee version of On My Own. I still didn’t understand much of the musical world then, but I had the rough idea of it and loved how smart the lyrics are arranged in musicals. Then, I watched the original Grease, and as great as the movie is and as catchy as the songs were, I think that was a wrong step to learn more about the musical world, since the only moral story I could get from the musical is how you have to change yourself to attract the charming man of your dreams. It was probably a lot more than that, but do forgive an amateur for the lack of interpretation skills. I remember I was also quite obsessed with West Side Story, especially with America. Oh, and Chicago’s Cell Block Tango.
Those few tries were fun and all, despite me not understanding much of what was going on, but what really pulled me into this passionate, tear jerking world is the brilliant production of Les Miserables. To be honest, I didn’t understand much of the movie on my first try, since I was busy trying to figure out the whole story in between the constant singing and understanding the old language (as English is not my first language). I remembered watching it and thinking when the singing will end. It didn’t, and Lord knows how patient I had to be during Valjean’s Soliloquy. I think I didn’t really have that much interest to the movie until ‘At the End of the Day’ number, and big names such as Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and Helena Bonham Carter were probably a good idea for an amateur like me to stick with the whole movie. My second try on the movie was all about admiring Enjolras’, Gavroche’s, and Eponine’s character. My third try would be all about enjoying the numbers, and my next tries were all just because.
I began to see the clips of the 10th AC, the 25th AC, the West End Production, and started to truly compare actors of the same character, to see who was born to play those certain characters, such as Samantha Banks or Lea Salonga as Eponine. I read blogs and forums on who played the best Enjolras, and hear every version I could find of ‘Drink With Me’ to drown myself in the E/R feels. This obsession opened up a whole new world to me, and I couldn’t believe I spent 14 years missing out on the beauty of how you can interpret one thing beyond your usual logic to something deep that surprises even yourself. I started to google more about certain musicals such as Hairspray, Mamma Mia, and Wicked, though I’m still not ready to watch new ones in fear of being disappointed. But this obsession really made me put theater into my bucket list. I have to go to either New York or London for Broadway or West End. I have to witness the beauty of stage acting and I have to witness how passionate stage actors are when they are on stage, letting their whole emotion bare for the audience to see. I have to be there and see for myself how different actors interpret their characters and embrace their own choices and see where it leads them.
And so New York or London it is. It’s either 16161.84 km or 11704.94 km journey that I have to make, and I will already have witnessed at least one musical show in 10 years from now. In 2025, I’ll go back and see this post and get my lazy ass going if I’m still in Indonesia at that time. I will. I sure as hell will.
To new dreams, here’s to us, and here I come.