I have always been the type of introvert who not only thrived on books, but for the past few years, musicals have made their way into my life
This led me to play a Jr. Djinn and the understudy for the Genie in Braille Institute’s adaptation of Aladdin. I sparkled (literally, there was SO MUCH glitter), and danced my way across the stage with friends, doing the Genie’s bidding and generally being the sassy presence in the background.
After that, I moved to audition and play one of Ariel’s sisters and understudy for Ursula in Little Mermaid Jr. These exposures to theater, as well as my general love for drama club in high school, fueled my love for when I discovered Hamilton while at UC Santa Cruz.
I am pretty sure my roommates at the time could attest to the amount of singing, dancing, and repetition that went on in our triple. I was hooked from the first opening notes of “Burn”. I learned all the lyrics, played each Schuyler sister while getting ready for class, even adapted one of the songs to use for my acting class.
From Hamilton, I discovered In the Heights, another musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that made my heart sing. It was the first Spanish and English musical I had ever discovered that spoke, quite literally, both my languages. I dreamed of one day playing Daniella on some small stage somewhere.
Extraordinarily, my attention was then grabbed by Heathers, a sort of bad ass retelling of the 1989 film that, in my opinion, wasn’t quite as great. I danced and sang to every song in my room back home, striking silly poses for my young nephew to make him giggle. The dream of theater has always hooked me, pushing my interests in music, acting, and even dancing. For anyone who knows me, they know that dancing is one thing I refuse to do in any capacity. Theater changes that for me. As the saying goes, there’s just something magical about the theater.
As quarantine has reached five weeks here in my city, I’ve found myself cooped up and unable to figure out anything to do. So naturally, my mind shifts to my feel good musicals. Hamilton, In the Heights, here I come… again. I briefly considered recording covers, podcasts, and everything in between. I’ve taken on this blog challenge, and even pulled out a t-shirt dress I had purchased for last year’s state convention and never got to wear.
We spend so much time thinking about all the negatives that quarantine has brought us, and trust me, it’s hard not to focus on the bad when it’s screaming in your face. But don’t forget all the things that make your heart sing and your feet move. The rise and fall of each note, the precise moment when the orchestra comes in and you strike that badass pose… all of it. Don’t forget that in times of trouble, music and dance brings people together. As for me, well I’m going to keep strutting across the length of my room, spinning and letting my voice soar and eventually crack on every note of “Burn”, “Paciencia y Fe”, and “Dead Girl Walking.”