Tuesday, December 19

Wherever Life Takes You

Part of being willing to write is just being willing to write. Even if maybe it isn't as powerful as it could be.

I saw Wonka tonight with my family. Laughed, cried, grinned, groaned, and ultimately burst into song in the theater. Yeah, I'm that kind of guy. I think movies are meant to be interacted with, just like books and stories and video games and theater performances.

It captured what I want in a movie. Music that makes me want to sing. Characters that are a little bit over the top but happily so. A vivid lack of gore, or profanity, or violence, or sexual innuendo... enough so that it feels good. Wonder. Magic. Happy endings, and a stubborn belief that everything will work out in the end. And if it hasn't worked out, it's not over yet. It gave me the music and showmanship of The Greatest Showman without the politics and the broken promises. The wonder that should have been Wish. And the characterization that made Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and other golden musicals into classics from my childhood watched over and over and over again.

I walked home beaming. Also with my phone playing the soundtrack so I could sing along. Of course.

The only bittersweet is that moments like this make me wish... hope... pine... dream... not really sure about the word... for music in my own life. I love to sing. To perform. Dancing is great too. Acting whatever. But the singing. I don't think that I have any real shot of being famous or anything. My voice isn't that great, and the world is a world of who you know. And, unfortunately, my own personal talents lay in forging and creating new connections, not in reinforcing and leveraging them. I'm stellar when it comes to creativity and connecting with new people. Absolutely abysmal at reliability or maintaining those same connections over time.

Is that a copout? Maybe. It's probably somewhat of an excuse to keep myself from diving into a world that both calls and scares me. The feeling of inadequacy probably insulates me from the unknown. Keeps me safe someplace that I can control, where life makes sense and I know what is happening next, what I'm good at and where I can make a difference. Maybe music could offer more than that. In moments like now, I feel like it could. Like I could be doing more if I sang more. A clarion call that pulls on the inside of my chest. It feels like there's something inside just longing to be.

Years of feeling it, and I've understood portions of what it is and isn't. It isn't a call to be part of the TabCats. It's not a call to sing choral or opera or a similar style. It's something more modern, wholly upbeat, with a message, a purpose, and vocals powerful enough to sing along.

I... don't even know where to start though. I had some of that when I was in Grace - the a cappella group I ran during grad school - and have had glimpses of it during moments of life. But apart from moving to New York City, or Hollywood, and trying out for... who knows what... or trying to apply to a music program somewhere (and I don't know which ones take people as old as me or who already have degrees), I don't even have a clue on where to begin.

Maybe I'll ask for that for Christmas. Or my birthday. Help coming up with ideas on how to incorporate more singing into my life. And I'll ask in my prayers and look for opportunities as they come along.

Either way it's been a really good day.

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