When you listen to showtunes, you happen accross some pretty interesting song titles and themes (same goes for SoulTown...my favourite is the one where the man tells the woman to run into his arms, then whispers - as good as any serial killer - "just let it happen"...shudder). The other day, for example, I let myself be fully entertained by a Sondheim tune called "Opening Doors". Not neccassarily my favourite song of all time, and it took really paying attention to what was happening in the song in order to not switch stations. But I'm glad I held in there.
It's basically a song describing the life and relationships between artists; writers, actors, etc, who are trying to make it in the world and support each other at the same time. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about my life in montage form - if from the time I decided to lose weight to the time I dropped 10 pounds I could simply work out really hard and deny cake offers in 20 second spurts underscored by "Eye of the Tiger", I would be lookin' pretty good by now - and this song essentially montages 4 people or so's lives, as they finish screenplays and attend auditions and meet for dinners.
The most stand-out part of it, was the phone calls between all of them to each other, checking up on how each of them were doing with their careers and helping each other along with progress (I swear, this all takes place in one song...). Recently, I got together with a very good friend of mine for some writing* and part way through our date, another friend of hers came over to work a script for an audition she had the next day. We then sat together at the kitchen table, and worked on her sides with her; punching out the beats and discussing the themes and "moments before" until she felt confident about it. Let me tell you...that's the way to prepare for an audition, true story.
Since then, we've agreed to stay in contact and set up a book club of sorts, where we can get together and read plays, and for anyone who may need it, work on scenes for upcoming auditions and classes. We're just trying to develop a little network of support within our peers, where we can motivate each other and stay proactive together...aaaand maybe have an excuse to sit around and eat our body's weight in chocolate covered raisins...which may have been our dinner that night...which I'm totally comfortable with.
Here's the little Sondheim ditty I was talking about. Ignore the bit of cheese, and listen to these artists checking in with each other, motivating one another and working on "Opening Doors" in their careers. It's inspiring. And it's musical theatre - it doesn't get much cooler than that.
*I say "get together for some writing" loosely, since we are usually together for 4 or 5 hours, and only spend about 20 minutes of that actually writing. There are obviously much bigger things to talk about...like how well my friend says the word Armadillo through a burp.