Tag Archives: musical

Doing a Musical

12 Nov

This is a post I published a while back on a different blog, but I think it fits this blog better, and would suit the readership more. It’s also a very important thing in my life, so I want to share it with as many people as I can. Apologies for anything that might not be relevant for this blog!


I got a massive nostalgia rush a few moments ago when I saw the lyrics to “My Secret Love” on a blog. I want to talk about the cause of this nostalgia… a few people who read this blog may have already guessed (hey Grace!). It all started in a badly-lit classroom on a grey, miserable day. The posters had been up around the school for some time now, saying that two of the teachers wanted to hold a musical. The room was full of everyone who was interested, a mixture of all year groups. We awkwardly sat in little clumps, since none of us really knew each other that well, even though we have a fairly small school. Oh how that changed.

The musical we did was Calamity Jane, and I still almost burst out crying every time I hear it mentioned, or see the lyrics of a song from it. For months, we lived Calamity Jane. One of the teachers involved was a bit of a perfectionist; each and every one of us knew the play off by heart.

But how could something like a school musical make such an impact? It’s not that big a deal, right? Well, I’ve added everything up, and apart from school, musical rehearsals are the activity I spent most my time doing during the school year. We had two-hour (and sometimes longer) rehearsals Monday through Thursday, and a three-hour rehearsal every Sunday. After that much time learning every detail of a two-hour musical, your heart beats in rhythm to it’s songs, whether it be the fast tempo of The Windy City or the more sedate The Black Hills of Dakota. You begin to hum the tunes everyday, and sing the harmonies and counter melodies to distract yourself from doing something else. You find yourself using expressions and accents from the play in everyday life, like drawling, “Now what in tarnation?” when you hear something odd. You smirk to yourself every time you hear or see words like sasparilla, stage coach, the Windy City, lieutenant, Yellowstone…. well, the list goes on. It takes over your life.

In addition to the story of Calamity Jane seeping into your veins, the people I spent all those hours with became family. And after family, they were the people I spent the most time with throughout the whole year. People I had half-known before became my best friends, and “inside-jokes” infested every moment of the play, from the secret love between a Can-Can dancer (who we decided to call Evangeline) and Doc Pierce, to how we would all cry with laughter at the words “Look at her go!” do to a long convoluted story involving Calam being hoisted across the stage on ropes.

Closing night was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my whole life. I didn’t have much contact with my new found family outside of musical rehearsals. Most of us were crying, including the teachers. I was probably a little more emotional then some due to exhaustion (I’d been up since 5 that morning, going to an enterprise competition). Thankfully though, I have managed to stay best friends with the people I got closest to over the months of practice. But the thing that gets me is… it will NEVER be the same again. One of our posse is gone to college, and all the others are going into either sixth year or third year, i.e. exam years, and so are not allowed to the musical, IF we do another one this year. Which I doubt will happen anyway. And if it happened the next year, I myself would be in the sixth year, and wouldn’t be allowed either.

I arrived home the day after the closing night, and sat in my room wondering what I was going to do with all my evenings… how I was going to survive without the hours of hilarity and hyperness. Those were black days those first few… So even thought I think the High School Musical films could be used as a kind of torture to correct youth offenders, I can see what a big deal a musical can be. And how… (God I’m a sap) magical it can all seem. It’s a once off thing, so you have to savor every moment.

God, I can feel the tears coming again… I love all you musical guys!!! ❤