Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!
I grew up in the NY/NJ metro area. One of the joys of living that close to New York City is the opportunity to see Broadway shows with the original cast and just as they open. Being involved in drama in high school, we often went to the theater to learn, but most of all to enjoy the performance. I’m particular to the Broadway musical. They are timeless, demonstrated by the revival movement on Broadway, and convey wonderful messages. It’s interesting to see some of the shows that have done very well over the past years. The two I’m thinking of in particular are Rent, and Spring Awakening.
I wanted to focus on these two because they really focus on what I believe are social issues. Rent spotlighting the AIDS crisis, and Spring Awakening dealing with teenage sexuality. What compels these composers and playwrights to create these works? It’s their personal conviction to use their voice, their words, and their songs as a way of getting a message out to the masses. It gets their message out in a social acceptable manner, much different from picketing or shouting negative words at press conferences. In addition, they get to share their personal experience with these social concerns.
Think about the musical for a second. In many, unless it’s a rock opera, the characters have dialogue and then at poignant moments break out in song. I watch the movie Hairspray quite often. I’m always amazed at how the song punctuates an experience, emotion, or message far better than mere words. It’s the combination of the words, the music, and the person singing it that brings it to deeper levels of experience for the audience.
Every time I watch Hairspray, I often wonder what the world would be like if we lived it like a musical. We go through out daily lives and at specific moments of joy, anger, or some other intense emotion we broke out in song how the world would change. I say this because following the diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness you may experience deeper emotions that come and go often without any warning. Imagine having a song that you could sing that allowed the angst or the bottled up frustration to melt away on the breath of your song.
There’s a song in the show Hairspray that I listen to often as a reminder of how during times in our lives things have to change…hopefully for the better. The song, “I know where I’ve been” is moving and a definite show stopper. I hope you find a song or songs that allow you to express yourself melodically so that you can release the emotions that don’t serve you and intensify those that do. This is one more way to activate your immune system through the mind-body connection. The song sung with feeling tells the body what it needs to know. What a fun way to communicate.
I hope you go out and find your song. Let me know what musicals or songs have proven powerful for you so we can share the wealth!!