There’s No Business Like Show Business
I am sitting in my living room while doing a lot of email correspondence for work and in the background my partner is watching the film There’s No Business Like Show Business starring Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Mitzi Gaynor, & Donald O’Connor. (Stereotype, I know.) Every so often I look up to see a truly breathtaking song and dance number and am enchanted by the magic of musical theatre, my work stops for five minutes. The happiness. The soaring music. The clever lyrics. The emotional roller coaster. The double entendres. The costumes. The sets. The orchestra! I love it all! The Big Broadway Musical makes me feel something in my soul…I can’t describe it.
I also can’t describe the feeling of a writer seeing or hearing his/her work performed. Especially hearing something for the very first time…it’s such an emotional high. And then the highs keep going with things like hearing that first band or orchestra rehearsal…ahh…AHH!! Or seeing the choreography the first time. And for me, the most exciting moment is the first time an audience hears the work, especially an Opening Night! My inner five-year-old jumps up and down, laughing and crying at the same time. I almost fainted at the Opening Night of The Concrete Jungle in London when a big joke was coming; I literally saw stars. Luckily, the audience cackled with laughter and the show ended with tears of happiness and joy…and not just from me. Ahh…Show business! Watching characters come to life, songs being born, partnerships creating, ideas flying, stories weaving; a life of blood, sweat, and tears. But a life I love. Full of highs and lows. But the highs far outweigh the lows.
One of my favorite highs: “Dear Daddy” was the second song I wrote for a rock show that was called BRATT CAMP and is now called W2ML. I had heard some damn fantastic versions of the song. A couple of years after I wrote it, fate brought Caissie Levy into my life. “Dear Daddy” was always particularly special to me, but Caissie’s interpretation was what I’d been hearing in my head since I wrote it. The first time she did that run of “ooh” “oh” “why” “why,” I was breathless. Here’s a stunning version of Caissie’s performance. It still blows my mind.
True statement: this video changed my career and my life when a producer watched it. #grateful (Wait. Can I hashtag in a blog? Either way, I’ve been told “#grateful” is frowned upon within the biz…still, I’m grateful. Without the hashtag.)
Show business is built on dreams, on ideas, on stories. In every way imaginable. It’s built on teamwork. The “There’s No Business Like Show Business” film shows us all of this – especially the big finale. Yes indeed, “happy ever after” can happen! Life is full of opportunities. Life is full of music. Life is full of singing and dancing. Life is also full of situations like war and death and government shutdowns and poverty and suicide and bombings and backstabbings and animal cruelty and broken partnerships and the demise of the English language due to texting and the list goes on and on…but I choose to look at the ol’ cup as being half full, just like they always do in a Big Broadway Musical.
So remember…as challenging as this business can be, it is also remarkably rewarding. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. Keep working. Keep loving it. Keep singing and dancing. Keep that inner child laughing and crying with joy…
There’s no people like show people! Let’s go on with the show!