Sunday, October 08, 2006

After Booming

Ray LaMontagne is playing on my iTunes right now, and the sun is an orange disk hanging above a fog-tinted sky. The haze has rolled around, and I can see people walking up and down the paths of the park outside my window. The harbor to the west is calm, mirror-like, and the factories and industrial parks are quiet. I'e done my household chores for the week, and am setting about preparing for the coming school week, which, like clockwork, arrives when you're not quite ready for it yet. I feel like a character in a chick lit novel, one of those paperbacks where the main character is both obtuse and adorable (and I can be quite adorable when I want to be), where her friends are all insane and funny, where issues about love and life and independent living comes around, where she is both wanted and wanting, and there are witty one-liners and people drinking beer. I'm just not sure if anyone will be picking this up in a bookstore, though. Haha.

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Last night, Marissa, Shailaja, and I took the time out to watch a play at the Victoria Theatre. Tick, Tick...Boom!, a play by Jonathan Larson (pre-Rent) was showing, with the West End cast brought in for the one-week run, and I had persuaded the two to part with their money in order to watch the play. We got the cheapest seats, which ended up being a VERY BAD DECISION for little ol' me, as the seats were so high up I froze and ended up sweating buckets just before the show began. Thank goodness they were both very understanding of the acrophobia...though being good friends, they are now insisting that we go to Sentosa one of these days via the cable cars that shoot past the harbor.

I suppose it's not surprising to point out that yes, I cried while watching the musical. I couldn't help it; when Christian Campbell came onstage - he plays Jon - and started singing the opening lines of "30/90", tears started welling up in my eyes. I could remember the footage of the original Tick, Tick...Boom!, with Larson on the piano and playing ALL the characters (Campbell was joined by Nicole Snelson and Jerry Lewis onstage) and singing all the songs while jumping up and down on the piano stool. I also remember a snipped of Larson singing "One Song Glory" before Rent became a phenomenon. And it breaks my heart when I heard the first lines of "30/90", which went: "Stop the clock/Take time out/Time to regroup/Before you lose the bout" and there was a tiny part of me that wondered what the world would be like if Jonathan Larson was still alive.

(Isn't it weird that I am all worked up about a musical composer whom I've never met, and whose musical I have never seen onstage?)

The musical was also a kick in the gut for me, reminding me why the hell I'm here and why I am doing what I'm doing right now. When Jon describes the feeling on standing on the stage, opening his play "Superbia" for the workshop, he says

"And my fear... My Fear gathers itself into a ball in my stomach and rises, pulsing, into my throat; it moves on into my skull, where it takes up residence, hissing and shuddering ...and then, miraculously, it keeps going: floating, up, higher, out of my head entirely, dissolving into the air as it leaves my body -- and what remains behind is pure excitement and hope."

and it simply sent shivers down my spine.

And then I remember another exchange I had with one of my best friends over YM the other day:

"Keep your eye on the prize," he tells me.

"And what is the prize?" I ask.

"Happiness, of course."

And somehow, I can't help but recognize the fact that he might be right. And the musical also reminds me that we are all on a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode. And that we might as well find what makes us happy, what makes us fulfilled, what makes us satisfied in this life, before time runs out. And maybe this is what Jonathan Larson, this is what Singapore and NUS, what my chick lit life is teaching me right now, and maybe it's time to get out of my self-imposed self-pity parade and enjoy this before it ends. After all, how many girls can say that they've done what I've managed to do in this life at this point in time? ^_^

Digression: Christian Campbell is adorable! And I was such a spaz when I asked for his autograph on my playbill:

GABBY: (gushy as he signs her copy of the playbill) ...thank you!
CHRISTIAN: No, thank you. You were a wonderful audience.
GABBY: I...I, ah, I'm a big Jon Larson fan.
CHRISTIAN: (beams) A Renthead then?
GABBY: (grins) Yes!

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