|Moving merrily along, minding its own business when...|
It ran into this...
|A once a month hop in which writers share their insecurities.|
Since the soundtrack thus far has mostly been about insecurity, you'd have thought I could've saved just one more post for this joint endeavor.
It turns out the next post in my Soundtrack feature happened in the 8th grade. Jennifer The First, Jenny, and I auditioned for a community theatre production (a pretty big deal for a group of 8th grade girls). I'm fairly certain that I had no idea the level of impact this one play would have on me. Yeah, I can say with certainty that I did NOT.
What was this play? Jesus Christ Superstar.
The obvious impact was that being in it cemented my love for the theatre in general, musicals as a whole. The not-so obvious impact was that it made me take the story of Jesus and truly understand (Listen with your ears if you have them!) that the life of Jesus was real. Not just a story. Quite suddenly, these people came very much alive for me. I'd never considered what it was like to actually live it. To be Jesus. To be Peter. To be Mary (both of them). To be Judas. Even to be Pilate. I didn't understand what they were up against (an oppressed people) heavily regulated by Rome and even the priests' interpretation of the OT. Life was hard. And scary. And Jesus rocked the boat big-time, making it even scarier.
As we moved from rehearsing portions of the play into doing the whole thing at once, I found myself getting chills from the start (it began with Judas singing Heaven On Their Minds). When Judas killed himself, I began crying. Every. Single. Time. And continued crying through the crucifixion of Jesus. Pretty much cried to the end. Turns out that was okay since the people on stage were sad, mourning the loss of Jesus. And then when he rose again, they were so happy that crying was still acceptable.
I think it's safe to say that this play caused me to look at Jesus, and all of the people who were part of his life, in a whole new way (life changing stuff, indeed!).
I never thought of Judas as anything other than the betrayer before this musical. That was who he was, but not all of who he was. He was chosen. He was one of the disciples. He left everything, like the rest, to follow Jesus. Things got really hot in the kitchen, so to speak, and Jesus wasn't doing what any of them expected. It got scary. I'm not sure that this song gets it all precisely right from the perspective of Judas, but it certainly provides food for thought.
Have you seen Jesus Christ Superstar? Did it make you consider the "players" in a different light?
How does this relate to the IWSG? As writers, we struggle to breathe life and relatability into our stories. We want people to laugh and cry with our characters. We want them to finish and feel like they were real. It's something I struggle with in my WiP and maybe you struggle with in yours. Maybe the answer to achieving this is to look at our characters in a new way. Write a song for them. Keep a journal for them. When they become real to you, they can become real to your reader.
Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the "minions" who help this event run smoothly every month!
What sort of exercises do you do to make your characters come alive?
If you're enjoying these posts, feel free to share your own Soundtrack. This isn't a hop. No requirements at all, but a suggestion to do it one song at a time. (If you participated in the hop several years ago, you can still do this. Just post them one song at a time, with the freedom to add more songs if you'd like.) I'll link to all participants at the bottom of each of these posts:
StMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS