There’s something I haven’t mentioned yet about this musical script I’ve been trying to write. I’ve noticed that it’s almost impossible for me to put pen to paper on this project until I have cleared my head of any resentment or anxiety that could possibly deter me along the way. This is undoubtedly why I was not able to work on the script for three years following the essential completion of the score. There was a resentment against a certain individual that was so unwieldy, I basically couldn’t even look at the script without beginning to cuss the person out in my mind (and sometimes even out loud.) This is also the reason why I wrote nothing at all yesterday. There were simply too many resentments and anxieties to have to get out of the way first.
This morning, however, I think most of them have already been successfully banished. I’ve been up for a little less than two hours, and I’m about to get rolling. One thing that did occur yesterday, as I found myself immersed in the annoyances of moral and practical obligation, was a huge and sudden illumination that just about took my breath away.
I suddenly realized the parallel between the suggestion in Part Four of my anthology and the huge happy ending that my musical Eden in Babylon is headed for. I’ve also not mentioned the anthology, and just this morning created a new page to explain it. Essentially, it’s an account of the five year period of time when I lived continuously outdoors, except for ten months out of those five years. The suggestion in Part Four of the anthology is extremely radical and no doubt will make many people uncomfortable as they endeavor to grasp it. However, in the musical it can somehow be transformed into a happy ending.
This is because musicals traditionally do not depict life as it is. They depict life as it ought to be. This at least is how I was brought into the realm of musical theatre, with a high school production of Man of La Mancha. Since I was terrified of going to VietNam at the time, the message of hope and idealism in the story of Don Miguel de Cervantes and his famous creation, Don Quixote, was enough to convince me that I would probably be doing musical theatre for the rest of my days.
Unfortunately, however, musical theatre is not what it once was — or at least what it once ought to have been. Hamilton and Les Miserables notwithstanding, most of the musicals that have come out in the past twenty to thirty years are disappointing crap. Many of them appeal to musical theatre people only, and not to the general populace. I frankly gave up about thirteen years ago. I’ve only done one show in the past thirteen years – a Gilbert and Sullivan show, The Yeoman of the Guard, at Stanford University. Outside of that, and teaching a few workshops, I’ve mainly been a recluse. But in that isolation, one thing I did begin to do — was write.
In writing this musical, I hope to help brighten the picture of musical theatre in today’s world. I’m thankful for the five years I spent outdoors. It wasn’t easy to write about at the time, but the wealth of source material for this musical is something I could never otherwise have harvested. As far as the anthology, which obviously draws on the same wealth of material, I have found a publisher as of approximately six months ago. He contacted me when he was ready about a month ago, and I had to tell him that I was not. I could finish the compilation, but it would mean dropping the musical, and I just can’t do that right now. In fact, it’s entirely possible that this musical will be my gift to the world.
I am alive, after all I’ve been through, for a reason.