Alive for a Reason

frustrated-woman-cursing-while-doing-her-taxes-royalty-free-clipart-1nulfg-clipartThere’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. 

6 thoughts on “Alive for a Reason

  1. Putting up something extraordinary always requires hard work.That hard work includes great sacrifices which I know undoubtedly that you are undertaking.Hence do not become anxious,things will be perfectly fine whether its your way or not.I am saying this because ‘not’, because even if things don’t go as planned,thrn it always means that God wants or has something better in store for us.Thus just keep doing your best and never let the dream in your eyes of leaving behind a great legacy die!

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  2. I do struggle with anxiety. I find that, especially in the playwriting process, anxiety is a deterrent to progress. It’s important for me to be able to “feel” the motivations and intentions of the characters I create, in order to bring them to life. If I am anxious, it affects the purity of the characters. For example, it’s hard to concoct a monologue portraying the inner peace of a character when the playwright himself is feeling anxiety.

    Maybe I need more practice at letting go of anxiety. Things have a way of working out according to God’s will, since it is His will that is ultimately in control, and is behind the creation of all things. So, as you say, it is good that this be borne in mind. Thank you again for your wisdom.

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  3. Ohh,I am not at all wise.I am just saying what I have experienced.I think all ambitious people including you and me suffer from anxiety.The worse part is there is no way out.It comes in fits and takes its own time to vanish,no matter how much we try to escape.The only way,I feel is to acknowledge it and say to yourself innumerable times during such attacks that you are absolutely normal and things are going to be perfectly fine.However,I think your anxiety is giving your work a bonus by bringing out the real emotions in artists’ characters.So feel glad after your anxiety is over!:)

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  4. Ohh sorry,I got you wrong in terms of purity of characters.Yes it is essential to get rid of such anxiety while bringing out great acts.I don’t know if you have ever heard of ‘Rajyoga Meditation’.Please research on it and I would suggest you to listen B.K Sister Shivani’s videos,especially the ones on anxiety and emotional balance.I always listen to them.Just get them on your phone,and hear them.You will feel the change.

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    • Oh it’s okay, I’m sure I had not made my point very clear. I’ll definitely tune into those videos and research that form of meditation. (No, I’d not heard of it.) One thing I do notice is that you and I are both ambitious – I suppose that can be good or bad, depending on the nature of the ambition and what is the purpose behind the drive. I think each of us has been given gifts differing and a set of specific tools to work with, and it is an aspect of one’s calling or dharma (if I may use the word) that one ought not to shirk, if one wants to proceed meaningfully into the next stage of experience after death, and not feel that one’s life had been a neglect of these God-given resources. I do have confidence, despite anxiety, that it will all come together meaningfully. Well – I only was able to sleep for four hours and it is morning where I live now. I have had this job promotion on my mind, where it has become logical for me to apply for a higher and better-paying position at the church, though it will involve more responsibilities. Maybe we can talk again after a bit, or (since you published your email) I might email you if you don’t mind. It could be an easier way to correspond, although I do encourage this kind of dialogue on the public forum. I’ll be around off and on throughout the day. God bless you.

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      • Hinduism is all about ‘right karma is dharma’ and I am extremely glad you know this philosophy.
        If you have confidence then it means your anxiety will bring right results,so now not to worry.I am sure you will be promoted soon,after all you are so grateful to God.
        Even I would prefer having conversations with you via email than loading your comments section with personal chats.Actually I have a contact page on my blog,maybe you missed it.
        .Anyways feel free to drop your wisdom on my email id:
        godlyfascination96@gmail.com
        I am not fast at replying back soon,please be patient,I will definitely revert back.

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