Wherein I learn a lot about history and once again consider my dreams of being in a musical

You guys.

I am going to go ahead and call for my own intervention. I can’t stop listening to Hamilton.

Trust me, I have tried. There were a few days where I listened to Lemonade on repeat just to remind myself there is other music out there. But it didn’t last.

I mean, look at this:


That’s the first song of the musical. How could you not want more?

I blame my sisters. They were like, “Oh hey you should listen to this Hamilton musical. It’s all hip-hop and so good and stuff.” And now I have at least the first half (before intermission) memorized. Probably. Their fault. Just like the cheese incident of 2013.

This Buzzfeed article sums a lot of it up..

I bought the book Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote about putting the musical together and haven’t read it yet and it’s taking all kinds of willpower to not start it before I’m finished with the other one I’m reading right now.

Speaking of – I’m kind of in love with him now. I think I like every Tweet he writes..

But anyway, all of this musical theatre has reminded me of one of my kind-of-secret-but-not-really-secret dreams, which is to be in a musical.

We’ve grown up listening to or attending several musicals  – Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Cabaret, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Hairspray, Evita, Guys and Dolls, Newsies, Wicked…

I’ve always appreciated them from an audience perspective. But after a while I started wanting to be part of the show.

It started with the chorus. I wasn’t ready for the spotlight, but did want to be on the stage. I wanted to be part of the company in a show, any show.

It wasn’t until Les Mis that I really wanted to be front and center-ish. At first, I wanted to be Madame Thenardier, because the two of them had the most fun song in the whole show. Then I got into a little funk and wanted to be Eponine, because unrequited love and all that. And because ‘On My Own’ is maybe one of the best songs ever.

For Chicago, I started out wanting to be another girl in the jail because ‘Cell Block Tango,’ yo. Then Mama Morton. Because I wanted the best songs.

For Wicked, I would obviously be Elphaba. Because I can hit that damn note in Defying Gravity – mainly when I’m in my car alone, giving Broadway concerts to nobody.

I want to add here that these are singing company roles only because yo’ girl can’t dance. That’s part of why I quit dance when I was 9. (Also ‘cause softball was much cooler and more fun.)

So who do I want to be in Hamilton? Probably Angelica. She’s got some good songs, a good rap (and we know how good I am at rapping) and there’s that whole Eponine quality in the show – going back to my Broadway roots, if you will.

My life is so exciting…

Please help.

Just because…

…I love it.

And I love you!

Enjoy. It’s a Katy Perry song, by Darren Criss. The only other combination that good is chocolate and peanut butter.

Rap superstar

I am the reason my sister knew all the words to Busta’s “Break Yo Neck” in high school. I still got all the words to Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems up in the ol’ noggin’ and rap along just fine when it comes on 100.5.

Then there was that whole couple of years in my life when I could – actually, who am I kidding, I still can – do all of Nelly’s Country Grammar album like it was my own. Loved him. So did my dad. No joke.

My current rapper of choice is Weezy, of course, for several reasons, including that I can sound like him when I’ve got The Bronch or a sinus infection (which is at least 8 times a year) and he’s the shit. And I’ve almost got ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’ down.

However, there are a couple of rappers sneaking up on me. Jay-Z and Kanye.

My sister and Swarles have long been fans of ‘Ye. Many a night of partying with friends has brought out one or both of them singing his stuff word-for-word. And Jay-Z ain’t bad either, he’s just never been my number one (NELLY reference, anyone? Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers…).

But Watch the Throne? Pretty good. At least the three songs I’ve heard off there on the regular – Otis, H*A*M and —-as In Paris.

That last one I downloaded Sunday night. I have since listened to it about nine times. And slowly but surely, I’m learning the words. Because I’m a fan of good rap. And this is good rap. Plus it has Blades of Glory snippets in it and if you put Will Ferrell in a song, that’s enough to make me happy right there.

Below are the words/versus/lines/bits I know so far. It really gives you a good idea of the song as a whole.

“Y’all don’t know that don’t shit faze me.”

“Bitch behave.”

Something about “broke my clock but roll east it still tick tock.

“That shit cray.”

“That shit cray.”

“That shit. cray.”

She said ‘Ye can we get married at the maaaaahhll? Come and meet me in the bathroom staaaaaahll.”

“What she order? Fish filet.”

My favorite part – “Prince Williams ain’t do it right if you ask me. If i was him I woulda married Kate and Ashley.”

“What’s that jacket, marzshilla?”

“They going gorilla.” Then there’s that part from Blades of Glory where Napoleon Dynamite says “I don’t know what that means” and Will Ferrell says “Nobody knows what it means. It’s provocative.” Seriously.

“You now watchin’ the throne.”

Then Kanye says “dont let me get in my zone.” A bunch.

And somewhere in there Jay-Z said he’s got “that hot bitch at home” (shout out, Beyonce!) and ‘Ye says “you know how many hot bitches I own?”

Yeah. That’s all I got. Beautiful though, right?

Press play. Listen. Be amazed. Repeat.

What’s better than one Adele song? Two put together. And done amazingly. And downloaded onto my iPod so I can listen to it whenever I want.

Yes it’s Glee. But forget that for a minute if you’re not a fan – in which case, really? Have you heard ANY of the music from it? – and just pay attention to the mash-up. And how awesome it is.

I can’t stop playing it. And if I lose my voice soon it’s going to be because I sing along to it as loud as possible on my drive home from work.

day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy

Lots of things make me happy. Want me to list some of them? ‘Cause you know I will…

Puppies, Neil Patrick Harris, amazon.com, sending Emoji icons to my family in text messages, 70-degree weather, baby laughs and days I get to sleep in.

But they’re looking for a song here, I believe. And I got some of those too – all of which are on my workday playlist that may or may not get me in trouble one day for singing out loud at my desk.

Lately, though, one song that’s made me about as happy as all that stuff I listed up there combined is “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine.

Haven’t heard it? Well, good thing I’m linkin’ it for you. So listen. Have I steered you wrong yet?

Oh, and while you’re listening, just try not to smile. Even a little bit.

A singer since birth…almost

During a Sunday afternoon car ride with the pastor’s kids – ages 11 and 7…

Aidan, 11: Sarah has a singing problem.

Me: What’s that mean?

Aidan: It means when she hears a song she knows she can’t help but sing.

Me: That’s a good problem to have.

Sarah: Yeah there’s this one song and I’ve known the words and sang it for six years. And I’ve only been alive for seven!

Idea for a career change that comes up everytime I see a new musical

I am by no means an awesome singer.

I can read music. I can match pitch. I can carry a tune. And given the right song to work with, I can harmonize like a champ.

The extent of my singing includes that time I was in choir at church when I was like, 5 – you know, when everyone’s in choir and it doesn’t matter if you can sing because “Look how cute they are!” – a couple times singing with a group at church as a teenager and the occasional (and usually beer-induced) karaoke.

I sang by myself once at karaoke. It was bad. I blame Ashlee Simpson (my song choice for the evening). Luckily, my friend Katie was there and instead of looking at all the people wondering why I decided to sing in public, I just stared at her and pretended I was anywhere else.

Since then, it’s improved a little. I sing with my friends sometimes at karaoke – Liz and I do a pretty impressive version of “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Chuckie and I kill it on the FRIENDS theme song – “I’ll Be There For You.” But I could never sing solo. Or in front of hundreds of people. Or on American Idol.

Which is why in my car, my apartment and my shower, I take the time to practice for the career change that will pretty much only happen IN MY DREAMS. What career, you ask? Oh, the one where I give up the whole writing and photography thing and join a touring company and perform in musicals. I could have parts in Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler On The Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hairspray and Les Miserables. Doesn’t matter. I know all the songs for all of them. And now, I can add a new one to the list.

About a week ago I saw Wicked. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Ever since that night, I’ve listened to the songs from it at least three times a day. And when nobody else – except maybe my sisters…or Liz – is around, I belt it out like I’m the one on the stage. It’s like that whenever I hear/see a new musical. A couple years ago, I was pretending I was Tracy or Penny (depending on the song) whenever I listened to Hairspray. I usually listen to the songs enough times that I know the dialogue they throw in too. Yeah, I’m that cool.

Too bad I don’t have the amazing voice I need to actually be in a musical. One of my favorite things about seeing a show like Wicked or Phantom or whatever, is seeing people with voices made for these kinds of performance. For example, there was a point – or three – in Wicked where the girl playing one of the leads, Elphaba, hit a note in the song that sounded so amazing it gave me chills. And almost made me cry. Yes. That good.

I will never be that good. But I’m awesome at pretending I am. You should hear me in the car.

11. Madrigal dinners

When she was a sophomore, my youngest sister joined choir at her school. So last year and this year, we’ve attended the chorus program’s madrigal dinner program. And I love it.

If you’ve never been, it’s like dinner theater. It’s got a storyline – usually a funny one and the singers perform a bunch of holiday music, in English and in Latin. The audience has a meal and during the meal, the singers come around and visit each table. Some try and entertain with juggling and stuff and there’s a wassail toast during the program as well.

My favorite is the Carol of the Bells, and there’s nothing like hearing a choir – especially a really good one, like my sister’s is – sing that song in person. It’s so awesome.