Jason Forbach of LES MISERABLES Broadway Sings Song for Orlando - 49 HEARTBEATS
When the senseless killings at the Orlando nightclub PULSE happened, many tried to understand why such an act had taken place. Jason Forbach has been involved in Les Miserables on tour and on Broadway for the past 6 years and wrote a song along with Brett Rowe to honor those lost but not forgotten.
"When I woke up to hear about the shooting in Orlando, the largest mass shooting in United States history, I was horrified. The fact that it ended the lives of so many in the LGBTQ community rattled me to the core. I couldn't believe this kind of violence, this kind of specific hate toward my community still existed.
That our world is uprooted by extreme acts of hate daily is too difficult to bear. There are times, lately, where it feels like our world, from Bangladesh, to Orlando, to Istanbul, to Columbine...our entire world is ripping apart. This specific attack on Pulse Nightclub felt incredibly personal. It felt personal to all of us. The gay community has always been strong and resilient and beautiful. Yet again, we are being challenged for being exactly who we are. I don't know the victims of the Orlando shooting or their families personally. I've watched the tributes and the news coverage and the sensationalist political struggle that continues to occur over regulating our guns in this country. I find it appalling. I feel a personal responsibility to help bring awareness to this issue.
I feel responsibility that the politicians that govern in Kansas and Missouri, where I'm from, receive massive donations from the NRA and therefore legislate for their interests. I find it horrifying that my nephews go to an elementary school in Kansas with armed guards, while parents stand by, horrified that this is the new 'norm', and continue to choose representatives that essentially create this situation. They not only allow it to be so, but profit from it. The great thing about being a New Yorker is that we are not a community that is easily coerced into fear. I don't choose fear and more hate as a response. I choose music and always have.
That is why, along with my writing partner (Brett Rowe), I felt compelled to write '49 Heartbeats'. I wanted to pay tribute to those lost in Orlando, to honor the history and pride of our LGBTQ community, I wanted to bring awareness to this gun issue and I wanted a timeless quality in the music that could reach across all kinds of families to touch at the heart of what was lost, and will NEVER be lost....mothers and sons, fathers and brothers, daughters and sisters... real people that deserve to have their bravery and pain honored, by FORCING us to speak out, for them.
I want listeners to feel inspired to contact their local legislator and let their voice be heard."
49 HEARTBEATS BY JASON FORBACH