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BWW Blog: Creativity in the Quiet

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Not shocking, being a Musical Theatre major, but I sing. A lot. Under my breath, while cleaning, even aggressively lip-synching while working out. Singing for me is an instinct. But not lately.

Now that's not to say my vocal cords have been completely silent since early March. I took Zoom voice lessons once a week with my voice professor for the remainder of the quarantine-spring semester, filmed juries and audition tapes, and my belt box and shower have been quite impressed with my rendition of Laura Benanti's banger "I Like Musicals" as of late. However, my singing has not been anywhere near as loud or frequent as it usually is.

It's not just because I'm being conscious of the others in my household, although that is a big part of it. In college, it was easy to be singing when I was in my dorm, a practice room in the arts building, or even just with friends. Sometimes, the urge to screlt comes, but there are other considerations. People have jobs and meetings, and their clients don't want to hear "I Cain't Say No" in the background, no matter how many riffs you add. Even when no one is working, with all of the craziness going on in the world, people may just need quiet. And that's ok. But it doesn't mean that I don't miss being able to belt freely.

I miss harmonizing with my friends, packing several of us into one practice room. I miss late-night bootleg viewings and sing-alongs. I miss the camaraderie and collaboration that comes with being with your friends, creating theatre and music together. Zoom hangouts and Netflix-Partying musicals are nice, but not the same. However, this is not meant to be a "woe-is-me-I shall-never-sing-again" piece. Rather, it's how I'm finding joy in this temporary quiet.

In the quiet, I'm reading more. As a child, I loved reading. My family and friends used to say that I ate books, reading ravenously. I read the entirety of Breaking Dawn (yes, I had a Twighlight phase) in one day when I was 11, and much too young to have been reading it. Now, in quarantine, I am averaging a new book every day or two. I love to lose myself in stories and characters, similar to the way that I do in theatre. Not to mention the inspiration that they have given me; has anyone ever thought of adapting Meg Cabot's plus-sized-woman-led, crime-fighting Heather Wells series into a musical? Because they should. (Seriously Lin-Manuel Miranda, what are you waiting for?!?!)

In the quiet, I'm connecting more. I am taking joy in spending more time with my loved ones. At school, talking to my family more than once or twice a week is a treat in my hectic schedule. Nowadays, I find myself daily texting and zooming with my family. I'm talking to old friends who I haven't spoken to for years, picking up right where we left off. Chatting with people who I never thought I would talk to again, let alone on a daily basis.

This is not to say that my theatrical passions and drive have diminished. On the contrary, I'm still working hard. Organizing my rep book, creating lists of new material to work on, and ideas of shows to write (again, the Heather Wells series. Look. It. Up.). Whether it's disjointed musical-theatre comedy on Tik Tok (@emmarosedorsch would appreciate a follow), or rediscovering old passions and friends, they all will come in handy. As they say, art imitates life. Therefore, you need to have a life, passions, and people offstage, in order to create art and stay sane. Stay busy, creative, and engaged in any way you can. You never know what may inspire you.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Emma Rose Dorsch