"I have often realized that when I get overwhelmed, I simply forget to make music."
When I was a kid, we would visit my grandparents in Century Village in Florida. (For Seinfeld fans: Del Boca Vista.)
I was having a bad visit. Kids weren’t allowed in the pool, my grandparents were cranky, and I saw a frog that had literally exploded from the heat.
Then one day, I listened to a favorite musical on my Walkman and sang along. I don’t remember what show it was, but suddenly I was me again. I spent the rest of that vacation with musical theater as my constant soundtrack and companion.
Since then, at difficult points in my life, I have often realized that when I get overwhelmed, I simply forget to make music.
I am a pianist/music director for theaters in the area. The week that everything started shutting down, we were heading into closing weekend of Ordinary Days at NextStop Theater. But then the theater closed, meaning our closing performance had happened without any of us knowing it was the last time we would perform that piece together.
For a week I didn’t go near my piano. When my son put Ordinary Days on Spotify, I had to ask him to turn it off because it made me cry.
All around me, I see people creating and putting forward art. And I love it. The Hamilton cast singing to the 9-year-old on John Krasinski’s SGN brought our whole family endless joy. And yet I have not been able to create anything.
There might be baby steps. I have recorded a few songs on piano to create “virtual duets” with singers, the brainchild of my friend Evan, the artistic director of NextStop.
Today, in the shower, I sang a riveting one-woman version of “Better than Before” from Next to Normal.
I am so grateful my family is healthy. I am heartbroken for what people have lost. And I miss making music so very much.
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