Go ahead and watch that. I'll be right here when you're done. In the meantime, though, I am going to look at this awesome photo of Hill for a while.
Are you done? Wasn't it awesome!? Didn't you make kind of the same face as seen above when Russell Crowe couldn't finish any of his phrases? Aren't you the most excited about Hugh Jackman!?
Let's talk for real for a moment, though. Something occurred to me while I was watching this latest clip. It's only slightly complicated but I'm super tired so it's going to be tough for me to put into a coherent thought. I think Les Miserables made me want to go into theatre. This is only vaguely embarrassing, and I will therefore just accept that fact. What the hell was I going to see on stage when I was a tween? The Iceman Cometh? That has no singing, no dancing, no spectacle. No, it was big lavish 80s musicals for me.
I was as deeply effected by Les Miz as a preteen/teenage can be. The tragedy of the story, the sweeping beauty of the music, the dark comedy... but most of all the way it made me feel. I didn't know what it was I was feeling when I first saw it. I knew it was so sad that it made me cry buckets, I knew there were funny parts that made me laugh and laugh even if I didn't get the sex jokes exactly, I knew that there were very beautiful things to see and hear. But it was something beyond that, just beyond the scope of my comprehension. I didn't know what it was but I was feeling something intensely satisfying and all I could think of was how much I wanted to make other people feel that way.
When I got to that part of a privileged life where it's time to decide what to study in college, I went back and forth between writing and theatre. I eventually decided on theatre because I could not imagine getting tired of it, I couldn't imagine it being hard in a bad way.
--SIDEBAR NOTE TO MY 17 YEAR OLD SELF --
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. you are ADORABLE. Just wait until you decide to co-found a theatre company.
--END SIDEBAR NOTE--
The point is, I chose to study that (and was lucky enough and supported enough to follow through) because it was fun and it was easy. Now it's later. I let a teenager decide what degree I would obtain to prepare myself for the world, I am kind of okay with that, but I will honestly say that sometimes I have doubts. Lately, I've been really wrestling with these doubts and wondering if what "we" do matters at all.
But you know what? Then I watched this clip. And I thought about the way I felt the first time I saw Les Miz. And I thought about the way I feel now when I watch it. And I think that maybe I just need to invest a little more energy into searching for that great, sweeping, overwhelming, intoxicating feeling and channeling it to other people.
BONUS FACT THAT I JUST DISCOVERED:
In singing a bit of the score a capella with my dear best friend last night, I was suddenly struck that HOLY SHIT I THINK LES MISERABLES FORMED MY NOTION OF HOW ONE GETS LAID. Not being a particularly suave teenager, I was pretty sure I would never be able to kiss anyone (let alone get beyond kissing) unless I learned some sort of magical spell. And then I saw Les Miz and in the song "Drink With Me" there are these lines:
Here's to pretty girls who went to our heads
Here's to witty girls who went to our beds
And I thought to myself, "Cool. I don't have to be beautiful I just have to be funny. I can do that." You guys! I was like 11! Maybe not even that old!
BONUS STORY THAT GOES WITH BONUS FACT:
Eventually, I did date some boys in high school. One of the boys was a truly kind boy and we really didn't have a lot in common (he loved Led Zeppelin, let's just put that out there) and in the end he was going to college and I was afraid to break up with him because everyone liked him and I didn't want to be the bad guy. Finally, he lost the game of chicken and came over to my house to break up with me. Being a super sweet dude, he helped me wash my car and asked me to tell him the story of Les Miserables. At the conclusion of some epic storytelling, he broke up with me. I faked some tears, sighed relief, and didn't see him again for almost a decade. To summarize: not only did Les Miz help me figure out how to get laid, it also got me out of a relationship that had run out of time.
THANKS, LES MIZ!