English 101 – Book Review

9 Apr

I am reading Julie Andrews’ brand new memoir entitled Home.  I’m such a dork that I went out and bought it the day it was released (sometime last week).  Let me be very clear:  I LOVE JULIE ANDREWS.  She had a huge influence on my desire to sing…as a girl I would spend hours in my room listening to my Sound of Music album and imitating her voice.  Same with Mary Poppins.  When I see either of those movies today it’s like being with an old friend.  When I was at Baylor, Julie released a recording of The King and I.  My roommate Amy and I would listen to it over and over.  I’m telling you…I’m a dork.  When I actually got to play Anna in The King and I a few years ago, it was all I could do to get the “Julie” out of my voice and make it my own (as Randy would say.) 

So we’ve established that I love Julie.  This book is only adding to the love.  Among other things, she gives the most apt description of being onstage I have ever read:

“Once in a while I experience an emotion onstage that is so gut-wrenching, so heart-stopping that I could weep with gratitude and joy.  The feeling catches and magnifies so rapidly that it threatens to engulf me…

There is a sudden thrill of connection and an awareness of size – the theater itself, more the height of the great stage housing behind and above me, where history has been absorbed, where darkness contains mystery and light has meaning. 

Light is a part of it…to be flooded with it, to absorb it and allow it through the body.

The dust that has a smell so thick and evocative, one feels one could almost eat it; makeup and sweat, perfume and paint; the vast animal that is an audience, warm and pulsing, felt but unseen.

Most of all, it is the music – when a great sweep of sound makes you attempt things that earlier in the day you might never have thought possible.  When the orchestra swells to support your voice, when the melody is perfect and the words so right there could not possibly be any others, when a modulation occurs and lifts you to an even higher plateau…it is bliss.  And that is the moment to share it.

One senses the audience feeling it, too, and together you ride the ecstasy all the way home.

It is as great as sex…that moment before climax.  It is as overwhelming as the mighty ocean.  As nurturing as mother’s milk to an infant.  As addictive as opium.” 

I read this passage over and over last night.  It made me miss being onstage so badly I could taste it. 

Go get this book.  You’ll like it.

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3 Responses to “English 101 – Book Review”

  1. Kelly @ Love Well April 10, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    I read an excerpt of this book in a magazine. (Can’t remember which one; I get too many.) It was completely fascinating. She had a soap-opera life, didn’t she?

  2. Kregg April 10, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    She was in the origional Thorouhly Modern Millie and was Hi-Lair-E-ous. I read a book once…Jurassick Park by Micheal Clayton, or Creighton, or Clambowl…or somthing. It was pretty good. Dinosaurs ate lots of folks, carnage and such…no Julie Andrews though. She probably would have kicked some prehistoric ass.

  3. FancyPants April 14, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    Found ya! I’m pretty sure this is the Katy that doesn’t like “Mrs. Dalloway” as much as I don’t like it? =-)

    But I LOVE Julie Andrews! I grew up on both Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, and I just played Liesl last year in Houston. It was a ton of fun.

    I’ll look out for the book. Thanks for the rec!

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