Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Musings with Jessica Lauryn

Musical theater contains an element of mystique which is inspiring, alluring and just plain magical!  Like novels, plays tell fascinating stories, only with acting, singing, dancing and costumes the game becomes quite different.  Under the guidance of their directors, actors work to tell stories on stage through voice inflection, physical expression and music that warms the heart—elements shown in novels through words instead of through sight and sound.  I draw a lot of inspiration through BOTH of these mediums and though I currently have no personal aspirations to perform onstage (I never say never!) I find the world of musical theater to be most thrilling, so much so that I’ve been inspired to write an entire series about the world of musical theater.  A Passionate Play [The Rabourn Theater Series # 1] releases October 2016!!!

Many of us enjoy an exciting evening at the theater but just what is it about plays that draws us?  I conducted a bit a research in this area and found that many people enjoy musical theater for the exact reasons you might think they do—it engages and heightens emotion, brings fantasy to life and reconnects audience members to that which is deep in their hearts.

When the mood calls for a romantic show, many think of Phantom of the Opera and I am by no means an exception to that rule.  A woman with an undeniable fascination for bad-boys, I’d been wanting to see the play ever since discovering a Phantom of the Opera music box among my college boyfriend’s belongings.  About a year later, I got to see it for the first time and though I didn’t know much about the story walking in I was forever swept away by the passionate love story of Christine Daae and her mysterious angel of music.  Though I went on to become a contemporary romance novelist, this story (set in the 1800s) has never been far from my thoughts or from my fantasies!  

When it comes to theater, perhaps even more exciting than the stories themselves are the musical numbers that tell them.  Songs are catchy, they can stay with you hours after you’ve heard them and the songs in plays are often so beautiful and extraordinary you don’t even mind.  After seeing Phantom, I found myself singing every one of Christine Daae’s numbers until I’d learned the words and twelve years later I still catch myself doing this from time to time.  I like to have music when I write and soundtracks to musicals are often number one on my list—particularly the instrumental versions in which the words are eliminated and your imagination is left free to wander.  Fellow writers, I highly recommend this technique for maximum concentration not to mention inspiration and fellow readers, I strongly recommend that you try it as well.  Not only do these songs drown out the noise around you but they have the added benefit of heightening the excitement, particularly when you choose music that mirrors the level of suspense in the story that you’re reading.

It’s always exciting to spend a night on the town, wining and dining and catching up with friends.  But there is nothing quite like a night at the theater!  We remember the shows we see, when and how many times we saw them and what was going on in our lives at the time because the music, the actors and their wonderful stories never let us forget.  I firmly believe that there is nothing more stimulating to the imagination than the experience of reading a good novel.  But I think that musical theater is a very close second! ;)


  1. Very insightful! I remember seeing less misérables with my friend a few years back. I tried very hard not to cry but it was just so moving! My favorite musical is west side story though. I agree that theater is very inspirational!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Kelsey! Les Misérables and West Side Story are both great musicals and certainly moving. Thanks for stopping by! :)