For most of my life I was painted in a particular hue of jealousy, not unlike a famous Ozian. I wasn’t born that way. I wasn’t sea sick, I was totally fucking see sick. I saw happiness everywhere. I saw money everywhere. I saw laughter and I saw love, fucking everywhere. Everywhere but in the mirror. I was constantly praying to entities I didn’t believe in and consistently disappointed with my lack of success and progress. And then I turned 5 and started going to school. The hue of jealousy turned into a distinct color, an unmistakable spot on the color wheel of flesh. I wrote about it. A lot. Fate’s vengeful eye seemed to always be fixed on me. But I made it through. I didn’t have any prospects after high school, no college plans and felt like a vagabond with no direction.
I chased a dream or two but the disappointment and lack of financial means to achieve what I wanted put a stop to that. I watched a magician at work from afar, a wizard of the craft, if you will. I felt in my bones that one day it would be the wizard and I. All I needed was one short day. And wouldn’t you know, when I was at my lowest, something happened. The proverbial wizard sent for me to work on an Ozian masterpiece. I followed a road unknown to me, a road the color of champagne dreams. Along the way I passed through towns like Roswell, oh look! Aliens that wore the same skin tone I chose! I drove through territories unknown. The closer I got to my Emerald City, the smaller the minds of wanderers got too. Munchkin minded fools. But the dream, ah the dream, it grew bigger with every mile I drove and every mile I saw in the rear view.
The moment you meet the wizard, who holds the whole of your desires in those powerful palms, well, that is a moment that can define you. So how was my moment defined? It was defined in disappointment and my day in the Emerald City could not be short enough. Once you look behind the curtain, you not only see your dreams disintegrate along with your hope, but your flaws and guilt stare blatantly at you, mocking your very existence. And where does one assign the blame? I assigned it to my naivete. I kicked myself for feeding into the possibility of my own success. I had never believed in the possibilities, I wouldn’t allow it, and the one time I did, I had an abundance of confirmation that it was all in vain.
I blamed a lot of factors. The truth of the situation was that there was nobody to blame, nothing to blame. It was what it was and when I started on that brick road of champagne dreams, nothing was promised to me. It wasn’t a disappointment from the get go, which is perhaps the most frustrating thing about the whole journey. For a period, the wizard and I did great things together, we discovered things together and I was shown some truly beautiful prospects.
Art, as it were, saved me again, laughter healed me. Well, art, laughter and the cutest goddamn dog you ever did see in your life saved me. That adorable dog was in many ways, a direct reflection of me and our journeys were mirrored to perfection. The wizard saved us and showed us the way. Little Miss Daisy is the reason I survived. She survived and because she did, I knew I could too, even when I had to say goodbye. It’s true, I believed in the wizard more than anybody. And let me say this, through the disappointment behind the curtain, when the wizard was revealed to be nothing more than a facade, a mirage of a detailed life, I somehow left the Emerald City with more of a brain, a hell of a lot more courage and a heart that had grown three sizes. Unlike a girl with red, or silver depending on what you believe, shoes, though, I left without a home. I had no hot air balloon and no particular place to go. This wizard, who had appeared to become more of a sparkling good witch during our time together, was gone from my life For Good. But it is a good thing my heart had grown three sizes, because it made enough room to carry the wizard and everything she taught me, with me always. I learned that appearances mean dick. I now know that I am not an artist I just have big emotions. I can only hope that I brought laughter to the Emerald City and hopefully showed the wizard a thing or two from my perspective.
And so, after travelling around trying to find something, I put all those emotions to ink. A cricket, a daisy and a longtail boat. They each bare significant meaning to me, deeply significant. I won’t divulge in what it all means, as I would have to reveal things that I am not prepared to. What I will say, is crickets are natures musicians, and we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. Daisy was the furry savior and also a little old woman who became best friends with an unlikely Morgan Freeman, the yin and the yang. The longtail boat? Well, that’s just to show that we can all dock our boats where we choose and the choice of who we share that boat with and who we task with helping us steer our boat is entirely up to us. What will I be? The orangutan, the zebra, or the tiger? Everyone deserves a chance to fly, even me and I see that now. I put the ink on my left shoulder. Wasn’t the Emerald City just a farm as seen through the eyes of one Kansas girl? I have literally put the Emerald City on my heart yet behind me. And onward I go, as the girl she didn’t choose, sometimes by boat, plane, bubble and even a broomstick. Farewell to the person who I believed was my Galinda but was actually a wizard with a curtain.
I have been a fan of Idina’s since 1996. I remember in 2000, my drama class wanted to put on RENT but were swiftly denied. I have followed her career from start to present. When Frozen came out, I was like a kid on Christmas. And then my niece, Barbie, discovered “Frozen.” I found myself in the shoes of all those mom’s out there who couldn’t escape a certain tune. We would drive around belting, rather horribly, at the top of our lungs. And then one day, we were watching the Oscars, and Barbie turns to me and says, “She’s pretty, but is that really Elsa?” I reassured her by telling her to close her eyes and tell me who’s voice she heard. She said, “Oh my oatmeal, it IS Elsa.” Within a few days, the child was asking me questions about Idina and asking to hear other songs and watch other movies. I haven’t been that proud since the first time she put her paws up.
And so it began. I started her out with tamer things, such as “Enchanted” which she adored and made me watch everyday for a week, but she had a complaint, “I like the princess, but why doesn’t Idina sing?” Ah, I knew in that moment we were blood related. So I did what any responsible adult would do, I put “RENT” on. Well, I had to fast forward, mute, and navigate my way around some things, but Barbie was fascinated with “Tango Maureen” and “Over The Moon.” Guess what album was on repeat that week. Onto the next enlightening experience, “Wicked.” I played the cast album for her, and she started singing along in no time. Well, thank goodness for youtube because once I showed my little fanzel the Tony performance of “Defying Gravity,” It was watched over and over and over. And along we went. I decided our car music was going to change and Idina’s studio albums got put into rotation. Well, it wasn’t long before I was coerced into going through the car wash every day while blasting “Minuet.” The bond was getting deep.
Then it happened, Barbie found the song, her song, the song that she couldn’t live without, and that song was “Brave.” The song is beautiful but Barbie really fell in love with the dress from the video. Damn, I gotta figure out how to make that dress. And that became a constant loop. Now, there’s a lot of stuff I cannot expose Barbie too, like “Just A Kiss” or “Ask The Dust” but I tried filling her in. What she did gain a lot of amusement from, were the interviews I found. Barbie laughed hysterically every time someone brought up the Oscar flub. But what really came out was the little sayings that I too find hilarious. Bumpada bumpada traffic, need I say more?
My current passion has been “If/Then” which is not something age appropriate for my Barbie. But I was able to show her the cast singing “Seasons Of Love” and Idina singing “Take Me Or Leave Me” with audience members who had won an auction to raise money, Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS being the cause. I eventually showed her “Always Starting Over” from the Tony’s, or the Tony-os as Barbs calls em. She then got to hear “Here I Go” as well. Then my hardest task, I explained to her in children’s terms, what the show was about. She got it, it clicked for her. Another proud moment.
So the point I’m getting at is this, because of “Frozen” which is insanely popular with the children, I was able to bridge a gap with my niece. I have heard Idina speak to the fact that her fan base seems to drop in age on a regular basis. I say to her, hell no lady. Sure she’s gaining young fans, who are teaching us older people all about building snowmen and letting shit go, but she isn’t losing the older demographic to them. I shared my passion with Barbie because “Frozen” allowed me too. And now, She too appreciates the hard working, talented, amazing woman that Idina is. I am getting emotional as I write this, and corny as it may be, I really feel I’ve shared art and passed down art that I believe in. I feel so incredibly grateful to Idina, she has truly made something special happen.
There’s only one problem that has come of this whole thing, and that is the inevitable thing that happens when kids start loving a celebrity, they want to meet them, and in this case she not only wants to meet Idina but she wants to see her in concert and now vocalize to me her desire to go to NYC and see “If/Then.” This poses a problem for many reasons, age being the biggest, as the show is not for children. But from this dilemma comes another bonding moment for me and the kid, neither of us has ever been to NY and yet we are obsessed with it, and it is something we are hell bent on accomplishing at some point, I only hope when and if that day comes, we can experience the city together.
Naturally as I started seeing how Barbie responded to Idina, I started capturing video as I was able to. I put a little something together, please check it out below, and retweet or share, I’d really appreciate it. This is a time capsule of sorts for me and Barbs. I can never thank Idina enough.
(Side note: I know this is about Idina but seriously check out “If/Then,” PHENOMENAL production, the entire cast is bloody brilliant, shout out to them all!)