I think Les Miserables broke something inside of me. I can’t stop crying since I saw it. I mean, I stop periodically throughout the day to perform basic tasks like working and straightening my hair, but only in short bursts of self-control.
For the past two years, I’ve stayed away from musical theater. After my vocal scare and moving over to a day job that happens during the day, I felt like I couldn’t be too close to the thing I’d spent the previous decade and a half of my life focused on. And it was good. It was good to stay away from the disappointment I feel at not having the life I planned. It was good to just listen to some fun rock musicals (American Idiot, I’m looking right at you, with a side-eye at Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.) and do improv and put together cabarets with the Marvelous Meerkat* and know that I am still an actress, just not in the way that I initially thought I might be.
My natural state is broken heart bleeding all over my sleeve, and taking a break from musical theater helped me toughen up a little and stop romanticizing every situation in my life. It let me live and learn to be funny and grow a tough little shell (like a half-melted M&M). But that is over now. Since I saw Les Mis, I can’t seem to put that cracked little shell back together. I have cried at like seventeen touching things this week, from this article about why pandas are so cute to the biker scene on Grey’s to seltzer water on sale. And I am not on my period, but thanks for asking.
I don’t really know what to do about my ruined, shattered life. I tried watching Fox News clips via the Daily Show, but couldn’t begin to feel any of my standard rage or scrounge up one single “Eat a dick!” to scream at the screen. That’s never happened to me before. I feel like there are baby animals and devastating key changes every place I turn. I sang “On My Own” the other day without making any Joey Potter faces. What am I becoming?!
It took me years to shed my sincerity in New York City. And now I am fucked. Go ahead and send me a million red panda GIFs and babies and dogs spooning in car seats. I’m not going to try to fight it. Don’t get freaked out if you stumble into a Midtown Starbucks and find someone hunched over an iPhone, stooped with sobs. That’s just me, watching the episode of Saved by the Bell where Lisa and Screech dance “the Sprain” and wondering why it can’t all just go back to the way it was.
*Set aside 6:30 PM on March 10th. You have plans to come watch us at the Duplex in the West Village. Incidentally, my need to self-promote has not been affected by this recent emotional breakdown.