Every year, I carefully choose a new wall calendar that represents who I am or who I want to be. Here’s how I made my choice for 2016:
Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz was the first Broadway musical that I remember watching live, and even sitting in a seat with an obstructed view did nothing to dampen the thrill of the show. I got goosebumps every time Elphaba’s voice soared high, or whenever the whole cast sang together. I bought the overpriced soundtrack CD, memorized all the lyrics, and delighted in spotting all the clever wordplay. Later, I found the soundtrack score and played the songs on the piano. I was obsessed.
That was six years, a lifetime, ago. In the meantime, I’d forgotten about my passion for Wicked. The last time I remember singing “The Wizard and I” was freshman year in the dorm shower stall.
So when I saw the Wicked 2016 calendar sitting on the shelf at the Valley Fair Mall, I felt like I had neglected a long lost friend. It was guilt that prompted me to buy the calendar, even though it wasn’t the prettiest I’d ever seen.
I set about looking for some lessons I could learn from Wicked. Elphaba is a tenacious woman who won’t let anyone tell her what to believe. I could use her as my moral compass when I have to make tough decisions.
Glinda and Elphaba are friends who change each other “for good.” I need to appreciate everyone who is the Glinda to my Elphaba, who will forgive me for my mistakes and shape my future.
But most importantly, I hope that staring at pictures from Wicked every day will reawaken my interest in music and storytelling. Although I no longer wish to pursue a composition career, I want to enjoy more music and finish more creative projects that will make me proud.
2016 is an important year for me. I’ll leave UC Berkeley soon and set off into the “real” world, just as Elphaba does when she lifts off on her broom. I’m glad to have her presence on my wall as a reminder that I can make it on my own. Time for me to defy gravity.
Wicked is coming back to San Francisco this spring. Should I watch it for a third time? Hmmm…