Thanks, Adam Sandler

I attribute my musical theatre obsession to The Wedding Singer. You know, that half-funny, half-what is this? ’80s movie with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? Pre-50 First Dates? Of course you don’t. Because it was only okay. And because with 50 First Dates in the mix, who cares about anything else?

Starring beloved stage actress Laura Benanti, The Wedding Singer hit the Broadway stage as a musical in 2006. Not that I would’ve known at the time. At this point in my life, I cared only about after-school hangouts at Bruegger’s and how to get out of reading The Westing Game for my always dreaded english/literature 3rd period. So when this show was announced as our spring musical my junior year, I was reluctant to be thrilled, yet the single song I recognized from the soundtrack, “If I Told You,” kept my hopes up.

I liked volleyball; it was my thing, and theatre was just something I did because it seemed like my entire school, including my older sisters, were doing it, too. I guess I’m easily persuaded. Fall was volleyball. Spring was theater. My two extracurriculars didn’t conflict at this point, and after the volleyball season, I auditioned for the show. With pride and accomplishment, I stood on a chair, sang what I thought was a kick-ass solo, and ate a Twinkie during “Casualty of Love.” It seriously was my shining moment.

From the start of rehearsals in fall to the final performances in March, I loved every single second of this show. I didn’t have a lead, and I couldn’t care less. Spending every waking second with my kind-of friend, Jarred, turned us into best friends, which remains true even four years later. I actually wanted to go to rehearsals, which was rare for the girl who hates being forced into doing something or going somewhere. The joy I felt during these couple months is irreplaceable, both on the stage and off. Maybe if the experience had been God-awful and entirely horrible, I would be listening to Kanye West right now. (Lol. Yeah, right.)

I quit volleyball the following August so I could audition for the fall musical. I haven’t stopped talking about musicals since 2012. And I’m currently listening to The Phantom of the Opera.