It's not often you come across something that changes your life. Especially something as simple as a television show.
To give you a little background, growing up I was a little bit of a tomboy. I loved to play sports, primarily soccer. I had friends. I didn't really get bullied. But I wasn't popular. I wasn't super pretty. I wasn't extraordinary at anything. I was just your typical, average joe-sephine. For all intents and purposes, I was pretty ordinary.
My life hasn't always been rainbows and unicorns. I had some pretty sweet things growing up: a loving family, a nice house, a pool, some other goodies that I was fortunate and blessed enough to enjoy for years growing up. But there were some things I had to deal with... adult-like things... that typical kids didn't have to deal with as they were growing up. While I won't get into detail (different post, different day... I don't have time for a novel, do I?), this was all happening at a pretty young age.
In high school, I played soccer for my school... and we were great... I met the best friends I've ever known. Literally, I'll argue with anyone... my friends are the best... But I also went through a lot of things atypical to the typical high school kid. So throughout my adolescent life (who am I kidding. I'm 23. I'm still an adolescent), there were times when I was seriously unhappy. Again, different post for a different day, but my life didn't seem to be doing anything spectacular... it was just kind of plain. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know what I wanted to be.
Fast forward, circa 2009, and a little television show called Glee was introduced to my life. A show about the underdog. Interesting... Haven't there been shows like this before that have failed? Plus... there's singing?! Well, now I'm really skeptical. Not that I don't enjoy the theatre. Not that I don't enjoy music, because trust me... if you know anything about me, know this: music is my life. It's been my best friend, my only friend, my confidant, my journal, my diary, my life. Music knows more about me than I do about it... But, don't get me started. (Clearly I like to go on tangents).
Fast forward, circa 2010, (circa may be one of my favorite words, just an FYI). I'm working at a little soccer shop right smack dab in the middle of the country. I start watching this show that I'd been so skeptical of before. I think it was an episode called The Power of Madonna that really caught my attention. That is the power of Madonna, eh? #badjoke
So, my skepticism was refuted. I was actually digging this show. Highly comedic, highly entertaining, and the talent of these kids... HOLY $#*+, I was blown away. How can this show find all the talented people in the world? Seriously, I don't think there are any left because they took all of the best talent. Sorry 'boutcha American Idol.
What really caught my attention, equally as much as the brilliant talent on the forefront, was the behind-the-scenes talent. First of all, who's choreographing these dances. How do they even film all of these shows in such a short amount of time? How in the eff can a story have so much fluidity, and how can you pick all the songs to match the plot, perfectly complementing the emotion the actors are trying to encompass? Seriously, who's doing this?
The amount of genius behind one television show is astounding. People can argue. People can hate. But I have two points that can't be rebuttled: 1) If you can write something/do something/sing something so much better... then do it. It's obvious the talent here has proven themselves. Until you prove yourself, keep the critiquing constructive, and let the professionals do their jobs. 2) If you don't like it so much, why are you still watching? There's clearly something bringing you back. /rant
This isn't a post about the haters or the bullies though. This is a post about what Glee means to me. And the genius behind the show, they've helped me change my perspective on a lot of things.
Sure, I was an underdog in some respects; but not your typical in-the-closet, bullied, torn-jock, dream-follower, type of underdog. On the surface, I actually had it pretty good. BUT... just a little more background for you... I didn't really have goals. I wasn't bullied. I wasn't really torn, because I had one great talent: playing soccer. I didn't really have a dream. And the view I had on a lot of things, well I grew up in a Republican, Catholic family of 6. You do the math.
Not that I "hated" people for being gay. Not that I made fun of people that wanted to follow their dreams, instead of becoming something like a lawyer or an accountant. Not that I thought the arts were dumb. I actually encouraged other people to do this stuff. I just didn't know how to be comfortable with a lot of it.
Okay, okay... enough with the rambling. What's it all got to do with Glee?
People ask me all the time, "Why do you love this show so much?" or "Why is this show any different from other shows on TV?" My answer is always the same: "Glee is changing the world."
You may not realize it. But it is.
How much money has Glee raised for the arts? How much attention has it brought to the importance of art and theater programs in schools? That could change one person's life. Chances are it's changing lots of people's lives.
How many people with disabilities have realized they're no different than anyone else, and that even though life might be a little tougher for them, they can still accomplish everything they set out for?
How many doors has it opened for teenagers struggling with their sexuality? I'm not gay, but I have gay friends, and I can tell you that 3 years ago, had they come out to me, I wouldn't be as open and comfortable with their lifestyle. Again, not to say that I would love them any less, because I wouldn't. I just was unaware on how to be comfortable with it... there's a difference. Literally, my two best friends are gay. I lived with one of them for a whole year. He came out to his family, they were so accepting and grateful that they told him. But it also pointed out that this isn't the experience that everyone has. And more times than not, it isn't this picture-perfect. That makes me sad. If it makes me sad, think how it makes people feel who have to live a different way, just so they don't "hurt" the ones they love. Whoa. That's just heartbreaking.
In my opinion, Glee slowly but surely, is changing this perspective for many people. Not only are they teaching people how to be comfortable with the loved ones they know who are confiding in them, but it also gives hope to those that need it most. I've found, thanks to Glee that hope is the idea that can make the most difference. Think about it.
Hope for a better day tomorrow. Hope that you know one day you'll get out of the school where kids are bullying you. Hope that you'll find what gets you excited, and makes you want to do something. Hope that YOU can make a difference.
Those last two "hopes" are where I'm at. THIS is what Glee means to me:
Just so the record states, I'm happier now than I ever have been in my life. No I don't sit on my couch and watch Glee all day. I go out with friends. I work 50 hour weeks. I play in rec leagues. Because I'm over 21, I like to enjoy a drink or six from time to time. I have a lot of fun. But I think it's largely in part to this blog, these characters, these fans, this community... this life that I'm now living because of this show.
Let's take this little blog, that I so dearly love, for instance... Fast forward, circa 2011... Someone else from this little soccer shop I work at shares my love for this TV show. We decide to start a blog. We pay $10/year for it. We lose money shipping stuff out for giveaways. We don't advertise because we don't want to, and quite frankly we'd make like $4 off of it. We don't have time to write. We don't have time to keep up with maintaining it. We're literally broke because we drop any of the dollaz we make to be the equivalent of The Beatles' groupies except for Glee... But all of that's okay, because we F*#%ing love it. Seriousy, this blog is like... the best thing to happen to either of us. (We're getting TMB tattoos - See above.. those are permanent. And we're excited about it. THAT'S how much this little blog means to us). True story: I've had a relationship partially end because he thought I spent too much time on Glee.
One of the "hopes" that Glee has given me: Hope that I'll find what gets me excited and makes me want to do something.
I want to be a writer. Clearly from my novel, you can see that I love to do it. But if it weren't for this insanely and quite literally unbelievably genius writing staff and crew for making a story so successful, I don't think I'd have found that. Do I think I can go to LA tomorrow and be a writer in HOllywood? Nope. Am I giving myself deadlines, and making plans to try and follow my dream, straight up Rachel Berry style, though? Yep. Sure am. 18 months, I want to be in LA. I don't care if I have to work on a 6x6 set, writing plays for the community center. That's where I want to be.
Some of it's already happening. You know in Almost Famous when they say "It's happening?!" That's how I feel. Every step we take with this little bloglet we have here, is one step closer to making my dream come true.
"Hope" number two: Hope that I can make a difference.
I always say, "If I could change one person's life for the better, I know my life is worth living." That's all it takes. One person. It's the "pay-it-forward" effect. If you make a difference in one person's life, they might make a difference in another person's life because you've inspired them. It's also the waterfall effect. If you can do something good for one person, it might have benefit for all people. Literally, that's all it takes.
I started this post out talking about all the differences Glee has made for schools and art programs, etc. I said that it could change one person's life. For this reason, I know Glee is worth watching. It's worth putting on TV... Because it's changed one person's life.
But this show has done so much more than that. Raise your hand if you haven't been affected by this show and you're reading this post. There probably aren't many of you out there.
SO... since I've been rambling on and on now. I just have to say, that to make a show successful for 3 seasons, and onto a 4th season -- with a completely different plot, but it's still the most anticipated show to hit this Fall -- you've got to be doing something right.
Cast, crew, New writers, Dante and Robert, and especially Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan... To you guys, I say (even though I'm sure any of you that have come across this post stopped reading 4 hours ago)... Congratulations, you should be proud, and I hope you have realized what you have created. There's always a reason to celebrate Glee. This television show has made history, and it's still airing. How often can the people that are a part of a television show say that? That's pretty damn special.
Being a part of something special makes you special, right?
Thanks for reading everyone!
-Bonnie & Spoken for Whitney because I know she feels the same