Last night watching the film Camp got me in a Broadway mood. The kids who go to Camp Ovation are obsessed with Stephen Sondheim (Follies, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd), and the famed Broadway legend even makes an appearance at the end of the film. Not all of the music is from his shows, but one song (although poorly performed in the film) stood out to me and that's "I'm Still Here" from his show Follies, which originally ran in 1971. The show follows aging performers from a 1920s vaudeville show, and their reminiscence of the past glory, lost youth, and loves that never were. The show has seen numerous revivals and I was able to see the most recent, the show stopping number is "I'm Still Here."
This song has so much hope/yet reminds you of obviously "the good times" and "bad times" The goal of the song is to put life into perspective, and make those within the show to think about the different places they have been. This is one of my favorite Sondheim songs from his shows; he takes the emotional heft of his characters, and makes you feel that emotional weight you should about your own experiences.
"I've run the gamut from A to Z, three cheers, and damn it! c'est la vie!" this line brings the song home, and says a lot about how I am feeling at the moment. At the moment I have worked 32 days straight without a day off, I am feeling tired and frustrated, but that's mostly the work side of things. In my own personal life I feel like I am trying to change things up, take risks, and realize that having good and bad times is just part of the game. I have worked to become more positive in my life, and through this I have also realized that with this comes the risk, and forces me to put myself out there more than I ever have.