Seems Facebook has started an – “on this day 1 year ago memory” feature on my timeline. I look at this as either an opportunity to relive warm memories or regret an overshare posting that will follow me for eternity. Fortunately, my 1 year ago memory is one of my warmest; my observations of the movie that most influenced my life. So, in keeping with the spirit of retrospection, here’s “Fame” – Movie That Changed My Life, originally posted June 6, 2014.
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I was reading an article about music that influenced the author’s life. Since my thing is film, I started thinking about movies that affected my life. My very first thought was right on. “Fame” – Released May 16, 1980. Directed by Alan Parker. Screenplay by Christopher Gore. (Lyric:…baby remember my name.”)
The film chronicles the lives of aspiring students attending a New York High School for the Performing Arts. We follow their journey from auditioning to acceptance, through graduation. It won 2 Oscars – Best Music, Original Song -“Fame” and Best Music, Original Score.
Coming out of the theater that night my life had changed with the realization that I must pursue my lifetime love of music and performing. Honor my spirit!
From birth, I was an artist. Growing up in Motown there was music a plenty. Listening to Smoky Robinson, The Temptations, The Supremes, you get the idea, I could visualize the movie behind the song lyrics. I can’t prove it, but I believe I came up with the idea for the music video. Thanks for the credit MTV:)
I also loved to sing and knew the words to any and every song. Old or new, it didn’t matter. Yes, I was the girl with the hairbrush microphone pouring my heart out to Lulu’s “To Sir With Love.” My friends and I even got together forming our own girls group. Look out Diana Ross, there’s a new diva in town.
Throughout my school years, I found my way into choirs and in college I took an acting class or two. However, as an adult I never actually took the leap to being an actress and vocalist. Never declared, “I’m a performer.” Until I heard “I Sing The Body Electric.”
I sing the body electric.
I celebrate the me yet to come.
I toast to my own reunion.
When I become one with the sun.
Having left Motown in 1985 for Chi-town, my moment had arrived. Chicago is an incredible city and the theater scene is amazing! The local park district had a theater group so I dared myself to audition for the musical Pal Joey. I did, got cast, and, as they say, the rest is history. From that moment on I was either in a play, auditioning for a play or in rehearsals for a play.
I’ve performed in pretty much every musical you can think of: Bye, Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret. (You get the idea) I found my theater family and my voice. I realized that performing was the missing piece of my soul, my essence. And it all started on that spring evening in May 1980 with Fame. “I’m gonna live forever. Baby remember my name!”
Dedicated to Anne Meara
(September 20, 1929 – May 23, 2015)
(Played English teacher Elizabeth Sherwood – Fame 1980)