“When you ask me, who I am: What is my vision? And do I have a plan? Where is my strength?Have I nothing to say? I hear the words in my head, but I push them away…. ‘Cause I stand for the power to change, I live for the perfect day, I love til it hurts like crazy, I hope for a hero to save me. I stand for the strange and lonely, I believe there’s a better place. I don’t know if the sky is heaven, but I pray anyway….” –I Stand, Idina Menzel
Before I say anything further, watch the video. Listen carefully and appreciate the perfection that is this song.
Finished watching? Properly appreciated? Good. Now you may continue.
I’ve got a lot of weird connections to obscure celebrities. For example, a member of the directing staff in my high school’s Musical Theater department was good friends with Michael Drolet. Not only is this Adam Lambert (yes, of American Idol fame)’s best friend, but Mr. Drolet also toured with the Wicked US tour and is featured in the show’s program (or was as of the last time I saw it!). I and some of my classmates got to meet with him several years ago and, being a school unquestionably obsessed with Wicked, someone asked, “So do you know Idina Menzel?”
There was an audible silence in the group as we waited for him to respond. In the theater world, Idina’s revered. Beyond Frozen and Glee, she’ll always be our Elphaba, our Maureen, our 21st-anniversary Florence, and our Elizabeth.
“Well,” he said (paraphrasing here), “let’s just say she isn’t a witch only on-stage….”
In a way, all of our dreams were at least slightly crushed then and there.
Despite this, I’ve remained a fan. I love Frozen, I love her work on- and off-Broadway. Her 1998 album Still I Can’t Be Still is arguably my favourite piece of music she’s ever done (Think Too Much is essentially the way my brain works), followed closely by 2008’s I Stand, from which the title of this post comes.
I Stand is as if Idina reached into my head and put its inner works into lyric form. My first time hearing this song was one of those moments in which you realize, “Wow, I’m not alone….”
Maybe she is a real-life witch. Maybe the extent to which I relate to her solo work makes me one too. I don’t have a problem with that, to be honest.