CATS the Musical was my First Real Exposure to the Arts: Why Pushing Kids when they Don't Want to Do Something is Important

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm off-topic for my usual banter on this blog, but it was a big day in movie trailers this week. Honestly, I feel as if my teens are coming back to life. Do I need to look at a calendar? Is it the eighties again? All I need now is for Madonna to go back on tour and I'll be golden.

First off, Tom Cruise will be back as Maverick in a Top Gun sequel. I declared on social media that I may actually go to a movie theater again. I really can't remember the last time I went to one.

No, seriously. I can't.

When you're two aging parents going into different directions with kids all the time then the last thing you want to do is pay $40 to go to a movie plus pay $40 for a babysitter to sit in a gigantic room with people munching over food and creating light because they just cannot turn off that device. Seriously. I rarely talk to my spouse now. I have no desire to pay $80, be alone with him, and still not talk to him.

But then over coffee this morning,  I woke up to the trailer of the new movie, "CATS!"  The cats look a little creepy so I don't know if Liza will want to go see it with me, but perhaps if I talk up Taylor Swift, I can expose her to the same exact musical that made me fall in love with the arts so many years ago.

I saw Cats on Broadway in 1982 with the original cast just one month after it opened. I was thirteen. And to be totally honest, I griped about going to see it.

You see, I have not always been a crazy dog person like I am in my older years.  In my younger days, I was the most loyal cat lover ever, but when my Mom told me that the Musical about CATS that I was about to see on Broadway was based on a collection of whimsical poetry called  T.S.Elliott's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, I resisted.

I probably did more than balk. I more than likely threw a fit like I saw my own daughter do just yesterday over something very trivial.

It did not matter how much I complained that day though. We were going to that show no matter what and I had to listen to boring poetry being sung in orchestra seats, and then afterward, we had to talk to one of the main cats, Mr. Mistoffolees in a theatre panel.

I'm sure I thought at the time, "Just kill me now!" We were on a drama department trip with the University in the town where I lived it.

When I look back on that trip thirty-seven years ago, I realized I was the luckiest person in the world on that day and that one moment changed my life forever.

From the moment we got into our seats and saw the oversized sets, life as I saw it would be different.

The house lights went off. The theater was black except for twinkling lights that resembled cat eyes. It was slightly spooky.  A cat slinked by me and stared into my face.

My former disgust of knowing I had to listen to poetry being sung by a bunch of people dressed as cats slowly turned to mesmerization.

Then there was Rum Tum Tugger. He reminded me of my own yellow tomcat, Sonny.

"The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat
And there isn't any call for me to shout it
For he will do as he do do
And there's no doing anything about it!"

Rum  Tum Tugger Poem by T.S. Elliott from Cats

Thirty-seven years after reading the poem I've discovered that I'm part  Rum Tum Tugger, too. I kind of do as I do do, and there's no doing anything about it!

What I write might not be popular or viral on the internet these days, but I do it because I want to do it even though advisors may say I should focus on something else to be more successful.

On that one night in 1982, the magic happened.


And you'll all say:
Oh! Well I never! Was there ever
A cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!"

That night I was a tween made to DO something that I did not really want to do. 

But, after I did it. 

I bought that poem book.

I still own that poem book to this day. 

I became interested in drama. After that night, I went on to be in several plays and musicals. Unfortunately, I can't sing so one is kind of limited in musicals when you can't sing. But, I still was in shows.

I served on Arts Councils in my professional years. 
I have a liberal arts degree.  I almost had a minor in theater. 

I work in the arts now. Writing is a form of art. 

I made Will see Cats in London's West End. He didn't love it and will certainly not want to go see the movie.

His response when I told him about the trailer was simply, "Why?"

The moral of this little blogging tale is that one night of doing something I was made to do opened up a whole new world for me. 

Thank goodness for doing something you did not want to do.

CATS the Musical was my First Real Exposure to the Arts: Why Pushing Kids when they Don't Want to Do Something is Important #Inspiration #Parenting #RaisingKids

We all know a cat has nine lives. It's never too late to open your eyes and start something new.

What is something you didn't want to do, but you do it then it made an impact on you?

Cats the movie will be in movie theaters this holiday season.  Will you go? 

Disclosure: Kids may not want to get braces either, but sometimes they just have to do what they need to do. My thanks to HinesSightBlog sponsor, The Miami Orthodontist, Derek Sanders, DMD MDS, for being a July editorial sponsor and for keeping me at my desk writing and exploring #OutaboutNC.

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