The characters portrayed on film by Judy Garland often provide succinct reflections on the art of communicating a story in song. It’s about instinct. It’s about commitment. It’s about craft.
Lesson 9: Singing is storytelling.
“I figure you have to know what you’re singing about before you can get the idea over to other people.”
Babes in Arms (1939), Patsy Barton to Mickey Moran
Lesson 10: Singing is second nature.
“I can remember my first job singing with the band. And then, one night stands clear across the country by bus. Putting on nail polish in the ladies rooms in gas stations. Waiting on tables. Wow, that was a low point. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll never never do that again. No matter what. But I had to sing. I somehow feel most alive when I’m singing.”
A Star is Born (1954), Esther Blodgett to Norman Maine
Lesson 11: When you have it you have it, don’t second guess yourself.
Esther: “What makes you so sure about me?”
Norman: “I heard you sing. You know yourself, don’t you. You just needed somebody to tell you.”
Esther: “I’m certainly mixed up now. I thought I was doing just fine…. sleep on it … you fixed me for sleep all right.”
Norman: “Whether you do it or not, don’t ever forget how good you are. Hang on to that. Because I’m right.”
A Star is Born (1954), Esther Blodgett and Norman Maine
© Martha Wade Steketee (November 24, 2009)