So. I’m sure all of you have heard of the Cats live action movie that recently came out. I’m also somewhat sure that most of you have seen the parade of traumatized YouTubers going on at length about this movie (I mean at length, none of them are under 30 minutes long) and seriously,
I ADORE Cats.
So you can guess that I’m kind of crushed at how utterly panned the new movie has been, by just about everyone. I’ll absolutely see if it’s really as bad as everyone is saying once it hits Netflix, but that’s not why I’m here.
I’m here to tell you what inspires me. Now, we have to rewind the tape to about 12 year old me, stupidly excited because somehow, Mom got tickets to Cats. I was enormously into Broadway shows at that point (and still am, let’s be real), learning everything from Carousel to Phantom of the Opera on the violin between bouts of Brandenburg concertos and Star Wars (which was awesome, I am not complaining), and to be able to go SEE one, to hear a real pit orchestra? My geeky little self was literally vibrating in excitement.
During the entire performance Munkustrap, Mr. Mistoffelees, Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, and old Gus utterly captivated me, and I literally spent months attempting to do all those leaping turns, and balancing on one foot for 20 minutes. My dance teachers were about ready to murder me.
They’re all awesome, and I will watch the 1998 production until I drive anyone in the room to distraction to this day.
The one cat in the entire performance that stole my heart doesn’t have a huge part, note even half a number to her name.
NO, it’s not Victoria for all that she is pretty, and is amazing at dance.
The Cat that inspires me is Jemima, or Sillabub in the US productions. She as a wide, wondering expression, and against the warning of all the older cats, this kitten is the first to accept Grizabella back into the tribe. What got me though, and I didn’t realize it until MUCH later, during my most recent re-watch of the 1998 production, and I remember from seeing the live performance is her voice. It’s clear, pure-toned like a bell, and for some reason in my head the voice that I have set as the “I’ve reached being able to REALLY sing” point in my head.
So to TL;DR this, Sillabub, the 1993 Cats cast and by extension at this point Veerle Casteleyn and Helen Massey, who are the performer and voice for Jemima/Sillabub in the 1998 live movie are huge inspiration for me to continue working on my singing.