Sunday, August 16, 2015

King Kurt

At first glance, the character of Kurt Kelly might just be some typical high school jerk. Everyone's class had one- the self proclaimed "athletic king" that everyone just seemed to run with for some reason, despite his overwhelming negative qualities. But after really starting to get into rehearsals with Heathers the musical, I'm starting to actually understand why Kurt is who he is.

There are several moments in the show that define who Kurt Kelly really is, because he's more than just a goofy jock that likes to pick on people. After watching the musical a billion times and replaying Evan Todd's iconic laugh even more, it's pretty obvious that everything Kurt does, he does because he thinks he's being funny. Every time Kurt wants to be funny, he acts like he's making an announcement to all of the other students, just to make sure he's heard.

"Martha Dumptruck, wide load!! Honk!"
"Hey everyone listen up, what is Westerburg gonna do the Razorbacks come Saturday's game!?"
"Ram's eating Chinese tonight!" (one of my personal favorite lines from a version of the script)

He's not necessarily a bad guy, he just wants to fit in like every single other student at Westerburg. During the opening number he even asks himself "why do I act like such a creep?", because this question is something that passes through Kurt's mind often. He doesn't truly know why he says or does mean things to people, he just knows that when he does those things, everyone laughs and everyone praises him for being the class clown.

I don't know about anyone else, but in my high school you can either be the class clown or the big athletic jock...but to have both of those titles meshed into one character? That't a lot of power right there. No wonder he's so damn popular.

We started dance rehearsals last week for the show and I got to really step into the character's shoes. In no time, I realize so many things about Kurt that I hadn't even thought of. I tried to be the center of attention a lot in the dance and I also inadvertently danced with every single girl in the show by the end of the number "Big Fun". Even the three Heather's aren't too good for Kurt Kelly. Kurt Kelly is the man! They can all act like they hate him, because he's an asshole. But in truth, at Westerburg at least, girls want Kurt and guys want to be Kurt. Because everyone wants power. Power gets you through high school without even a scratch.

The next dance that Ram Sweeney and I learned last week, one of my favorite songs of the show- "Blue". During this hilarious number, Kurt does what every other human on this planet does when they get overwhelmingly hammered, he lets his feelings a rather unorthodox way. The dancing during this song is so interesting and exciting because every step seems so exaggerated, in a way. Ram and Kurt try to put on this big show for Veronica, because that's simply what they do. This is the one time where they're not actually "trying" to be funny but it's still absolutely hysterical, because they're desperately trying to get laid here, so they want to make it a big spectacle like everything else. Kurt and Ram don't get turned down. So this hurts. Emotionally and physically. There's no way Kurt can go to school the next day knowing that his seduction technique didn't work, so maybe the "Blue (reprise)" is just his way of lying to himself so he can still be as cool as everyone thinks he is.

Every single moment with Kurt is so natural and so impulsive that it's pretty hard to find a "wrong" choice for the character. There's so much to play around with and build off of. So pretty simply put- this is gonna be fun. (avoiding the obvious Big Fun pun I could go for here)


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