Starkid Productions and their Harry Potter musicals are so much more than 2-hour distractions to me. They’re more than parody plays. They’re more than catchy soundtracks and witty one-liners. These people, these plays, have helped me through so many of the hardest times in my life. They’ve been there for me at times when very little else was, and that cannot be over-emphasized.
I first watched “A Very Potter Musical” in 2009. It was the year that I transferred from my first college to the college where I eventually graduated, across state lines and without much warning. You see, my father, who was paying for half my $30,000-a-year tuition, works in Real Estate. So, when the economy tanked and the housing bubble burst, he was one of the first people to see the effects. This was two years into college, a time when I already had made good friends and had plans for the rest of my schooling. But, financial constraints being what they were, I had no choice but to put all those things aside and move onto my new school. And, as silly as it sounds, it was a lifesaver to listen to “Not Alone” on the train ride to school, knowing very well that I WAS alone, in a new place where the only classmates I knew were the handful of high school people I had tried so hard to separate myself from. It helped to hear “Back to Hogwarts” and imagine that I was returning to somewhere familiar.
When I finally buckled down and watched “A Very Potter Sequel,” it only added fuel to the fire. “Home” gave me the hope that my new college and new apartment would one day be my home. “Those Voices” reminded me of the friends I was miles away from. “Days of Summer” says it best in the song: no one needs to say goodbye.
And so I stayed at school. I considered changing my major a dozen times, but stayed with what I knew. Just five short semesters later, I graduated with an English degree. And graduating along with me was the music from “Starship,” a play I appreciate more and more each time I watch it. Every time I considered running away or dropping out or just starting over, I thought about Bug, and remembered that my calling could be right under my nose. That there was beauty everywhere, even in the mundane world around me. “Status Quo” became my theme song. I was learning to recognize the turn that the world around me had taken, and how to stand up for both my rights and the rights of others. I literally did say “no,” to status quo.
And then there were the smaller plays, “Me and My Dick” and “Holy Musical B@Man.” These got me through the roughest times. When I was working a job after graduation that could be described as “hostile” at the very least, “Super Friends” made me laugh. When I was unemployed and depressed, I reminded myself every day that I wasn’t looking for perfect, just the thing that was “perfect for me.” I kept my friends close for support. I utilized the resources I had. And before long (three weeks to be exact), I was hired and starting the job I work now.
So, no, Team Starkid isn’t just an interest for me. They don’t just produce the funny plays I quote way to often. They are so much more than that. They are my friends, my cheerleaders, and my security blanket. They taught me to think big and to see the glory in the small. They taught me that friends and family are my best resources. They taught me to never give up, and to understand that Plan B is sometimes better than Plan A.
Thank you, Darren, Joey, Joe, Jaime, Lauren, Dylan, Joe, Brian, other Brian, Ariel, Brittany, Jim, other Jim, Devin, Denise, Brant, and any other names I’ve forgotten in the mix. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.