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9 women singing the same song (bust open any notion of creative scarcity)

Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Katie Finneran, Beth Howland (aka Vera on the 1980s sitcom Alice) Madeline Kahn, Patti LuPone, Jayma Mays, Jane Shaw, Sophie Thompson — nine dazzling different women– sing Stephen’s Sondheim’s “I’m Not Getting Married Today” from the musical Company in the compilation below.

These nine brilliant actors bust wide open and lay bare for me the fallacy of creative scarcity. These quirky showstoppers take my perfectionist tendencies to task all the while smoking these difficult Sondheim lyrics.

They remind me:

Any notion of “best” is irrelevant and limiting.

Who could possibly choose “best” between Madeline Kahn and Carol Burnett? Oh DEAR how I have underestimated “Dingy” TV waitress Beth Howland, who originated this role on Broadway! Even if you can choose one single “best” rendition, the world would sorely lack the others–especially because your best invariably means someone else’s no thank you.

FORGET about your “competition.”

Someone will always do whatever I seek to do and often with more skill, talent, or success. GOOD NEWS: no end of inspiring moving work exists, even when people literally say the same words of the same score.

Plenty of room exists for everyone. 

I loved something about each one of these nine portrayals. Countless other actors have and will perform this role, bringing exponential potential for awe and delight.

WE ourselves are the secret ingredient. Every time.

Each rendition proved captivating for the very fact of each singer bringing their very own, very bold, very unique, inimitable self to the role. Instead of asking myself how I can do it best (or why I cannot), these masters remind me to ask myself how I can do it  Ann.

Thank you leading ladies.

If you don’t feel like watching 11 minutes, try scrolling along to watch a few seconds from each performance.  I found this compilation after watching many of the full versions. I could watch 111 minutes of this. If you can’t see a video below, click here and enjoy!

5 comments… add one

  • Liz @ ewmcguire January 17, 2018, 5:17 pm

    Well this is incredible. And I love what you drew from it. Secret ingredients! xoxo

  • Ann Imig January 18, 2018, 7:22 am

    Thanks, friend!

  • Cheryl at Busy Since Birth January 18, 2018, 6:23 am

    This is fabulous. I sent it along to my Broadway loving daughter and cantorial studying husband, who both could use your insights. :)

  • Ann Imig January 18, 2018, 7:23 am

    Oh awesome, Cheryl! This makes me happy. Thank you.

  • Joshua Wilner January 19, 2018, 8:09 am

    I have moved onto being the best at mediocre. As 50 looms on the horizon it seems to be more appropriate than doing something my 30 year-old self would have done.

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