Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 6:17:21 PM
Great people aren’t born, they’re made. Young children are like tomatoes - they’re soft and bruise easily, but can grow ripe and beautiful with proper outside influences. For someone to be a great person is obviously an opinion - greatness is a perception, not a tangible fact. In my eyes, however, one of the greatest people ever cultivated in the garden of history would have to be the musician, Darren Criss.
I have known Darren Criss’s song, “Not Alone,” for two years now. I don’t even remember the first time I heard it. Back then, it was just the soothing rhythm of his words that mattered to me. The song “Not Alone” was originally performed in the production, “A Very Potter Musical.” Later, the song was professionally recorded on Darren’s EP “Human”. The song is flexible, working flawlessly within the scope of musical theater, while simultaneously representing itself in the larger realm of the mainstream. Whether Darren’s fans find his music through his work with Glee or through their support of Starkid Productions, this song in particular crosses the boundaries of the music industry simply because the message itself reaches all audiences.
Ginny Weasley sings, “And nothing's ever gonna bring us down/'Cause nothing can keep me from lovin’ you/And you know it's true,” to a weary Harry Potter in an effort to coax him to tell her why he has been pulling away from his friends and family. Harry feels as if he is a grenade, pulling everyone he loves down and by giving himself up to Voldemort, he will be minimizing the casualties. With the power ballad “Not Alone” in his head, Harry Potter reaches out to his friends and learns that to harness the strength he has to help stop evil, he should start by learning to love and by extension, learning to trust.
As I started my first year of junior high school with this new-found sense of self, I noticed a dramatic shift in the way the other kids treated me. All of a sudden, they were drawn to me. It was odd, but it immediately made sense.
I had found me! And I liked me. Turns out, I was a pretty cool person. Who knew? Sadly, up until that point, I didn’t.
And that’s the service that musicians like Darren Criss provide. They inspire those who need to be inspired and empower those who are already empowered. They remind you that items such as money, popularity, and beauty are just fleeting things in a world already saturated with things.
Thank you for the reminder, Darren Criss. Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to feel, to love, to continue putting myself out there for the world to experience. The song, “Not Alone” brought up feelings I thought had died with my flawed, idealist interpretation of reality. Writing was my way of learning to sing, and I couldn’t have done that without “Not Alone”.