This past weekend I had the chance to see the musical “Inappropriate,” which is being called the next “Rent.” In it, eight teenagers, distraught, troubled and labeled inappropriate by society, express their fears, problems and emotions. Topics of rape, drug abuse, suicide, divorce and sexual identity are all expressed by the different characters.
The first time I saw “Inappropriate” was this January when, during the Media Across the Nation trip, I was in the audience of the Saturday “Today Show.” In near-freezing weather, the eight young teenagers got up and sang a song entitled “I Wonder.” The teenagers were all from the DeSisto School in Massachusetts, a school dedicated to helping troubled teens. All the material in the musical is based on school yearbooks, letters and personal accounts of the students.
I decided to go with my best friend Fermin and my other friend Ruby. We went to see a fun show with hip music. What we got from the show was far more than we expected.
Fermin, who is graduating with a degree in psychology tomorrow, found a connection to his major and future job. He currently works as a counselor for a teen home. Everyday he sees children and teenagers just like these characters. He could see a different teen in each character and would like to show the musical to the teens he helps.
I felt relief and insight into the troubles I have been having. These past couple of weeks I felt like my world was crashing down on me. I had not felt like this since my adolescent plights in high school. While sitting in the audience and listening to the song “I Wonder” again, I felt myself paying attention to the words and they touched me, as corny as that sounds. It clearly showed the emotions I was feeling during those awful plights during my high school years.
“Oh. I would rather be someone else than what you see. I’m wiped out by my lack of confidence in me. I’m going under, running from the thunder of my mind. I surrender. I surrender and wonder why I’m not good enough and why I always screw things up. I wonder why I’m not the special one, the perfect daughter, the perfect son. I wonder why I live the life I lead … I wonder why I don’t like who I am and why I even give a damn.”
I am not saying that my life was wrecked with the troubles of these teenagers. I was never addicted to drugs or anything like that. But anyone who has been a teenager has felt this anguish, these plights and questions of life.
Hey, everybody has had these questions at times, even after adolescence. I often feel like all I do is make wrong turns in life. I feel consumed and overwhelmed with pressure and want to crawl into someone else’s skin just for a moment of release.
I really loved “Inappropriate” for the message it brings: never give up on yourself when you feel down and never give up or criticize the people you know who are feeling that way. When you are in that position, the support and love you get from friends and people who care mean all the difference. I recommend that anyone who has felt consumed with their troubles try to check out “Inappropriate.”
From the ending song, “Everything That You Are:”
“There is purpose in my joy and in my sorrow. There is comfort in the fact that I can believe in tomorrow … The fear that walks beside me will come and go, you do what you have to do. What may seem like a mistake may be a discovery in disguise. What may seem inappropriate may be appropriate in someone else’s eyes.”
Jazmine Ponce, a junior journalism major, is arts and entertainment editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.