So here’s a weird comparison.
I feel a very strange connection to Jonathan Larson.
And now that I’m playing Mark in Rent (holy shit) and starting all my research, I’m finding more and more similarities.
- He’s a JEW. Like an actual Jew. Not super religious or anything, but wasn’t just jew-ish. See? Connection.
- He loved Stephen Sondheim. Like, adored him. Me too. A whole bunch.
- Aside from musicals, his influences in music were Elton John and The Beatles. ME TOO.
- He lived in a small apartment in the Upper West Side and had an illegal wood-burning stove. I live in a small dorm room in the Upper West Side (of Michigan) and have an illegal Keurig coffee-maker. Same thing, right?
- Alright so here’s the big one: MARFAN’S SYNDROME. Now, don’t panic I don’t have it. Still, there’s a chance I could develop it. I go to a cardiologist every year to make sure I don’t have it. Why? I have almost every single symptom…
- Long arms, legs and fingers? Yep.
- Tall and thin body type? Mmhmm.
- Curved spine? Not that bad, but yes.
- Chest sinks in or sticks out? Oh, it sinks alright. Me an’ my chest hole.
- Flexible joints? I can lick my elbow pretty easily.
- Crowded teeth? I’m not sure if they’re “crowded” but GOD they were so messed up. Years of braces and oral surgeries. Good times.
- Severe nearsightedness? OH YEAH.
- He wanted to create. Well, he didn’t just want to create, because so many people do. He had such a huge understanding of the important and influence of those who came before him. He wanted to do something important, something new, something interesting. I love that. I want to be like that. I am that.
- We have the same ears. Y’know, those big ones that stick right out, so far that they catch wind? Yeah. It’s pretty real.
- UPDATE FROM MY FATHER: My name is Hebrew for Jonathan. I can’t believe I forgot that.
So, yes, it’s not a ton of stuff. The connection is real, though. I felt it instantaneously the first time I saw Rent. I feel it now, years later, starting to work on it.
I’m not very interested in the “What If?” of Rent and his death. The show clearly speaks to people, most of them only vaguely aware (if at all) of Jonathan’s story. There is no future. There is no past.
Back to work.