I can't believe that this is the second of these posts I'll be writing this week.
I don't think I realized how much I needed Debbie Reynolds until the first time I watched Singin' in the Rain. Prior to a few years ago, I guess I hadn't really paid any attention to the film that would, quite literally, change my life. And then one fateful day while riding The Great Movie Ride, I made a decision to watch some of the old films featured in the attraction. Now I'm on a personal mission to watch all of the AFI Top 100 films and any others featured in the original Great Movie Ride Film (so the one previous to what's there now), but that's kind of beside the point.
When I did watch Singin' in the Rain for the first time, I was absolutely enchanted. There's no other way to describe it. The music, the color, the characters, the dancing, everything. What was once just some movie about singing in the rain somehow rose above all the others, and at some point, it became my all time favorite movie. I'm still not entirely sure when that happened.
But Singin' in the Rain did so much more than become my favorite movie. I once heard a story about how Gene Kelly once insulted Debbie for not being able to dance, because prior to filming she had next to no dance experience. You'd never know with the way she performs on screen, and that idea alone helped give me the courage to audition for Knights on Broadway. I figured that if Debbie had no dance experience and could accomplish something like Singin' in the Rain, I could accomplish something like being a member of Knights on Broadway, where I too had to do a bit of dancing, so you'd better bet that every second on stage I was channeling my inner Debbie Reynolds.
Singin' in the Rain was the very first movie I put in the box to bring to college. When my brother complained about me taking it, I immediately ordered him a copy of his own to keep at home so we'd never be without the film.
At some point in high school, I learned every last word of the film, and I can still remember dancing around the band room on one of my last days there while Debbie and Gene mirrored us on the giant screen.
To this day, Singin' in the Rain is my cure for even the worst day. My friends all know this, and haven't hesitated to put it on or play or sing one of the songs just to make my smile.
The night I became an official member of Knights on Broadway we had a discussion at dinner about our favorite musicals and what role we'd most like to play - I said without hesitation Singin' in the Rain and Kathy Selden.
But this goes far beyond Singin' in the Rain. Where Carrie was my courage and my commitment to be the person I want to be, Debbie was my inspiration. These two wonderful women encouraged me to reach for the stars, take risks, and remind myself that we're all a work in progress. We can only start from where we are right now, and if that starting place is one without Debbie and Carrie, then we'll just have to keep going and strive to uphold the legacy that they so deserve.
It seems almost redundant now to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the family, but they are, especially with Billie. I can't even imagine what this feels like for her, but I do know that Debbie and Carrie are together again, the way they always wanted to be.
Although something tells me that Carrie is cursing her mother for stealing her thunder.
We'll miss you both, forever and always. Keep singing and dancing, even from the stars.
Have a magical day!