Like. I will end your soul.
Because last night in The Bridges of Madison County you got up on that stage and sang a song so beautifully that I cried until snot ran down my face in public. IN PUBLIC. SNOT. I’m 31, not 2. At my age, there is no place wherein which it is socially acceptable to have snot running down my face. And I did it because of you.
And that’s not even counting the songs that made my heart stop, or my lungs temporarily cease to function, or my eyes burn with tears that never quite released. The ones that had me on the edge of my seat. Or the one time, near the very end of the very last song, where you did something that made me – MADE ME – open my mouth and say some words out loud that I really should not have said in a quiet theater.
And I get it. I get it. There’s money in Hollywood, for work that’s like… less demanding, in its way. And I’m not even saying that to imply that you’ve got the wrong motivations. We’ve all got dreams for where our lives will go and Broadway isn’t everyone’s dream. And acting on film is a different kind of work and I’m sure you love it on its own terms and shit, it doesn’t hurt that it pays well, too. We’ve all got bills. But like… here’s the thing…
Hollywood will always rob you of the very thing that makes you the most special. That allows you to reduce me to a shivering pile of snot and tears in a public place. And it’s not just the immediacy of the stage – the soul-rending humanity that radiates outward from you every time you move, or speak, or throw Kelli O’Hara onto a big white bed. It’s not just the knowing that this is a magical moment that will never happen again, that what you and I shared here can never be replicated or relived or loved in quite the same way by another person now, or ever again.
It’s your singing voice. They don’t let you use that in Hollywood and it’s the single most glorious thing about you. The thing that makes you stand out – head and shoulders and chest and elbows and wrists and knees and ankles above the whole entire world. That makes you magical.
The moment you open your mouth and your chest expands and some insane note soars out over the audience, brimming with everything your character can’t say, you become otherworldly. And Hollywood doesn’t understand that about you. Can’t find a way to use that in you. Doesn’t have the mechanism available to celebrate that part of your star power.
And that’s a goddamn shame. So please, please don’t leave us again. Please just always be somewhere on a stage where I can go hear you sing my soul into pieces. I’d offer you all the money in my savings account, or all the stars in the Iowa sky, but I don’t know if that’d be enough and I don’t what else I can do to keep you here besides begging. So I’ll do that. I’ll beg. Forever and ever amen.