Front-Page Story, Guts & Glory

Monday, January 30, 2012

I know I'm not the only Newsies fan in the world. There are other people out there who are like, "Oh, that was my favorite movie growing up!" or "Oh, I know the words to all the songs!" I don't begrudge these people their Newsies fandom, but I have a claim to stake: I am probably a bigger fan than you are.

When Newsies first aired on the Disney Channel back in 1994, I stood glued to the television & screamed for my father to start the VCR. I watched that darn VHS tape so many times throughout the years that it began to fall apart - just in time for the DVD to come out. I not only know every song lyric, but I know every single word, spoken by every single character. I even know the dance moves. I know casting information & filming missteps. I wrote fan fiction, for crying out loud. I used to dream of seeing - or even performing in - a stage production of Newsies, a real-life dream come true. I never wanted to be Sarah, the embarrassingly meek female character; instead, in my head, I was a top newsie, one of the organizers, like David & Jack. (Cowboy. They call him Cowboy.)

Newsies inspired me to become a journalist - no joke - & whenever I stay up late writing, I think of it: For a dreamer, night's the only time of day. It also informed my activism, allowing me to believe that if you rouse the community for your cause, a parade will come marching down the street to back you up. And perhaps above all else, Newsies was one of the key aspects of my relationship with my childhood best friend, Christina. We used to watch it over & over, quoting & re-quoting, swooning over Jack & Spot Conlon & Mush, whomever was our Newsies crush du jour.

This morning, Christina & I scored tickets to see Newsies on Broadway. I'm not even going to tell you how much we paid for them, because you'll judge us really harshly. It's not about the cost. Can you put a price on a friendship? (Cheesiness alert.) For us, this is the culmination of our childhood dreams. We're putting together a whirlwind trip to New York City, me from New Hampshire & her from Tennessee, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see our favorite movie come to life & spend a weekend being the kings of New York.

There I be. Ain't I pretty? It's my city.

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