(Photo by Jeremy Daniel)
Okay…did you listen to WFYL1180 AM’s From Bullets To Broadway, The Anatomy of A Broadway Show, featuring Emergency the Musical this past weekend? If you did, then you heard Emergency’s main character, Justin sing his “I Want Song,” Where I’m Mean To Be. (The song demo that you heard is sung by Cole Winston). Along with show host, Sgt. Dan McCaughan, “Un-Block The Music,” learned the definition of the “I Want Song” as a number that comes early in the show with the main character singing about their desire, moving the musical forward.
How did high school student Jacob Foy and his dad, Dr. Jeff Foy know how to create that song back when they started writing the show in Jacob’s room in Indiana? Truth is…they didn’t know. At first the duo just wrote a loose outline of what they wanted their musical story to be. As you may remember, Forever In Your Eyes, was the first song they wrote. “We knew that was a moment in the show we wanted to get to, but didn’t know, at first, how the story would get there. The narrative came to life, then design came. Jacob actually first heard about “I Want” songs from an interview with Lin Manuel Miranda that he heard. That unstructured writing is not a bad thing. Getting the story on paper in some form is a most important first step. (Read details on the initially writing: https://unblockthemusic.blog/2020/06/01/ken-davenport-points-to-tools-that-helped-the-foys-create-2-shows-for-the-new-york-stage-rebroadcast-of-bullets-to-broadway-this-saturday-june-6th/)
In terms of how a song moves the book along, Jeff said, “We almost cut Where I’m Meant To Be from the show because it just didn’t fit at first. It was in the wrong place. It was the wrong style. It just wasn’t working. At least we were in tune enough to know that!”
Jacob said, “we sat down one day to work with it, and eventually got it to something we liked better. We took that, and changed it a lot more until we got something we really loved. It’s unrecognizable from its original form.”
“Un-Block The Music” challenges readers to pick the “I Want” song from musicals they have seen. If you haven’t seen a musical, think about Disney. “Frozen’s” Anna sings For The First Time In Forever. Moana sings How Far I’ll Go.
Are there other numbers in a show that fit a specific blueprint? There is the “11 o’clock number” which is the big, show-stopping song that occurs late in the second act sung by a major character. It comes as an important realization that there is no turning back. We haven’t heard that song in Emergency yet…stay tuned for that one.
If you missed this episode of From Bullets To Broadway, it will be re-broadcast on WFYL1180 AM (www.1180wfyl.com) at noon this Saturday, June 27. Archived chapters can also be found here: www.BroadwayBullets.com.
For past stories about Emergency on “Un-Block The Music”, just put “Emergency” in the search bar. And, if you don’t want to miss anything else, you can follow the blog on social media, or better yet, scroll down and hit “follow” on the right side of the screen.