What the Phantom taught me

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall 
(Image: Courtesy of The Really Useful Group Ltd)

I am not a fan of musicals. And then I stumbled upon The Phantom of the Opera free stream on youtube this recent weekend.

It was a free broadcast of the performance celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the musical. I have never had the opportunity to watch this performance live, and I must admit I was more curious than interested. Since it was free-streaming, why not, right?

The whole performance was electrifying. I am still humming the songs even after several weeks! It was the grand finale that made a strong impression on me. Andrew Lloyd Webber gave a speech to the audience before bringing out the creative teams and the cast, past and present. Heartfelt thanks went to the original company and the orchestra. The audience cheered when he welcomed Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, the original Phantom and Christine. After a couple of performances from the actors who played the Phantom across various productions and Sarah Brightman, the performance concluded when the entire cast and creative teams sang ‘The Music of the Night’.

I can only imagine the amount of work that went into a massive project like this. There were people who have been part of the company since day 1. In interviews, their love of their work and their pride in the end result were apparent. At every step of the process, everyone plays an important part to put together this massive undertaking. Challenges were many, and often seemed insurmountable, but they overcame them.

It sounds rather like our own days at work, doesn’t it? If you are anything like me, I’m sure you have had days where you feel like the only choice left is to get up and leave. There must be something there that stop us from doing just that, though. It could be the realization that the job puts food on our table and a roof over our heads. It could be the feeling that you can’t see yourself doing anything else. It could be many things, many reasons. Watching the grand finale of that performance, it struck me how moved the people on the stage were when the audience applauded them; when their own fellow colleagues reached out their hands and patted them on the back. It reminded me of the rush of emotions I felt upon completing projects with my own colleagues across the years – that feeling of YES, we did it! The feeling that the going through all the high highs and the low lows was worth it. It also dawned on me how I have always wanted to contribute meaning to any assignment I get. After almost 25 years working across industries and now on my own venture, that feeling is still strong.

I hope you continue to show up in your daily work, no matter how mundane it may seem. Because I believe that when we continue to show up, give the best we can, and make time to reflect on our experiences, we will find the strength in our conviction, and stay connected to what brings us joy.

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