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‘This is Me’: A Tribute to The Greatest Showman

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(Circus preview show)

I had heard a lot of positive buzz about Hugh Jackman’s movie, The Greatest Showman, but honestly, it wasn’t on my radar at all. Even though Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time, I’m generally not a huge fan of musicals because they often come across as forced and trite but from the opening scene, I knew this was something special. 

Based on the true life story of P.T. Barnum, this visionary rose from nothing to create “The Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and celebration of his larger-than-life imagination that captivated audiences around the globe. 

I have done a lot of promotions with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus over the years and we were given some cool access to the productions and preview shows. Over the years, they have been plagued with allegations of mistreatment of animals  and have fought back, even removing elephants from their shows. But in the world of hyperconnectivity and YouTube, the audiences just weren’t there anymore and after a run of 146 years, their performances came to an end last year. 

I’ll never forget the looks of sheer wonder when I took my kids to the circus and I’m so grateful they were numbered among the final generation to be a part of this celebration of what is possible.

The Greatest Showman is about love and acceptance, of how a bunch of “misfits” in society who rejected by their pwn families were brought together to create magic. With every song that was sung, I kept thinking “this is my favorite” and then each one would be topped with a new favorite.

“This Is Me” was sung by the bearded lady, Lettie Lutz (played by Keala Settle). I loved it so much that when I got home from the movie, I found a version of it on YouTube that completely blew me away. The movie was seven years in development. Prior to getting approved, all of the performers, producers and Fox executives had to meet together in NYC (a process that took eight months) to do a read-through and perform the songs. 

No one had ever heard Keala sing “This is Me” live and what transpired became what she called an “otherworldly experience” in this anthem for the underdog.

If you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman yet, go. Take your children. And teach them that we all play an important role in this big, beautiful world.

[Verse 1: Lettie Lutz] I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

[Pre-Chorus: Lettie Lutz] But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

[Chorus: Lettie Lutz] When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

[Post-Chorus: Ensemble] Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

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