Quote: “If two past lovers can remain friends, either they never were in love or they still are.” –Anonymous
Song: When Your Mind’s Made Up by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from Once
Say It To Me Now by Glen Hansard from Once
The Hill by Marketa Irglova from Once
Location: Los Angeles, CA
In my final year of university, I spent the first portion of my semester portraying the role of Girl from Once. Girl is one of my dream roles and Once is one of my all-time favorite scripts, productions, etc. It’s a love story that doesn’t end happy and to me, that’s everything. Once started out as an indie film and then found success on Broadway. The great thing about Indie’s is that…they don’t have to be Hollywood fluff fairy tales. They can just be real life.
For those who don’t know the story of Once, Girl and Guy fall in love with each other but they never fully admit it. The play ends with Guy going off to New York to chase his ex-girlfriend and Girl stays in Dublin, waiting on a husband who abandoned her in the Czech Republic. If just maybe they could have admitted to each other that they were the ones for each other, then maybe they just could have been happy.
I am a huge enthusiast of fan fiction. I write fan fiction for Friday Night Lights all the time. That’s the best part of being a fan after something ends; you get to decide their future after the show or after the play. Everything has fan fiction. But what I want to know is what the fan fiction for Once is. Because I think it would be just as broken as the play itself. I think Guy went to New York and him and his girlfriend got along for a while but then he realized it wasn’t what he had imagined it to be. It wasn’t the same. It wasn’t the magic he felt with Girl. But at that point, it was too late for him to head back to Dublin. If he did, this story would become too Hollywood. In real life, it would be too late for him. He’d have to live with the fact that he chose the wrong girl and would have that empty space within him.
And what about Girl? I think she continued to stay away from her husband and possibly did end up getting divorced. But she knew she was always in love with Guy. She’s the one who could have stopped him from going to New York yet she let him go. She thought by letting him do what he needed to do, she was doing what was best for him. But when does the time come that you need to stop doing what is best for everyone else and do what is best for you? Because now not only is Guy living in America extremely unhappy, but Girl is a single mom living in Dublin wishing Guy would come back to her because that’s who she truly loved.
It’s amazing the similarities to real life you find when studying a play you’re extremely passionate about. It’s amazing what I was able to instantly connect to. I understand Girl’s life to a tee. And that makes me sad. Because yes she’s amazing for keeping her wants and desires at bay for the better of everyone else around her, but then…when does she get her happy ending? She doesn’t. And that’s super sad. It’s also a neon sign that sometimes…sometimes you have to be selfish and just throw it all out there and hope that it ends up okay. Otherwise there’ll be a lot of regret. You’ll watch your guy, literally and figuratively, walk away.
There could be fan fiction where Guy comes back from New York and tells Girl he should have stayed but let’s be honest….that’s not how Once was written. Once was written to break your heart and surely whatever happens after the playwright’s words, would also break your heart. Because Girl wasn’t just a girl who thought about Guy at 2am when she was bored. She was a girl who thought about him at 2pm during the busiest of days, wondering how he was. All the while, he was thinking about his ex-girlfriend in New York, other than slight moments where he did think about a future with Girl. But because she never said anything, he left.
I’m the girl who thinks about my guy all day long and all night long, wondering how he is, what he is doing, what he’s eating for lunch…oh yea. I’m a sap. I want those monotonous details. But let me tell you boys and girls, it really sucks when it hits you real fast and hard that the guy…is not thinking the same thing. And most likely only thinks of you when he goes to bed. Because you texted him reminding him you exist. Yea…that’s how it happens, but it happens. And it sucks. And then you wonder what you did wrong. Well, you didn’t do anything wrong, as long as you don’t pull a Girl and actually tell him HEY I LOVE YOU STUPID. And when he still says thanks but no thanks…then it’s time to walk away. That’s the end. It has to be. Otherwise you lose your self-respect. Groveling for a guy is not classy and I mean we all do it, but know when acceptable groveling time is over. Know when you need to pick yourself up and go “Hey I left my heart on your driveway, you’ve ran it over too many times. So I’m done.” But if you walk away before telling him HEY I LOVE YOU STUPID….then that’s the story of Once and that will never heal. If he knows and ignores it, that’s not on you. There’s nothing you can do about that other than hope he changes his mind or you meet the guy meant for you, lickety-split.
In my favorite scene of Once, Guy says, “That’s a terrible lesson you have to learn, isn’t it? Wastin’ life ‘cause you’re frightened of it. Terrible.” A terrible lesson that they both learn by the end of this play. Wasted life because they were too frightened to give in to what they truly wanted.
If anyone out there is a huge fan of Once, please, let’s hear your fan fiction! If you haven’t read it or watched it…go do it now!! And for all the Guy’s and Girl’s out there…make sure the person you love knows it before they walk away. Then at least you won’t live with the regret. You’ll just live with a very empty painful spot inside of you that hopefully will eventually get filled. I’m sorry if you’re hoping that they’ll love you back and they don’t. I understand. Girl understands. And I am truly sorry. Go see a production of Once and cry your eyes out, it will help. That or listen to the full soundtrack.
What I want to know is…how many nights did Girl cry herself to sleep before she finally moved on?