As some of you may know, I'm currently in Michigan playing Skip in The Meadow Brook Theatre's production of Life Could be a Dream. The show is a 50's Doo-Woop jukebox musical written by the same team that brought you The Marvelous Wonderettes. It's pure, fluffy fun; we're a week into rehearsals, and I'm having a great time.
My character sings this song in the show, and we rehearsed it today. While Etta James's version is the one that comes to mind for most people, I actually found this one by The Harptones that's a bit closer to the arrangement in the show.
No offense to Etta, but I actually prefer this one. Etta bares her soul as she always does, but here the simple vocals and adherence to the melody let the plaintive 12/8 phrases do the emoting. And the doo-wop harmonies underneath are just perfect.
Aside from the immediate effect of making me miss my boyfriend, the song got me thinking about schedules. As any civilian will tell you, it's not easy dating anyone in the arts. Musicians, actors, visual artists, writers, directors, etc. may all have different problems associated with their respective fields, but we all have one thing in common: we don't conform to normal schedules. I'm writing this on a Saturday night because I have rehearsal tomorrow, and my day off is Monday (thanks Equity!). And even though the cast was invited to a party tonight, I'm pretty worn out after 8 hours of singing and dancing, so a night of tea and blogging sounded quite nice.
A frequently heard adage among artists of all kinds is "If you think you can be happy doing something else with your life, you should." I had several "real jobs," with a desk and normal hours and benefits and everything, and I was miserable. I'm glad to have learned that, though, because I know I can't conform to a Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule. Even my survival job (teaching and tutoring), has odd hours - I need that kind of flexibility in my life. Normal people need structure, but as Tom Stoppard says in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, "We're actors! We're the opposite of people!"
What strikes me as so interesting about this song is that it seems to play for both teams. A "Sunday Kind of Love," of course, is one that makes it through the weekend. But what's more conventional here? Having a weekend fling or a steady love that will be around "when Mondays are cold"? The song speaks to the fact that weekends are for fun, but yearns for more than that. When you're a working actor, the weekends are work days - particularly two-show-Saturdays, so you're hoping you've got a Sunday kind of love waiting for you at home even if you have to work weekends.
When I moved in with my boyfriend, he told me one of the things he was looking forward to the most about living together was having Sunday night dinners. This caused a some friction at first because I was reluctant to be pinned down to what I felt was a "conventional" schedule, but it's now become one of my favorite rituals. I know come tomorrow night, I'll be missing sitting down to one of his amazing home-cooked meals. Maybe that's what a Sunday kind of love really is: one that makes you feel like you've got someone who's with you no matter what day of the week it is or who has to get up for work the next day.