Okay. So about my post yesterday about Willy Wonka and Dusty:  I completely forgot about the third character crush that has always been with me, maybe even longer than Willy, and definitely longer than Dusty. Yeah, I think that’s accurate.

I have been listening to The Phantom of the Opera, I guess you could say every month since the day I could comprehend what music was. I would guess that would probably be around age 5 or so. When I was a little girl I would dance to The Nutcracker and play with my Barbies along to the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera. Even at an early age I found more interest in The Phantom (known in the original French work of Gaston Leroux as Erik) than in the hero of the story, Raoul.

Ramin Karimloo, The Phantom, 25th Anniversary Concert

While I grew up listening to the great Michael Crawford portray this beloved character of mine, I have found that one of the more current portrayals has been closer to The Phantom in my mind: Ramin Karimloo.

Watch his performance of The Music of the Night here:

Willy Wonka and Dusty were… good characters. Well written, yes, but they also have a good moral alignment. The Phantom is… more flexible, let’s say. After all he does murder and torment the entire company of actors, including his love interest Christine. Maybe because of this it instilled in my head that the darkness in human nature is interesting. Serial killers, ghosts, fear, torment… the basic… negativity of the human experience. I believe we are all capable of negative things, whether it’s being grumpy about a bad day or murdering someone.

However let me amend my statement to this: we are capable, yes, but we choose not to give in.

I think that’s something that’s interesting to me as a writer. Rick Castle (who is my spirit animal) describes that he likes to write mystery novels because he wants to “try to understand how criminals can do the things they do.” He knows, just like every writer, especially those that deal with horror and death, (Edgar Allen Poe I’m looking at you), that human nature has this primal urge for revenge, death, violence. And I like to explore how people can do that through my writing.

And I also love writing about people who overcome it. Who look at the good purity that humans are capable of too.

So, to make this short (too late!): The Phantom let me realize that there’s a darker side… no… a primal side to every human. And… that it can be sexy. Or, at least, I learned that later. *wink*

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