To be clear, as usual, I do not know Anna Kendrick or Skylar Astin. But you know when you see someone right at the beginning of their career and you think they’re amazing and clearly going places? Then, as they get more famous, because they’re so great, you kind of feel like you know them or are in some way responsible for their success. It’s like a new cast member of Saturday Night Live, or a really amazing guest star on Law and Order who then does commercials and ends up in your favorite movie five years from now. I saw the original cast of Rent on Broadway and now all of the principal actors in that show are famous. I feel proud of them for their success, as if I know them personally to be deserving.
I saw Pitch Perfect last night which starred Anna Kendrick and Skylar Astin. You probably know Anna Kendrick as the Oscar nominee opposite George Clooney in Up In The Air, or as Joseph Gordon Levitt’s therapist in 50/50. However, she and I go back even further than that. She was in the movie Camp, which was the story of a summer at Stagedoor Manor, a camp that I attended. Not only was she amazing and hilarious in that movie, it took place at the camp where I had spent a summer. I knew people at camp who were in that movie with her. So when she started popping up in bigger films I was so excited for her because I felt like I could understand how hard she was working to get where she has gotten, since people I know were doing the same thing. And she has the talent to back it up. Now she’s carrying Pitch Perfect and really grounding the movie while also allowing the audience to feel it’s silliness.
Here’s a video of Anna rockin’ it in Camp. She takes over when the star of the show mysteriously falls ill (because Anna’s character poisoned her):
And then there’s Skylar Astin. You probably don’t know who Skylar Astin is yet, but you will after this movie. I know Skylar Astin from the original cast of Spring Awakening, another Broadway cast that has gone on to serious fame (Lea Michele was the lead in Spring Awakening). Skylar played Georg, but his character’s name isn’t what made him stand out. Skylar had the solo at the end of the song Touch Me, one of my favorite show tunes ever. His voice velvet, there is no other way to describe it. I lost count of how many times I saw Spring Awakening when it was on Broadway, but I think it was around 13. I did actually meet Skylar a few times because I used to hang out at the stagedoor (as I’ve been known to do). With him, even more than with Anna, I feel almost a sense of ownership, like I had him first. I spent so much time with Spring Awakening the show and the soundtrack. While I’m so thrilled for him and his success, there’s an element of “I told you so” with my friends who never understood my love of Spring Awakening. In Skylar’s case, it’s so great when really talented people work hard and get the recognition they deserve.
Here’s Touch Me. Sit back and enjoy (he starts at 2:30)!
In the end, if you like music, a cappella, Rebel Wilson, rom coms, and coming-of-age tales, go see Pitch Perfect. I went with members of my a cappella group and we had a great time. It is such a fun movie with killer performances. I plan to listen to the soundtrack on repeat until the DVD comes out and then I’ll watch that over and over. That’s just how I role.
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The Pitch Perfect Trailer: