Okay so here is a guest post from Sierra who blogs at I Dreamed A Dream!
Remember if you'd like to share your expirence of how you found Les Mis, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a small introduction about yourself (Optional), your expirence, and your favorite Les Miserables related picture.
Over and Out!
Hello everyone, my name is Sierra, I’m a home school sixteen year old (fixing to turn 17 yay ) and obviously a huge Les Miserable fan. Of course since our fandom is home to such a large variety of fans everyone's story of how they found Les Miserables is always different and unique. That’s why I’m so honored to have been asked to share my own experience of finding Les Mis with all you wonderful people. Now where to start, where to start…
I guess it all started when I was twelve. I had just finished studying the French Revolution in history and since I’ve had the great opportunity to be home schooled my mom chose to broaden the study to cover the period after the revolution as well. Obviously French history is far from boring and there are so many book series and movies focused on it. One night we ended up watching the 1998 Bille August version of Les Miserables (which honestly isn’t that bad) Anyhow the movie focuses on Javert/ValJean and Marius/Cosette. Even though the barricade is included none of the boys are named (now I can pick them out by character) and at the time I hadn’t even heard of the Les Amis much less Eponine. Because my first brush with Marius and Cosette as a couple was completely without knowledge of Eponine they instantly became perfect for each other in my mind’s eye (they still are) Sadly, I viewed Javert as a villain, when in truth neither he nor ValJean are bad, only both misunderstood. Time went on and I forgot about the movie…yep…I forgot all about Les Miserable. That is until a year later when I came across a video of someone singing On My Own. Instantly I fell in love with Eponine’s character even though all I knew was that she was in love with someone (didn’t know it was Marius) and that her life was very hard. I could identify with her hard life since my dad had just lost his job. She was one of the only things that kept me going when time were tough and trust me there were lots of times. Thankfully I wasn’t exactly ‘on my own’ and had a loving family who stuck together as climbed out of the rut we had fallen into. During this time I had limited internet access so I would typically only watch bits of Eponine singing but I did watch One Day More and I remember wondering who the dark haired young man was who sung with so much passion. He intrigued me but I could never find out who he was. As it turns out I was watching a clip form 25th anniversary concert but of course I didn’t know that. I also didn’t know that I had listened to one of the greatest Enjolras of all time. Time when on, my dad got a great job, we moved, my life got better, and although I still knew next to nothing about Les Miserables I never forgot how Eponine had helped me out. Then this last summer I was at the library and came across the 10th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables. Something inside of me told me to grab it so I did. After that I never looked back. Of course some things were very confusing (how did Eponine and Marius know each other?) but I felt such a deep and strong connection with the story that it didn’t matter. Next thing I knew I was holding our library’s copy of Julie Rose’s Les Mis translation. In that book I was introduced to the barricade boys and the real Eponine who have taught me so much about life and love. The beautiful yet sad stories Hugo wove together absolutely inspired and transfixed me. My heart has been stolen by the words, the songs, and now the movie. Since then I’ve read four different versions of the brick, meaning all together I’ve read it six times. I’ve educated myself on all the different productions, actors, as well as the Les Miserable fandom, which I’m still very new to since I only joined right before Christmas, and I've had the joy of helping re-write many of the Les Miserables songs to fit a new 'show' called Barricade Boys:The Musical. Although I might not have always been close to Les Miserable my road with it has been a long one and I can hardly remember a time when it wasn't there in some aspect. Now I have a long road ahead of me where I’ll join all the other fans who are climbing to the light!