The video is of Keala Settle singing This Is Me during a workshop session for the movie The Greatest Showman.
As is told in the video, the director Michael Gracey had urged Keala to “step out into the ring (metaphorically)” and you can see the moment when Keala does just that: she steps into the ring and owns the song.
I love this version of the song much more than the final, more polished, version because of the raw emotion.
As the songwriters (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) explain in this article Michael had asked that they “write a moment for the oddities when they really claim their identity.”
This is Me is that moment where the oddities “step into the spotlight and own who they are”.
I think that’s why the song resonates with me. I often feel like I am odd because I know that I am not “like them”.
I know that ‘spotlight’ is associated with performing, but what if I viewed it another way? Instead of hiding who I am behind the mask of a persona, what if I stepped into the spotlight of my true identity?
What if I embraced the message of this song, stepped into the metaphorical ring, and carried my piece of the puzzle?
I don’t mean publicly and I don’t mean this in an obnoxious/in your face/justification of bad behaviour way.
Instead, I wonder what would happen if we each stopped looking at who we are not, and started telling ourselves: “I make no apologies. This is me.”