Five easy steps to discovering your new favorite song:
(Note these five easy steps may only work if: 1) you love Broadway and know people’s voices but not neccisarily their names; 2) you care little enough about Grey’s Anatomy to not watch it, but also know enough about it to be aware that they had a musical episode once and to have a vague knowledge of the names of some actors and actresses; 3) you have an affinity for female singer-songwriters confessing their feelings in the style which AV Club writer likes to call “secretary rock”; oh, and 4) if you are me. If you meet all these criteria, you’re golden! Discover away!)
Step 1: Find yourself listening to the Spamalot soundtrack on Spotify. Have the name Sara Ramirez — who plays the diva-licious love interest, the Lady of the Lake I believe, opposite Tim Curry’s doltish King Arthur — strike you as vaguely familiar. Wonder aloud to no one in particular why that name strikes you as vaguely familiar.
Step 2: You think you already know the answer in the back of your head: For some reason you can’t shake the feeling that Sara Ramirez might be that Callie lady from Grey’s Anatomy that showed up a while after you stopped watching the first season, which was, what, like twenty years ago now? You remember hearing that the actress who plays Callie is a very good singer and they did a musical episode of the show based on Callie seeing everything as a musical as she was dying. You should now scoff because Scrubs totally did that plot first and you like Scrubs better. All the same, you want to check your facts. Lots of different ways to do this: check her actress profile on IMDB, look her up on Wikipedia… You know what, to make this more complicated (and more musical!) why don’t you look up “Sara Ramirez Spamalot” on Youtube? Watch these videos:
Step 3: Wow! She’s great! With that personality, she plays that depressing, monotone, totally non-musical character on that soapy doctor show? Really? Alright, if that’s what she likes to do… Look to the left in the related videos column and realize she won a Tony. A Tony! Go her! Looking at that image, you realize she definitely is that Callie girl from Grey’s Anatomy. Okay… Now you search “Sara Ramirez Grey’s.” That second clip down is from that kooky musical episode that everyone said was just okay. Just for kicks, why not? Click:
Step 4: Watch. Fall in love slowly. Be skeptical because the camerawork being used here is, well, strange, to say the least. Give yourself over to the wonder of what you are hearing at the moment where Callie shouts the final chorus. This is a powerful moment. This is the arrival point. You are happy.
Step 5: Look up other musical performances from that strange musical episode. Nope, none are even remotely as good, not even covers of songs you have loved for years (“Breathe 2AM,” “How to Save a Life,” “Chasing Cars,” Grey’s staples all). Now that you have firmly established that there is something special about that song, “The Story,” and since you realize the song must be a cover of an already existing song because every other song in this musical episode was a cover, look up “The Story” on Spotify. (For convenience, here is the Youtube video, which I did not watch until much later and which added nothing to my enjoyment of this song.)
Step 6: At the moment where Brandi Carlile’s voice break at the aforementioned “arrival moment,” stop breathing. Breathing is not an option — it has been taken away. Could it be possible she sticks that arrival a smidge better than Ramirez? She does. Ramirez shouts it full voice, which blows you away. Carlile’s voice gives, it cracks at the perfect moment. You are not blown away. You are drawn in. Foerever more. You know have a new favorite song. Congratulations!