Letter to Romeo and Juliet

Occasionally, life throws me a lovely surprise and I suppose it is my positive disposition that rewards me with these surprises from the universe. I think it would make sense to go back in time so that everyone reading this post can have a true understanding as to why I feel that the last week of my life has been an accumulation of positive messages I have put out the universe many years ago and how it is rewarding me at present…

When I was 14 years old, after returning home late in the evening from a Valentine’s Day dance, I noticed my sister watching a movie on television. I casually sat down with her to tell her about the dance, but before doing so, I casually glanced at the tv to see what she was so intently watching. It was then that I became enamoured by what would become, for me, known as an ‘Artist Epiphany’. It was the first time ever that I would see Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet and the very moment I tuned in was when ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ had come palm to palm. Suffice to say, for the remainder of the film, my sister and I did not speak. I was completely immersed in everything from the costumes, cast, and beauty of the film. More importantly, the authentic deliverance of the roles of ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ by Actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting completely blew me away. They were magnificent!

My readers should know that prior to this, my parents had the ‘Complete Works of William Shakespeare’ on the family bookshelf and there it always sat, almost staring back at me, challenging me to open it. Indeed, I had opened it out of curiosity on occasion prior to seeing Romeo and Juliet, but as quickly as I opened it, I would close it. The words were intimidating and confusing. To me, it was the equivalent to attempting an uneducated crack at reading an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph: impossible! I had always been curious as a little girl, and although I had asked my mother and father on occasion about the weighty, giant nemesis (book), I was still very intimidated by its words and so, I never did much more than pick it up and put it back down again.

Then Romeo and Juliet…

Watching the energy and chemistry between actors Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey was not only inspiring and profound, it was hypnotic and magical as well. Their expressiveness and chemistry was so powerful, I became instantaneously thirsty for more. Their acting spoke to my soul. And therein, my quest to understand the daunting heavy volume of Shakespeare and his entire ‘complete works’ sitting on the family bookshelf became more and more familiar the further I read. To this day I can even quote lines from Romeo and Juliet with my eyes closed. While all the kids my age were out at parties and drinking, I was immersed in literature that I wouldn’t even begin being taught in school until grade 10. By then, I had become a Shakespeare novice and blew my teachers away. This opened the doors to exposing myself to more literary geniuses such as Jane Austen, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Elizabeth Barrett & Robert Browning, Louisa May Alcott, and many, many more. Even now, my daughters and I can spend hours immersed in a book store or library surrounding ourselves in books from all genres, ages, and styles.

Along with my love for reading came my love for writing too. I would create comic books (I am a fine artist too), a collection of poetry, and even the beginnings of my own book (still in the works), an autobiography. In this time, I also simultaneously built my own blog site, Starlight Music Chronicles, and began writing reviews and interviews for industry peers in music, film, and even the writing community. Even to this very moment in time, my thirst to learn more about my industry peers and their art continues. I don’t believe any one of us can ever know enough about one another and I believe that we all have a beautiful gift to inspire another to create something beautiful of their own and because of this, writing will continue to be a profound part of my life.

And who do I have to thank for this?

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. That’s who.

Fast forward 31 years to this past week and a half where I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Hussey and Mr. Whiting for my Valentine’s Day SMC #STARLIGHT show on my new website, Candice Anne Marshall Official under my new podcast for February 13th, 2018. I was finally able to personally thank both for being such a prominent presence in my life and for helping me to ditch my fear of literature in favor of having a complete love affair with it. I am sure that they hear compliments of this type a lot, the film was and still is timeless (side note: March 4th marks the 50th anniversary this year of the film too!). However, I don’t know if they truly realize that their art sparked the writing career of this music and entertainment Journalist here in Canada. There will always be a trace of Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting’s passion for their art behind my own art, be it writing or otherwise. 

Here’s my advice to anyone starting out in any endeavor: find your passion and find your muse. I always say, ‘What you think about, you bring about’ and it’s true. I am living proof. What I thought about 31 years ago came to fruition this past week and a half. In my interview with Mr. Whiting, he mentions that his favorite personal scene in Romeo and Juliet was when he looked to the sky and said, ‘Then I defy you stars!’ He said that he appreciates how Romeo decided his own fate and would not let the universe (life) decide for him. I agree with this: we can put our positive wishes out to the universe, but there are never any certainties in life either. We all ride the same roller-coaster of it through twists and turns, ups and downs. We have to work hard for what we want in this life – reward goes hand-in-hand with hard work. But, in the meantime, we can still put these positive wishes out to the universe and trust that they will be answered in their own time. They always are.

There’s a reason I love the stars…x



To tune into my Valentine’s Day special on Limehead Radio February 13th, 2018, go to the homepage of this website and read the bios of Both Ms. Hussey and Mr. Whiting. From there, you can join the Facebook event where I am posting all the promo videos and updates on the event. Don’t forget to use the following hashtags on all your socials:

#ValentinesDay #Viral #RomeoandJuliet #OliviaHussey #LeonardWhiting #RomeoandJuliet50th

My twitter handle is @CAMARSHALLSMC

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