Yesterday, we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the amazing leaps and bounds he took for the Civil Rights movement. I’d like to flip the script a little and talk about another amazing man today, one who is walking down a similar path towards equal rights for all. Today, I’d like to celebrate Lin Manuel-Miranda.
Frankly, I don’t even know where to start with this. I don’t want to bore too many people with the full background and details of his growing up. Instead, I’d like to talk more about how his work has impacted me and what I see coming for Lin.
When I was in high school, I was a huge theater geek. I mean, I walked around all day and listened to nothing more than musical after musical after musical. I auditioned for every show that my school put on and made sure that everyone in the drama department knew who I was. I even ended up deciding that I was going to major in Theater when I left for college, but I’ll get to that.
It was my Junior year in high school. I was hooked on Rent and Wicked, I couldn’t stop listening to them. But, one of my fellow theater folk decided to introduce me to another amazing show. This, was In The Heights. From the moment I started listening, I was hooked. The mixture of Latino cultures, the hip-hop, the raw emotion that I felt during any song including Abuela Claudia. It was amazing. I would show all of my friends, assuring them that this was going to be the next big show and sure enough, it was.
I would continue listening to this for years to come, slowly realizing that I was not destined to become a theatrical master. But, it never took away from my love of theater. It was two years ago that I was introduced, once again, to another amazing piece of work from Lin Manuel-Miranda. A story of a young immigrant from a tiny Caribbean island, coming to change the course of the US Nation for good. The story of a man’s life who I never thought would impact mine in such a way, that I have changed my whole viewpoint on where I was going and what I wanted to do with myself. A musical that has made me laugh, made me cry, and that I am counting down the days until I see in Chicago. This show, this story, is the greatest work I have been able to enjoy this far into my life and I cannot wait to see what is coming next. If you haven’t followed it, I recommend it more than anything else. The loudest case the story makes for me is simple. Do not throw away your shot. Do not give up on what you want out of life and pursue it until your final breath.
So, with the utmost respect I can put into these words, Thank You Mr. Miranda. Thank you for everything that you have done and everything that you continue to do. You are an amazing human being and I wish there were more people like you out there.
Today is a shorter post. Classes have started back up and I want to stay on top of them the best that I can. But, be on the lookout later this week as I post another fantastic Q&A session. This time around, I have the privilege of talking to the Vice-President and Head of Creative Development for Frederator Studios, Eric Homan!
I’d love to hear from any of you out there reading on what you’d like to see next or if you’ve had an amazing experience with someone’s work like I did with Lin’s. Be sure to comment below and find me out there in the social mediaverse.
Do not throw away your shot folks.