I’m not a fan of musicals. Typically, I’m checking my watch and wondering when intermission is.
…And then last week I saw Hamilton.
How I got to go was a true miracle. I had been wanting to go but not planning to due to the high cost of tickets and, truth be told, I was interested in the phenomenal success of the show but not obsessed with going. I could take it or leave it.
Then, my dad called saying that he had won tickets for the matinee the next day. I happily said yes at my good fortune and went to meet him at the theater. As we entered, Dad said that he had been told that the tickets were likely to be for seats with obstructed views.
Boy was he wrong about that!
Our tickets were FRONT ROW CENTER. My seat was literally right behind the orchestra conductor. We were so close that we could see the actors spit (I know, gross).
Over the next few hours, I sat—spellbound. The performance was incredible, from the set to the costumes to the dancing to the actors to the singing to the music to the story.
…Ah, the music—hard to describe, and impossible to forget.
I was sad when the performance was over. I was enthralled and engaged in the entire performance, from start to finish.
Since then, I have been humming the tunes and thinking about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s achievement creating this incredible body of work.
To me, he feels like the Beethoven of our time. I don’t think it’s overstating it to say so. The way he was able to craft all the rhymes and blend the historical story with a range of modern music styles, complete with nods to Beyonce and others, blew me away.
What I think is most interesting is that Hamilton came out of Miranda’s imagination. He read the book on his vacation and thought: This would make a great musical. And then he got to work. The effort took him a long time, with at least one song taking at least a year to write. Talk about a labor of love.
What I love about this story is that we receive the gift of this show because Miranda had a vision, an urge of creativity, and he acted on it. He didn’t question it, he acted on it. We are able to learn about history, enjoy different kinds of music, and experience a performance that is both timeless and perfectly relatable to present day circumstances.
Walking out of the performance I was inspired, and that glow has continued way beyond the dimming of the show lights.
I’m inspired to connect to my own creativity, tapping in to that inner voice and not questioning it, striking while the iron is hot and running with the spark of the ideas that come to me in quiet moments. Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic talks about how it is important to indulge an idea when it “visits” you, because the idea will eventually leave if you don’t.
I find myself wondering about how many immensely important contributions we lose out on experiencing because people don’t indulge their creativity when inspiration strikes. We need these creative contributions, perhaps now more than ever, to entertain and galvanize us, to provide solutions to complex problems and to make our world a place we want to raise the next generation in.
So, I encourage you to listen for that whisper of inspiration when it strikes, to not question the idea’s worth and calm any inner critic voice that you hear and just indulge the whim of creativity.
You never know where it will lead, and how it will positively impact both your life and others. Who knows, it may end up being the next Hamilton!