"Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Why the World Belongs to the Do-ers
One of the biggest secrets to success isn't actually a secret at all. It's simply realizing that the world belongs to the do-ers.
On any given day - at any given moment - you make a choice. You do or you don't.
And history tells us, as far back as we can look, that the people who get remembered - did. They did something. They created something. They started something or said something. They took action.
So, while intellectually most of us know this, things aren't as clear when it comes to our daily lives. Think about how you can sometimes feel in your job or your business.
When will they promote me?
Will they hire me?
Would someone ask me to speak?
If I've learned anything, we cannot wait for the opportunities to come our way. We have to do. We have to make things happen.
We don't have control over everything in our lives, but we always - always have the ability to do something. Maybe it's something that will be hard, outside-the-box, or both - but that power lies within us and no one else.
I'd like to share something with you that really celebrates this idea.
I was inspired to write this article after watching a video of a performance from a Broadway fundraiser called Easter Bonnet. The gist is that the current casts of major Broadway shows compete and put on musical sketches for the Broadway Cares charity.
What you need to know before watching the video is that it's a parody of "Gee, Officer Krupke!" from "West Side Story." Instead of Officer Krupke, this time, it's "Gee, Mr. Miranda!"
"Mr. Miranda" is Lin-Manuel Miranda (pictured here), the acclaimed actor, composer, artist, and musician behind the smash Broadway musical, Hamilton (I referenced this show in last week's story).
Lin was inspired to write the "Hamilton" over 6 years ago after reading a biography of Alexander Hamilton that he picked up in the airport on vacation. From this initial inspiration, he workshopped it, wrote the music and lyrics, the script, and he stars in it. He created it from scratch, along with his friends - his tribe of people that inspire him.
With the show being in Lin's signature styles - a mix of Rap, Hip-hop, and R&B - it was anyone's guess if it'd actually work on Broadway - the world's landmark for show tunes.
Fast-forward to today, Lin's created the hottest ticket on Broadway that's everexisted. Hamilton is reportedly earning $500K in profit every week and it has officially broken Tony nomination records, receiving nods for 16 Awards, including Best Musical.
So without further ado, here are the kids of the cast of "Fun Home" presenting their parody of "Gee, Officer Krupke!" from "West Side Story."
"Gee, Mr. Miranda!"
If you can't watch this video right now, save this for later and don't miss it. It made me tear up towards the end.
Here's why - it took a turn that surprised me. The first part of this performance is definitely cute and catchy. It's all about these kids begging Lin to create a new show for them since they are aging out of the show they are currently cast in. Since Lin's Broadway gold right now, they figure that their greatest shot at success would be Lin creating their opportunity.
With this start in mind, the best part of this skit happens at the 3:00-minute mark where the whole song changes in tone. Here's the lyrics that start at this point,
The funny thing about it
Here's the thing with Lin
He didn't wait for someone else to write a part for him
He got his friends together
They made themselves a show
Maybe that's a better way to go
Lin and his buddies
They did it themselves
They didn't wait to get a break from somebody else
They made their own magic
They wrote their own play
Now they're the kings of old Broadway
So make your own magic.
Maybe you've heard the term "call to action" - that's exactly what I want to give you this week.
Make your own magic. Be a do-er.
This doesn't mean that I expect you to go smash records or start a hit musical. It means to keep in mind that the best things happen in life to people who DO - try... start... build. And they don't generally happen to those who don't - those who wait for the opportunities to come.
Remember that when Lin picked up that biography, it was light beach reading. Then maybe it was an inkling of an idea. Then it became some lyrics jotted down in a notebook - a phone call to a friend or a conversation with his wife. And so on from there - one foot doing / trying / becoming in front of the other.
So what will you choose to do right now? Will you write down that idea, set a coffee with a friend, pitch yourself for an opportunity?
Whatever you do, never forget - the world belongs to you.