Last night I watched the play Hamilton on the Disney Channel. I have wanted to see this production since it came out four years ago, but never made it to a theater near me.
There is something about live performances that is nothing like a movie or a video or a string of pictures. It’s something fresh and raw. You share the energy directly with the actors; you don’t have an editor cutting out mistakes or miscues like in the movie world. You are right there with every breath they take. Every tear they hide.
This performance was amazing.
That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the performance.
What is more amazing is that Lin-Manuel Mandala did it all. The music, the lyrics, the dialogue.
Every now and then you come across someone who is classified as a genius in their special field. Newton. Einstein. Currie. Plato. Aristotle. People who were able to think “out of the box.” So much so that they are the best of the best in their field.
I cannot judge if Lin-Manuel is in the same category as Einstein, but his creativity provided two hours of magic. Rapping, dialogue, story line, music — a magical explosion of creativity.
We are all genuises in our own way. Every time you create some sort of art you are expanding and changing reality to fit your own personal vision. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you pop through the ceiling and find a way to share your talent with the world on a massive scale. Lin-Manuel certainly did.
But if you can’t pop through that almost impermeable ceiling, should you just give up and go back to your day job?
What if your creativity is your day job?
What I have seen, through all my years, all my desires and dreams, is that you just have to keep being you. You have to push yourself, both creatively and socially. You want to get more people to view your work — work on it. Want to move forward on the tract of notoriety? Work on it.
Fame doesn’t just walk in the door and say “let’s go.” It may knock and run, pass your door completely, or say “I’ll be back later.” You have to work hard no matter what comes your way. Work hard to improve, to diversify, to perfect your craft.
And enjoy what you do every day you do it.
It took Lin-Manuel Mandala seven years to write Hamilton. He worked hard, created hard. He crossed the barrier from creative sprite to genius. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. But never give up. Give your art all you have.
Einstein will be proud.