Find Your Genius
To many, Lin-Manuel Miranda is considered a pop culture icon. His rap lyrics while beat boxing seem to come so naturally and can be heard week after week in sold out shows of Hamilton. The idea to write a play about one of America’s Founding Father’s came to him while reading the 800 page biography “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. The phenomenon that is Hamilton was nominated for a record setting 16 Tony Awards. Some consider Lin-Manuel Miranda to have reached living legend status, and not just in the playwright world but by any standard.
Miranda did not write Hamilton thinking it would be a huge success, but instead wrote it because he loved the story. Up to that point, all he knew about Alexander Hamilton was that he was on the $10 bill and died in a duel but he soon learned, Hamilton was also an immigrant who helped shape the country, and that was something Miranda felt a deep connection to. He incorporated hip hop and a diverse cast because he wanted to create a bridge between history and help make it more relevant.
Despite all of his accomplishments, Lin-Manuel Miranda is quick to remind people that his success is not necessarily a stroke of genius but rather a focus on work ethic. Miranda started writing his first play as a teenager. It took him 10 years to complete; however, “In the Heights” eventually did make it to Broadway and received much praise. When he began writing the lyrics for Hamilton, it took him an entire day to write two verses. The second song, “One Shot,” took Miranda an entire year to complete. Apart from the time he was putting into his passion project, many people he trusted around him said it would never work and that he should give up. Luckily, he stuck to it and created history. Miranda goes on to suggest that the process and the pain is part of the satisfaction in creating something so special.
This is a reminder that “genius” does not happen overnight. It requires hard work and perseverance. In this week’s #MakeItHappen Monday, work on finding your genius. It may take some time, but your choices have an impact and may even change history. If you believe you are creating something good, don’t give up. Let us know how you are persevering by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social
Go make it happen, Luly & the YTeach Team
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein