Last year, the entire world bared witness to the incredible, unexpected rise and success of Hamilton: the Musical. Featuring the story of one of America’s most notable political figures, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s iconic masterpiece defied all odds as the Musical achieved successes unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Hamilton proved that there is room for original material in an industry saturated by reboots and sequels. Receiving three Tony Awards for Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Miranda possesses genius in more than just his musical abilities, but also in his writing and acting. With a primarily African-American cast that does not feature a movie star, a rap musical score and hip-hop choreography to tell this historical tale, audiences and critics alike have realized that Broadway will surely never see such a phenomenon ever again.
Before box-office record breaking musical hit the stage, Miranda begun his musical career in New York, where he grew up to the sounds of his own parent’s musical passions. Wasting no time to taste fame, Miranda held a name of his own after composing, writing and acting in “In the Heights”, a musical which he began writing during his time at Wesleyan University.
Despite having experienced a dream sequence of events in the past year, Miranda shows no signs of stopping and is determined to leave a greater legacy. Since he stepped down from the star role in Hamilton, Miranda has spent his time achieving yet another career milestone after directing the musical score for Disney’s “Moana”. It is clear that several other film directors and producers are interested in working with the talented Miranda after being announced to act in Dan Harris‘s “Speech and Debate”, set to release later this year. Miranda has also been casted alongside Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in the musical sequel to Mary Poppins.
With all of the exciting and impressive feats that Miranda has achieved and has yet to conquer, it begs the questions: how does he stay so motivated? Many of the projects of which he has worked on have occurred simultaneously, proving that his genius comes along with true work ethic.
In an interview with Time Magazine, Miranda admits and discusses his long-held obsession with legacy.
“I’ve been worried about legacy since I was a kid. We have this amount of time, it’s the tiniest grain of sand of time we’re allowed on this Earth to be alive. And what do we leave behind and how much–and we’re not even promised a day,” he said. “The drawback of your twenties is the terror of not knowing if you’re actually going to accomplish what you sent out to accomplish.”
Passion and a love of one’s craft is often credited as being the central conduit to creative success, which is true even with respect to Miranda’s own career, however, the fear of failure and denial of seeing your potential through is often times enough to keep ourselves going. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t has much to do with the decision to utilize fear as fuel rather than letting fear conduct its crippling effects. By evidence of this path he is rigorously leading, Miranda clearly chose to rise.
Author: Raazia Rafeek
Raazia Rafeek lives in Toronto writing, painting and studying to complete her final year of her Honours English degree. With an interest and passion for everything creative, she wishes to see her career through in Marketing or hopefully, film and production. Check her work out at www.raaziarafeek.wordpress.com