21 March 2016

*Dance Break*

Lights up on Washington Heights, up at the break of day
I wake up and I got this little punk I gotta chase away
Pop the grate at the crack of dawn, sing
While I wipe down the awning
Hey y’all, good morning

I've talked and lightly referenced some of what I've been listening to since before Christmas. Sit back and get comfy. Let's really talk about what's going on. 
Sometime before Thanksgiving, I tried listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on Spotify. Yes I was listening to it at work, so I had a lot going on, but I just couldn't get into it. I was disappointed because at this point, almost all of the internet was in love it. Was it me? 
Some time later I tried again. And again. And again. And somewhere in that mess, I got stuck. I found myself singing a cleaned up version of the title song to my 4 month old nephew, loving the beat and suddenly realizing that I have no idea what he will be when he grows up. That realization hit me hard and I had to stop singing and kiss and snuggle him while I still can. 


I had help. My friend Megan was a great supporter as I delved deeper into the wonders of the soundtrack. We would text lines back and forth, talk about it online, and during really difficult times at work, sing relevant parts of "Burn" and "The Adams Administration" under our breath. (Yeah, you know which lines.)
I told everyone about it at Christmas. Everyone. I'm not sure how it even came up in conversation, but I made sure it did. I'm sure it was a very interesting time for everyone around me. 

Somewhere between then and now, I got my hands on In the Heights, Lin's first Broadway show. I love the musical stylings and how it makes this uncoordinated white girl want to dance. (I'm sorry if anyone has to witness that. I'm not sorry it's happening, just sorry you have to see it.) I have it set to repeat on all the devices and usually play the first track before I start making my coffee first thing in the morning. I sing with Usnavi about making coffee in the heat of the morning as I shiver in my freezing cold apartment. 

And then of course the Grammys happened. And wow. The world was blown away. I can't talk about this without talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda. The man wrote two Broadway shows and the amount of work he put into them just astounds me. In the Heights was something he came up with in college and worked and worked at it. It changed a lot from then until it landed on Broadway (and is now showing in London, 8 years after it premiered in the states) and it was okay. He hardly had finished that and started Hamilton. He worked on that for years, confessed to spending a good part of a year on ONE SONG, but he kept working. My brain hurts at not having a next day solution for things. Can you imagine working on the same thing for a year, playing with words until they fit just the way you need them to? In all of this, he didn't stop living; the man got married, has a baby and continues to write, work, and perform 8 shows a week. 

I've talked a little about this before when I talked about celebrity. I know we see  only what Lin-Manuel allows us to see. He has a lot to him that the world doesn't know about, things only his wife, parents, son and close friends know. (I believe this is a good way to live, by the way.) But the drive that he makes very public is incredibly inspiring to me. And I think if he knew that I use his music and words to encourage my writing and living and life goals, he would say that his music had done it's job. 

What inspires you? What makes you get up in the morning, even the bad ones? 
Turn your music extra loud today and dance it out. And in the dance breaks that your day allows, thank an artist for the work they do that makes your life a little bit brighter.