The Secret to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Success? Standing Ovations From His Parents

by ParentCo. September 07, 2017

A person inside a TV

I came to my obsession with Lin-Manuel Miranda much later than most people. I didn’t discover him until well after tickets to "Hamilton" had reached mortgage payment levels. So I tried my best to catch up without actually ever seeing the play. I searched news stories and YouTube videos about him, and – if I do say so myself – I did pretty well at becoming a fan of the first order without, you know, being a complete stalker. The pieces of his life that struck me most, though, weren’t the obvious. Not the trips to the White House, or the interviews where he told about his dismal days as a DJ at Bar Mitzvahs in Queens, or how his bus driver taught him old-school rap on his long rides to and from school in New York City. It was watching a video of him holding court as a little boy. My favorite is when he is about eight years old. He is doing a video book report on "The Pushcart War." As narrator, he’s dressed in a little boy suit and tie, reading from copy. He changes into costume several times as the plot progresses. His father is behind the camera, his sister in charge of cue cards. In one extended scene, his mother, his abuela, and his great-grandmother play the parts of striking teachers, marching around the room, holding signs and chanting. Convincingly. When I was eight, book reports were relegated to pencils and lined paper. But I recall with great clarity, the times I got it into my head that I could sing or dance (usually at the same time) with the likes of Doris Day or Peggy Lee. I would prance down the stairs into the living room, where my parents would already be seated on the couch, waiting for my rendition of a song I’d heard on the radio. Standing ovations every time. It never once occurred to me I was mediocre at best. Never once. That realization came to me much later, slowly, when I had moved on to my next potential occupation. I decided I’d be a writer instead. My parents changed course accordingly. These days I spend lots of my time with a little boy who’s four. He is partial to acting out fairy tales in great detail, with voices and inflection we marvel at. He’s not shy about giving out (or abruptly rescinding) speaking parts to the adults in the room. We’re all thrown into the narrative, whatever it is at that moment. We have no idea if he will still be loving this so much in another year, or if we’ll be riding another train with him by then. Broadway was a long way off on the day of Lin’s video book report. But everyone in the room knew their parts by heart and played them with relish anyway. They circled around him, holding their props, reciting their lines, and saying – without saying it directly – “This is the most terrific kid ever.” I turned out to be a pretty pitiful singer and dancer. On the other end of the spectrum, Lin-Manuel Miranda is finding the world crazy in love with his talent. Isn’t it funny, then, that he and I have something in common. Those moments when you remember their beaming faces, taking a bow, hearing the applause: We both came from a home of standing ovations. This article was originally published in Huffington Post.


ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

dont touch
What to Consider When Baby and Toddler Proofing Your Home

by Charlie Fletcher

There’s no way to completely limit baby's exposure to risks. Yet, there are some practical steps you can take to ensure that they can be in a safe environment.

Continue Reading

mother and baby
The Evening Ritual That Transformed Our Bedtime Routine

by ParentCo.

Taking inspiration from "Goodnight Moon," and research on restorative sleep, I created a routine that has put an end to our bedtime battles. Here's what we do.

Continue Reading

two women smiling
5 Steps to Giving (Good) Advice to New Parents

by ParentCo.

Here are five easy steps to giving your new-parent loved ones the advice they are looking for without looking like an idiot. (Often times, just listen!)

Continue Reading