Workthoughts from outside the margins

Was anyone working yesterday? As social media and cable news forecast the financial apocalypse, I escaped to my ‘go to’ twitter account of Tony winning composer, lyricist and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda. (For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past year, he is the leader of the merry band of actors who have been recreating the life of Alexander Hamilton on Broadway in nine performances per week this summer.)

And for those of you who think Twitter is an intellectual wasteland, time to get on board. You are missing out on at least one connection with an innovator who is truly transforming the American musical.

Innovation is one of our most overused words, but John Kander, composer of ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Chicago’ used that exact word to describe Mr. Miranda earlier this month in a New York Times profile.

“Innovators are usually synthesizers — they synthesize everything they know and add their own personal talents, and out comes something new,” Mr. Kander said. “What Lin is is a refreshing and healthy contemporary synthesist of everything he’s known before.”

But I digress. Back to Monday and Twitter and @Lin_Manuel. Let’s just say he has a high level of interaction with his followers. And one of those followers, @jjaxtweets, posted ‘My annual back to school post’, which #YayHamlet retweeted. And here is the message.

“Keep an eye out for that kid in the back of your classroom, scribbling in the margins. He or she is dreaming of worlds we haven’t yet imagined, scribbling toward a place we haven’t yet seen. Engage those kids, get them out of the margins, and there’s no telling where they may lead you.”

This is where a career begins. A parent, a teacher taking time to engage the child scribbling in the margins.

How do you get to Broadway or whatever your dream might be? You really, really need to love what you are doing. Check out the YouTube videos of the Ham4Ham performances between shows for those in the ticket lottery line and you get the idea.

Infuse your dream with the essence of those first scribbles, and the relationships you build over time.

Connect the dots and synthesize everything you know. Constantly nurture your talent. Lifelong learning has no expiration date.

Work really, really hard and have fun.

I think the ‘kid in the back of the classroom’ was Lin-Manuel Miranda. Or was it you?

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