The history-making Broadway icon recast history to reflect contemporary America, and found innovative ways to put fans first.
If you ever find yourself in a position to sit down with Lin-Manuel Miranda, know this: You never really “sit down” with Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is always in motion, on a mission; standing still really isn’t his thing. When the 36-year-old composer and lyricist was dreaming up the songs for Hamilton, the Broadway phenomenon that he wrote every line of and currently stars in eight times a week, he would often walk for hours through the streets of New York City, willing the words to come. Even now, he insists that the calmest he ever feels is during the 2 hours and 45 minutes of the show, when he gets to bound around onstage as Alexander Hamilton, “yelling and rapping at the top of my lungs. It’s the most relaxing part of my day.” The physical exertion returns him, every night, to himself, offering an unlikely respite from the attention that’s swirled around him since Hamilton became a cultural and financial force. The only way that Miranda stays whole, now that everyone wants to engage with him—Hollywood, the White House, hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, the music industry, Broadway obsessives, big-money investors, American history buffs, prize committees, schoolteachers, the political establishment—is to keep moving.