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I may be related to Alexander Hamilton.
I have done no research to back up this claim, and I have zero evidence to support it. Still, anything is possible.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical depicting Hamilton’s life continues to be the hottest selling ticket on Broadway. The show also is running concurrently in Chicago and touring across the country. And this month, the show is playing in Durham. Several of my friends and family members have seen it. I know that I’m not supposed to covet, but this is not my neighbor’s ox or donkey. This is “Hamilton.”
Even if I am not a Hamilton cousin several times removed, I have lived with the music his life inspired ever since my son introduced it to me several years ago. As a family, we have listened to the soundtrack at least 100 times. We have listened to it in the car so much that I now think I can rap. My son assures me this is not the case.
My son loves the show more than I do. He’s a diehard fan. He knows “Guns and Ships” by heart. He knows the entire score by heart. He needs to see this show, and I’m determined to get him there.
The tickets are completely out of our price range, so we’ve been creative. We’re playing the ticket lottery every single day. Honestly, I’ve played the actual lottery a couple of times, too. I’ve requested press passes. I’ve entered contests — so many, many contests. No luck.
Yet, we believe that one day we will be “in the room where it happens.” And while being a columnist for a small-town paper may not help, I don’t see how it can hurt. Cousin Alexander was a writer, too. I’d like to think he’d approve of my methods.
I wouldn’t turn down tickets, but this is much more than a solicitation. It’s an exercise in boldness, a quality I’m working to improve in myself. I am learning to be unafraid to give voice to the things I want in my life.
For so long, I’ve worked to make sure we had what we needed. Somewhere along the way, I forgot to keep an open place in my heart for the things I want, the things that I just do for fun, the things that probably won’t do much to make the world a better place but will create a happy, lasting memory for me and the people I love.
If I can’t do anything else for my son, I at least want him to be unafraid to give voice to his wildest, most outlandish dreams. Start talking about the things that may not look realistic right now. It can be a hard thing to do, especially when, out of sheer necessity, everything in your life has to be practical.
One of the things gleaned from Cousin Alexander’s life (at least in the musical) is that he pursued his dreams, not practicality. He did whatever he had to do to make his dreams a reality. Because he’s probably family, some of that lives in me.
Like the song says, “Just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, I need three tickets to “Hamilton.” Thank you in advance.
LaMonique Hamilton Barnes is a reporter and copy editor for The Wilson Times. She blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com.