Saturday, 7 January 2017

Why Hamilton is important to me as a Teen of Colour||

Hello guys,

Today I want to write about a) my favourite musical at the moment b) how it has impacted me as a teen of colour and c) why Lin Manuel Miranda is the best person on this earth. (I recently found out that he is in London meaning that I am breathing the same air as him and the prospect of ever bumping into him makes me squeal). Enough of the fangirling, let's begin.

Firstly, I will talk about my history with musicals. Before I joined secondary school, I didn't know what musicals were until I started having singing lessons in year 7. My teacher introduced me to the wonderful world of musics and of course WICKED. Musicals have always helped me get through things. For example, when I was bullied in year seven to stop myself from going down a dark path I would repeat to myself every morning "Think like Elphaba" because I admired her as a character. She was different, smart, green and ambitious but was bullied as well but go through it and it so weird how a musical soundtrack helped me get through that part of my life.
Being bullied for being different is something I struggled with for a while and sometimes I remember it and cry and this is why musicals are so important to me. This was when I knew I wanted my life to lead in that direction.

This is now the part you are waiting for: How Hamilton affected me and why it is important to me.

This all started when I told my siblings in my high pitched voice "I want to be the black Elphaba and I will be" which was responded with laughs from my siblings. They told me that the west end and Broadway don't hire black people especially dark skinned girls into theater roles. I am so angry with myself that I listened to them, so angry that I didn't pick GCSEs which meant that I would  be able to do Musical Theater, so angry that I let myself  believe that I couldn't do it.

I am everything the musical world doesn't want to hire into roles. I am extremely dark skinned with an afrocentric nose, east african and really skinny with braids in my hair. When I found out about Hamilton I was shocked. A successful musical about old white men but played by people of colour? And it has hip hop in it? AND it's successful? AND it involves my two favourite things history and MUSIC? Whaaaattt?(hamilton reference if you 'know' you know) I thought it was a dream. 

Representation matters guys. If me 5 years ago could hear about Hamilton, I wouldn't have been discouraged, I would've said "Yes this is possible" and I would probably listen to the soundtrack throughout over and over again for a good 3 years.

Now that Hamilton is coming to the west end, I have never been more excited. I hope the tickets are affordable though but I would love to thank Lin Manuel Miranda because he has taken a step forward into making musicals more diverse. 
I hope to one day see an Elizabeth Schuyler with dark skin and non-western features with braids or twists in her hair because that it something I would look up to.

Thank you for reading, 
Naomi...xxx

P.S. I WOULD LOVE IT IF YOU CHECKED OUT MY COVER OF 'TAKE A BREAK' FROM HAMILTON AND SHARED IT!