I’m a Hamilton junkie. It really is addictive music. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. Last summer I got to see it in Chicago. The actor who played Hamilton was amazing, but he was not Lin Manuel Miranda. And I was okay with that.
I am also a Wicked junkie. It was my musical addiction before I found Hamilton. My entire family had the chance to see it on Broadway many years ago, and I’ve seen it each and every time it has come to Omaha. But I have never seen Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth do it, and I am okay with that.
Someone (I think my sister) shared this version of First Burn from Hamilton with me a while ago. (It is a must-listen but wait until you read this to the end.). It is indescribable. It is a version of the song performed by many of the different actresses who have played Elizabeth Schuyler (Eliza) in the show. They are as different as they are talented, and the song was a powerful reminder to me that no one person in a role, or in a job, is the only person who can do it well.
We’ve reached the point in the school year where shifts are happening. My daughter is getting a new principal. One of the best English teachers I have ever known is taking on a new role in administration. Teachers are changing grade levels and subject areas and buildings. And it is scary, and it is exciting. All at the same time.
If you are taking on a new challenge next year, embrace the excitement. The change can be the hardest thing you’ll ever do professionally, and it can be the best thing you ever do professionally. All at the same time.
If you are losing someone to one of those new roles, embrace the change. As amazing as the person in that role now is, the person who steps in next will be amazing as well. Give them a chance.
The best lesson in the song though is not the power of each individual singer. The best lesson in the song is how much better it is when they are each in the role together. When you listen, if you are also a Hamilton junkie, or even if you are not, you will hear what I mean. The power is in having all of their voices.
Every person leaving a role this year has also left an indelible mark on it. Trust that your new leaders will be better because of the foundation laid by the ones leaving, and they were better because of the ones before them. The power is in having all of their voices.
I’m sure Lin Manuel Miranda in person is a Hamilton unlike any other. It is his music after all. But I didn’t miss his voice when I saw it in Chicago. I enjoyed the person in the role at that moment. I hope you can do the same.
*Photo Credit: Hunter Phipps