So: I saw Hamilton.
It was so amazing, and there’s no way I can do it justice, but here’s what I got: (my fellow soldiers will tell you I’m a terrible shot) *ahem* Art is awesome.
Art can be a million different things. A sprawling epic series, like The Lord of the Rings, is art. A snapshot of an emotion, like some poetry, is art. An image of a physical scene, like a photograph or painting, is art.
Google defines art as, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination… producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
I’m a writer, so some of my favorite beautiful or emotionally powerful things to appreciate are stories. And currently, Hamilton is one of my favorite stories (of course). It’s brilliant- from the ‘simple’ things like the rhymes to the more complex things like the themes and the characters.
One thing I love about Hamilton is how many levels of art it has. If it were told in prose, it would still be a beautiful story, what with the contrast between Burr and Hamilton, the battle with time, and Eliza carrying on the legacy. Then there’s the music, which is catchy and great (“Guns and Ships,” anyone?), a skill in itself. The lyrics are a work of genius (“Burr, you disgust me” “Ah, so you’ve discussed me”), with brilliant rhymes and excellently handled repetition.
Then there’s a multitude of visual components- the acting (Jefferson’s gestures were great, and King George’s facial expressions were absolutely hilarious), the dancing, the lighting, the costumes… the list goes on. Altogether, Hamilton is amazing.
Seeing this show reminded me of the reward of making art. There’s not an immediately apparent reason behind spending years devoted to a work that, most likely, won’t give much monetary return (unless you’re the next Lin Manuel Miranda). But it’s still worth it, if only to bring a little more excitement into the world. We need that excitement, we need that color breaking up our day to day lives. When it’s gone, we’ll go mad. So don’t throw away your shot to create more great art for this world.