Dear Lin-Manuel, Alex and Tommy,
You don’t know it, but this summer you probably collectively saved my life. In May, the little security I had crumbled once again. My degree, which I sacrificed a fair amount for (as did others) went down the tubes. I got told I was likely going to be made redundant. And I discovered that I people had abused my trust. As the weeks went on, and the stress mounted to the point where my body wouldn’t hold food, I couldn’t sleep and my skin attacked itself – I just wanted to escape. I wanted more than ever to die, and I considered taking my own life more than once because I couldn’t handle living here on earth anymore.
A few months before this happened, I had pre-ordered the CD of the Hamilton Musical. I’d seen clips on social media watching interviews, Tony performances, the Ham4Ham show.. I loved the bits I’d heard and was desperate to listen to the whole thing from start to finish. The day after I got rejected from my dream job after weeks of interviews in the midst of being ill and firefighting, the CD arrived in the post. It became my lifeline. On long car journeys to fix my trashed flat. On the long commute to my minimum wage job. When I would sit on the floor of a shopping mall eating lunch and reading before my shift started. As I listened to Alexander, Eliza, Angelica…it was like a beat to keep going. I would listen to the opening song over and over…thinking if Alexander Hamilton can get through all that sh**tiness and make it to USA to get an education and found a new country…I could sure as hell keep going too.
The end of the story gave me new hope to keep going like Eliza did. And to keep telling stories too.
But more than that, your tweets, the Ham4Ham videos that would pop up on my twitter feed day to day would just make me smile. Sometimes on days where I wondered if I would ever be capable of being joyful again. I would send them to friends and we would talk about our favourite Ham4Hams (for the record, mine is the Schuyler Georges), which songs we liked best, what parts we would like to play and whether we could get a car to do a complete carpool karaoke of the whole show from start to finish (not to record and upload to YouTube, just for our own enjoyment and pleasure). Your humour, gratitude, passion for what you all do so well and sense of fun is pretty infectious.
Today my friend and I hope to get tickets to see Hamilton in London. Even if we don’t get them (which will make me super sad) I’ll keep listening to the cast album, and the mixtape because it is a reminder of a time when things seemed hopeless and a story told through music reached out, caught hold of me and told me not to throw away my shot.
All this, to say…THANK YOU.
I’m still here and I’m grateful that you told this story, and in this way. What you do makes a difference.
Hope all goes well with the national tour and whatever y’all are working on next.
Brunette Koala xx