Without This There Would Be No Hamilton

It's been close to a year since critically-acclaimed 'Hamilton: An American Musical' took Broadway by storm. 

'Hamilton', for the uninitiated, is a Tony-winning Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of our nation, framed in a modern context as many of the issues they grappled with then are reflected in our nation today. As a cultural phenomenon, it is drawing a whole new audience to Broadway by making history alive through the use of musical styles such as hip-hop and rap and casting of actors of color to reflect today's America.

In its short run, the show has racked up a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, and 11 Tony Awards. First Lady Michelle Obama called it, "the best art I have ever seen in my life." Take a peek.


So where did the idea (that's getting people to pay north of $700 for tickets) come from?

A vacation.

In 2008, shortly after his show 'In The Heights' moved to Broadway and won four Tony Awards, Miranda went on vacation to Mexico with Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton when the idea came to him, "I was like, This is an album—no, this is a show. How has no one done this? It was the fact that Hamilton wrote his way off the island where he grew up. That’s the hip-hop narrative. So I Googled ‘Alexander Hamilton hip-hop musical’ and totally expected to see that someone had already written it. But no. So I got to work." 

After working for seven years on 'In The Heights', Miranda attributes the idea for 'Hamilton' coming to him with having a moment to breathe. He recently told The Huffington Post, "The moment my brain got a moment’s rest, ‘Hamilton’ walked into it.” 

This would be where I drop a big fat "told ya so" or rather, we've been telling you so. We all need time off. It's where our brains get to step away from the clickity clack of keyboards, slurping of coffee cups, and endless do-you-have-a-minutes. Need more inspiration?

  1. Your Bank Account Will Finally Be Satisfied
    Employees who take 10 or less vacation days are less likely to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years than those who took 11 days or more. It's time to stop worrying that facetime equates to success. 
  2. Managers Want You to Take A Break
    Despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of employees don't hear it, managers overwhelmingly believe in the importance of time off to energy levels, better attitudes, and productivity. Next time you put in that vacation request, do it with confidence. Your boss gets it. Everyone needs a break.
  3. You Can Stop Asking What Comes Next?
    Employees who plan their vacation time are significantly happier with their companies, jobs, and relationships compared to those who don't plan their time off. Planners use more of their time and are more likely to take a full week of vacation or more at a time.

Vacation proved again to be a place for new ideas as Miranda wrote the song You'll Be Back on his honeymoon in 2010. Miranda hasn't let the explosive success steal his vacation time either. In March, he took a week off to recharge and recently announced he'll be taking a longer break from the show. Perhaps as he stepped into Hamilton's world, he saw the consequences skipping time off can have on a person. Arianna Huffington recently pointed out that Alexander Hamilton may have also been the Founding Father of burnout. 

We should all applaud Miranda's extended curtain call. Who knows what it may lead to...

June 30, 2016