I have a confession to make: I, an emerging theatre artist, listened to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time this week.
When it comes to pop culture, I avoid over exposure as much as possible. When new trends begin to take over I run for cover so months later when everyone is “tired” of a popular movie/song/TV show/etc., I don’t harbor the same resentment. For example, when Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” took over the summer of 2012 I avoided listening to it for as long as possible. About four years later that song (in theory) makes me cringe less because of the four months I spared myself. I took the same tactic with Hamilton, until this week when my dramatic literature teacher asked us all to listen to the soundtrack/read the script for class. To no one’s surprise, the music swept me away. It’s catchy, entertaining, heart wrenching, and (I would say) brilliant.
In not listening to the soundtrack for months I did avoid the fad’s potential fatigue, to an extent. But I also avoided engaging in one of the most important performances happening in America right now.My fear of fatigue actually created a resentment towards Hamilton. A subconscious need to be smarter then the general public, a public who fell in love with a Broadway musical. In less then a month I’m graduating college (!!) and hope to join the theatre community/industry/what have you. I cannot act above popular pieces anymore. It’s irresponsible to disengage from ANYTHING being created, regardless of how popular it is.
It’s my job to stay up to date, to stay current with what’s being created. Not just because I’m trying to start my career and am looking for any opportunity to “network”, but because it’s easy to forget that Theatre is a team. If theatre artists don’t support other theatre artists we won’t survive. And for the first time in my entire life, a Broadway musical as taken the world by storm. Can we remind ourselves how amazing that is?
Also, the music is genius. If you haven’t, just listen to it. You’re missing out.