Lin-Manuel Miranda in The Heights of the Theater

“Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the ‘I’m a fraud’ phase. You go through the ‘I’ll never finish’ phase. And every once in a while, you think ‘What if I actually have create what I set out to create, and it’s received as such.’” – Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Brainyquotes). Lin-Manuel Miranda has an arsenal of talents; from singing to rapping- even dancing and writing is his repertoire. But where did it all begin? In this essay we will explore how an immigrantś son who lived in the hood was able to overcome all obstacles and make multiple award winning Broadway musicals. Lin-Manuel Miranda is son to Luz Towns-Miranda and his father Luiz A. Miranda Jr. His mother gave birth to him on January 16, 1980, in Manhattan, New York. His mother is a clinical psychologist and his father worked as a political consultant. Lin-Manuel Miranda grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan with both his parents and his older sister, Luz Miranda-Crespo. Both Lin-Manuel and his sister took piano lessons growing up.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mother, Luz Towns-Miranda got her PhD in Clinical Psychology in the year 1985 from New York University. After getting her PhD, she continued to work until she got a postdoctoral degree in both Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in the year 1995. Since she pursued an internship in early childhood, she was able to work in many headstart programs in Newark, a town in New Jersey. Because of her love for children, she ran an Early Childhood Program at Bronx Lebanon that deals with children diagnosed with autism. And in 2000, Mrs. Miranda joined the staff of the Department of Social Medicine at Monteflore Medical Center, where she trained family physicians in the biopsychosocial aspects of medical care. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s parents owned of Broadway musicals while he grew up. HIs mother enjoyed “Camelot” and would blast it in the car. His father was obsessed with “The Unsinkable Molly”. The bus driver that Lin-Manuel Miranda had, on the completely opposite spectrum of music, had a passion for rap. The bus driver drilled the lyrics by Boogie Down Productions, Geto Boys, and Sugar Hill Gang. Since he was exposed to so many different genres of music at such a young age, Miranda was inspired to write and started to scribble while studying at school.

Lin- Manuel Miranda attended both Hunter College Elementary School and Hunter College High School. During his time in Hunter College High School he put on a number of plays and met a lot of different people. He was the lead in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance and immediately became a fissure in the high school’s drama department. During his time in high school, he met Stephen Sondheim, who would later become a mentor to Lin-Manuel Miranda along with theatre legend John Kander. After high school, Miranda furthered his career as musical genius in Wesleyan University. While attending university he continued to perform in musicals and write his own songs and shows. He began to write the Tony winning musical In The Heights, which took place in Washington Heights, during his studying at Wesleyan University. While in university, Miranda also helped fund a group called Freestyle Love Supreme- a hip hop comedy ensemble that was predominantly an improv group- while he was he was earning his undergraduate degree in Connecticut. Other founder and members would include Anthony Veneziale, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chris Jackson, Christopher Sullivan, Bill Sherman, and Arthur Lewis.

Before he produced In The Heights and began to write full time, he was substitute teaching for his old high school, Hunter College High School. After he was a substitute teacher for a while, the principal offered him a full time position as a full time teacher at the high school. At this point of his life, Miranda was already debating on pursuing writing music full time. He asked his father what he should do, whether he should accept the job or go full time into the writing. His father gave the advice that Lin-Manuel should do whatever he thinks will benefit him in the end, even if at the time it makes absolutely no sense. Before he decided to write full time, Miranda caught a few roles in popular TV shows like “The Sopranos”, “Modern Family”and “How I Met Your Mother” while he continues to write In The Heights. He also starred in a few movies, like “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and “200 Cartas”. He made an appearance in “Mary Poppins Returns” in Christmas of 2018.

Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to marry Vanessa Nadal, a scientist and former underclassmen during high school. The couple got married on September 5, 2010, at the Belvedere Mansion. Vanessa Nadal lived in Washington Heights and was extremely mathematical, a good dancer, and was not afraid to share her opinions in anything. Nadal attended MIT and earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering. She spent a few years as a testing scientist for the company Johnson and Johnson before she decided to get a law degree from Fordham University. Miranda and Nadal have two children, the oldest one named Sebastian and the younger one Fransico, who was born on February 2, 2018. Lin-Manuel Miranda soon published In The Heights and ended up receiving a Tony for his amazing writing. When the musical Hamilton came to the stage, it was an immediate hit, winning 11 Tonys and being nominated for 16, beating a record for the most nominated person for a Tony award. In 2016, Miranda’s golden year, he composed lyrics for the animated film Moana and ended up earning an Academy Award for original song. In the end, Miranda ended up recieving a plethora of awards for his musical works, including a MacArthur Genius Award, two Oliver awards, a Pulitzer Award, and there are many more awards in his future if he continues to write.

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