diane young

 

hello friends. i started class again this week, which was great. i also had a very fun series of anxiety attacks and stress vomiting episodes, which was less fun. it’s a friday afternoon, and i’m feeling shit – per usual – and now i’m going to take apart a song that tears 2013 shalom out and makes me feel less shit.

pals, today we’re diane young.

i’ve been trying to keep my brain in a healthy space mostly out of necessity, since i got here. i don’t have immediate access to a psychiatrist who gets me, and i don’t have a doctor sister who i can text to come pick me up when i feel some of that good ol’ l’appel du vide. the last week has been an example of spectacular failing not for a lack of trying. i got caught in a stadium separated from the only person i knew and her friend, so ended up sat next to a stranger (a nice man at least) crying for 40 minutes through an anxiety attack. was i ready to be done? you bet buddy. you fuckin’ bet.

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live my life in self-defense, you know i love the past because i hate suspense

diane young is a funny little song. apart from the obvious play on “dying young”, the concept is lost on little to no one. a good time, not a long time; live fast, die young – the ever blessed yolo – as a generation (though i think a sense of this has existed forever) we’re mostly ready to be done with the living of it all.

there’s not much to look forward to if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 these days. pardon me, alright – let my excessive optimism or mental health rambles take a break. the obvious aside, we’ve inherited a mess. all we do is live in suspense. will you be able to eat tomorrow? how close are you to not paying your rent this month? if you had a dollar for every dollar you owed in student loans, you know you’d still be broke? i guess the reason everyone hates millennials is because millennials hate everything because we’ve been dealt one of the worst cards.

my biggest kink is financial stability. student loans paid off? kinky.

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maybe the kennedy curse has a clause written for millennials, only discoverable at the ripe age of “well, shit. responsibility.” maybe all we are doing is waiting about for the grinding we’re doing to turn impossibly turn into something that isn’t exhausted piles of dust. maybe i need to get out of this mindset? maybe? yes.

where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present.

we’re all out of control, all playing a role. while modern vampires of the city is an album all about death, we’re still here. even if it’s somewhat flakey, somewhat torturous. whether we’re torching cars or dancing in the street or running from the government. we keep doing it. i suppose dying young can’t change our minds, so baby, we’re right on time.

love and light
shalom xo

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// h e a r t o u t //

it’s just (3,752 of) you and i tonight; why don’t you figure my heart out?

physical heart: anatomically correct (i’d hope). doing fine, bit stressed out by the amount of pizza i’ve eaten in the last three weeks and the fact that i don’t do enough cardio at all.

metaphorical brain heart: fervently passionate about the renewal of vows that i’ve had with the 1975 – we are an even happier couple now and i can’t go a day without them, it appears. also wants to write about heart out.

i like heart out for more reasons than i thought i would. in my re-listen of their first album, i wtried to figure out why i like the 1975 at all. i tried to find my favourite songs off the album, i tried to see if i liked the song more if i liked the video, and i watched so many sets of live shows to see whether i still liked the song when it’s performed live.

i like heart out for all of these reasons and obviously because i’m a gratuitous oversharer, i’m going to put more of my heart out here. if that’s even possible. if you ever need to piece me back together, i share my innermost secrets and emotions with thousands of strangers on the internet – you’ll find me there. i’m a very private person, see. can’t just be telling people you know these things.

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well, first: i love heart out now, more than i did in 2012. maybe it’s because i’ve learned how to properly listen through matty’s manchester accent, or because i really enjoy the way the video was directed and understand it  now (thanks drama directing prac). i guess because i’m older there are people who i can sing this song to and have almost every word relate to them. i’m not 14 anymore, and there are people that i  found when we were both younger much younger; people that i liked no matter what i found out about them. and now…now i sit with them after three or five or ten years of knowing them, trying to know them. still.

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the second verse always makes me laugh – it’s so very high school. it’s girls twirling their hair far too much until it tangles while talking to boys, and seeing three people in your year actively trying to mirror a girl in the year above, and that small circle of rich kids with drug problems and too much money. a reflection on their mental health? certainly.

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while i’ve (thankfully) never been addicted to cocaine and heroin, or sex, i wonder what my rocks and brown would be. what’s something i was, or am, obsessed with that most adequately reflected my mental health? perhaps how addictive my personality is to begin with and that moderation isn’t a word i can get my brain and body to understand. maybe how much i liked skins when i was 13. (that was stupid. who lets a 13 year old  with a new depression diagnosis watch skins? the internet. that’s who.) maybe my knack for self destruction by bringing other people up and quashing my need for self care? i guess i’m figuring my heart out, and figuring out what my heroin is. it makes for interesting self to self conversation.

i’ve always been good at one thing though, and that’s a lotttttta feelings. yes ma’am, that’s me, center of the feelingsverse, feels HQ – “haver of every and any feeling” is my official title. how very cancerian of me. if you’ve been around here a while, or even if this is the first post you’ve finished, i’m almost certain you can tell. i still do live in my head a massive amount. i guess…i am the adolescent on the phone; speaking like i’m bigger than my body.

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my birthday is on tuesday and i’m trying not to be scared about it but all the trying is tiring. but i don’t want to be afraid. my impulse control is non existent. i really want to take my meds every day this week but a morning dose is hard if i only muster the strength to get out of bed after noon. my room is mostly clothes and i’m tired of going shopping for my move. i hate seeing attractive boys with kind eyes because i do stupid things like repeat myself to my friends 100 times. i’m still scared that everyone who’s ever said they like me don’t, and that i’m not actually a likeable person. i think that maybe my idea that i’m good is wrong, because am i? could i really be? i have worse posture than people think – i just stand up really straight in public because it’s part of the things that i do in public. i’m so bad with money.

there it is.

/ / H E A R T   O U T / /

love and light,
shalom xo

tunesday take 5? 6? who’s counting?

Hello hello hello welcome back  to Tunesday happy Tuesday if you’re new to Tunesday here are some links  that’ll help you  understand okay on with the show!!!

imagine dragons – believer

second, don’t you tell me what you think that i can be
i’m the one at the sail, i’m the master of my sea

Believer was released earlier this year as the lead single off  Evolve (coming soonish?). Admittedly, I didn’t have this song on this list until about an hour ago after I watched the Riverdale season finale. The song is used excellently (though the finale was definitely weaker than the penultimate episode) and there’s something about the grittiness of it that’s getting me through a lot at the moment. Lotta pain here, y’all. Lotta believing.

4 non blondes – what’s up

trying to get that great big hill of hope / for a destination

I’ve been watching a lot of TV series recently, and I just started (read: have almost finished) Sense8. It is incredible. In the fourth episode, aptly titled What’s Going On, something has some people all having or hearing the same song – namely What’s Up by 4 NOn Blondes. I was listening to this in the store today, and I felt better than I have over the past couple of days. Honestly, what’s going on? Does anyone actually know? (Hint: no. Nobody knows. What’s going on?)

hayley kiyoko

 ease my mind

i need you to be here / i need to see you crystal clear

palace

dance in your colour, reflecting in your light
you’re my horizon, you’ll always paint my sky

To be frank, the last week and a bit has really been the week of Hayley Kiyoko. I’m a lil bit of a massive stan, and I couldn’t decide which of the songs that I’ve had on repeat to add to this list. Naturally, I’ve chosen the excessive path and left you two of my favourites from this week. Citrine is her best work and is available all places music is available!

Such has been Tunesday! I’m probably going to eat a heck ton of mac & cheese and then watch Sense8 and scream. Life has just been…a lot.

love and light,
shalom xo

BOPS BOPS BOPS

hello hello gang! today i fell headfirst into a 2008 shaped music black hole. so, in the spirit of tunesday, here are some songs that shaped my early adolescent years. i am slightly embarrassed that i didn’t look up any lyrics for these and instead spent two hours screaming in my room, but i’m glad i didn’t include vanessa hudgens’ sneakernight. i am of the firm opinion that that song will never ever warrant its hype. ever. having said that, let’s take a trip back to the early obama days, when things were good:

leavin by jesse mccartney  – everyone remembers beautiful soul but this one was my ULTIMATE. it’s also a lot dirtier than i remember oh my gosh. BABY GIRL I BEEN WATCHIN YOU ALL DAY (all day all day all day)


crush by david archuleta – omg none of my crushes ever went away i had so many feelings as a ten year old and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. man. i also had a massive crush on david archuleta? so there.


california by phantom planet – OH MY GOD okay the OC is a big jam. idk why i was so mad about that show when i was eleven, but i was also obsessed with high school and university. seth and summer were so geeky and all i wanted to be, and ryan was like this insane older brother that looked 30 but he was like 19? anyway, the OC is where the gunshot and mmm watcha say comes from. marissa shot trey because trey was going to kill ryan with a telephone? because ryan beat trey up because trey tried to rape marissa. healthy fifth grader viewing. ANYWAY


sos by the jonas brothers – holy HECK ooooh this is an SOS. tbh what kind of dates were they going on.  they were like twelve. miscommuniCATION.how did they….anyway. BETTER BELIEVE I BLED IT’S A CALL I’LL NEVER GET. also, if you watch the video you see kevin get a text from a girl that doesn’t like him. so, he doesn’t delete her number…he deletes the whole phone. throws it in the trash. wow. hugs are overrated just fyi


good girls go bad by cobra starship and leighton meester   – WHAT WAS I DOING IN GRADE SIX THAT I THOUGHT THIS SONG RELATED TO ME SO HARD. WHY. good girls go baaaaaaaad i also remember the lyric about hanging with your five best friends and really wishing i had one best friend omg SHALOM


starstrukk by 30h!3 and katy perry – oh my godddd. cheer routine. but also i just thought that i embodied this song. all eleven or twelve years of age. catch me choreographing and whistling and channeling 2009 katy perry any day


untouched by the veronicas – gotta finish strong with grade seven shalom believing in her violin skills and a weird ass drawing i did on ms paint for this song. the lyrics are just…i go oooh ooh you go ah ah lalalala lalalala and i don’t know why that spoke to me in 2010. in any case, i was channeling all of my samantha brady attitude at the ripe age of twelve and i guess my unrequited crushes, all fifty of them, made this song #relatable. GOING CRAZY FROM THE MOMENT I MET YOU


bonus: call it off by tegan and sara  – i listened to this song almost every day between grade 8 and grade nine after the blackberry craze of 2011. and also in 2013. actually, this song kept coming back to me. “maybe i would have been something you’d be good at; maybe you would have been something i’d be good at” because you can trust me to be an emosh wreck about a love i’d never experienced. oh, shalom. girl. girl.

happy tunesday, folks.
thanks disney channel and also premature teen angst.

love and light,
shalom xo

music to watch boys to

hello! it’s tunesday! except it’s thursday. (edit from future shalom: this got published on a friday. yikes.) i come bearing music recommendations after a really hard twenty four hours and a need to write but my inability to write something that isn’t worrying. tunes ahoy!

the title is a reference to a lana del rey song of the same name off of honeymoon from 2015. while it’s not in this post, it’s lovely. bit dark if you listen long enough. lots like lana. on with it!

 

102 by the 1975

this song hurts a lot. matty explained it like this: “This song is about a girl [friend] that I had. She was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I loved her but she didn’t feel the same way. I don’t even think she knew I loved her. This song is about the times I had with her. As she and I became close friends, we had traditions. It was kinda like our thing, y’know? We’d somehow always coincidentally be out at exactly 1:02AM, so that was our thing. Now whenever I’m awake at 1:02AM, I think of her and I let her go.”

on this shirt
i found your smell
and i just sat there for ages contemplating what to do with myself

 

still sane by lorde

the way this song, and lorde, presents its(her)elf is what leaves me connecting to her music the way i have since 2013. ‘still sane’ talks about anxiety and birthdays, and being so very out of it that it’s hard to be. however, at the end of the day, it has to be fine. you have to be fine. this is fine, right?

i’m little but i’m coming for the crown
i’m little but i’m coming for ya
i’m little but i’m coming for the title held by everyone who’s up

 

isabel by the wombats

this is a song of undoing. of realisation and confusion; of struggle and surrender. ‘isabel’ speaks to craving the experience and committing to the consequences: undoing. everyone has an isabel. you know one. they take up enormous heart space and have an irrevocable ever-expanding capacity to be loved. they are dangerously wonderful, like all good things. take care when it comes to them, friends.

i’m much better isabel
when you’re ripping my life apart
i think it’s you who’s the true rock star around here

right. that’s that. i’m tired & i think i’m indulging myself by listening to sad music when i’m already sad. issa bad idea.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | october 2016

I’m a little shocked that it’s already November, but mostly relieved that this hellhole of a year is coming to a close. October was treacherous, and filled with work and being broke and protests and stress and anticipation and love and sadness and pride. Also, my laptop broke, and I haven’t managed to have her fixed. So. October.

from the camera roll

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walk home from the bus ft. sunset. #blessed

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bless you, picnics and popsicles

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joburg pride ’16

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picnic with high school friends and new friends and a massive afternoon of love.

october

I spent most of October trying to find out what I mean to the people who mean the world to me. I took myself out a couple of times and paid up my outstanding amount on my flight to Lisbon! I’ve been preoccupied with the Portuguese city because I’m headed there in TWO WEEKS and cannot wait. Joburg Pride was amazing, and the solidarity was ridiculously awesome. There was so much love in the sapce. I also considered whether I was falling in love or whether I just wanted to squeeze my friends really tight and tell them I adore them – the latter was correct. October also saw me being faced with literally life-changing decisions with regards to my moving from South Africa, and making split second choices over coffee. I think I’ve made the right one.

obsessions

Not to Disappear is one of the best albums of 2016 – I got it the day of release, and I’m still listening to it. This song, and Made of Stone have been on repeat this month (along with the entire album). Fave lyrics: I don’t know you now but I’m lying here somehow; I feel sick (Fossa); You’ll find love, kid; it exists (Made of Stone).

still i pledge allegiance to these UNITED DIVIDED STATES
things that make me patriotic: voting in this election and leslie odom jr and sara bareilles and broadway and theatre and talent and barack obama

snippets of internal monologue

  • I really don’t think I can do this job anymore. I might yell at this kid. LORD. PATIENCE PLEASE.
  • I am SO buying that underwear. Trap liiiiife!
  • Wait, does that mean I have to organise a farewell party? Oh man oh man oh
  • If I fail intro to law can I put an end to this intro to suffering?
  • SHALOM. YOU DON’T HAVE MONEY. HOE DON’T DO IT. HOE, DON’T YOU DO IT. OH MY GOD YOU’RE DOING IT?

November hasn’t started off on the best note – I was robbed for the 5th time this year on the 3rd, and I’m currently a panicky mess about my exams and my travel plans and my future. It’s not all bad though – breathing hasn’t become any more difficult or easy. That, I can deal with.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | september 2016

Hi one and all! It’s been a solid week or two since I even checked up on my WordPress stats, but my lil baby Gertrude (my computer) has all but given up on me completely, so I’m chalking it up to that.

I hope you’ve been well. September is gone, and much like the other months of 2016, it’s happened too fast. With that said, lettuce jump into the salad that was September.

(I just got back from a birthday picnic with some dear friends from high school and some new people and let me just say that everyone is better outside of high school. Seriously.)

from the camera roll

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happenings this month

  • finally. Made. FRIENDS. Took me long enough! I made friends with the most lovely people who greatly appreciate my breakfast making skills. It took me long enough, but at the end of the year is better than not at all – and I’m really glad that it’s them. If any of you are reading this – Ash, Sarah, Andrea, Gabriela, Monray, Jay, Quinn, David, Kgomotso – I’m bringing pancakes when campus opens. Be there.
  • My blog and I were recognised!!!!!!! In real life!!!!! BY TWO DIFFERENT HUMANS!!!! One of them was giving me a wax, which was a bit awkward, but the other was outside a test venue. I was happy.
  • #FeesMustFall2016 is still happening, but the Minister for Higher Education screwed up and said that fees are going up by a maximum of 8% this year and is shucking himself of all responsibility. Protests have been real, and stones have been thrown, but we’ll keep fighting.
  • Dubious skype session with a love of mine who’s in Cape Town. We see you, Ashley and Robbie.
  • We turned three! Yesterday/Today (I made this blog at midnight) was my three year blogging anniversary, and I’m so grateful for the people I’ve “met” and met, and the people who I still am yet to. Thanks for reading and living in my corner of the internet with me.

music on repeat

i’ve told you time and time again
i’m not as think as you drunk i am

we may as well call september “the month of Lana” because i have listened to almost nothing but “Born to Die: The Paradise Edition” for the last 30 days.

i’m just a little person / one person in a sea
of many little people / who are not aware of me

snippets of internal monologue

  • If I take this shot, someone might get shot. Will I get shot? Oh man. I’m taking the shot.
  • This boy who apologised for “leading me on”, does he know that I’d have to be interested for him to lead me on?
  • ULTIMATE GAY. THAT’S WHO ASH IS. ULTIMATE GAY.
  • Lord, if my boobs get any bigger I MAY DIE.
  • Why why WHY couldn’t I at least have been awake when they robbed me?

obsessions

  • Spontaneous breakfast making sessions for my pals
  • Snapchat! I’ve been using it so much.
  • Checking my Lisbon hostel reservation
  • MY PALS IN LONDON I LOVE YOU TASH AND MIRANDA (i’m a mirfanda)

In September I was robbed, drunk, tired, crying, dangerous, and very drained. I’ve started October on the best note, and I don’t know whether or not I’m going back to campus, or whether I’ll be finished with first year in November, or whether or not I’m about to screw myself over. I probably am. But I mean, screwing up is at least a fifth of the fun, right?

love and light,
shalom

monthly me | august 2016

Here’s me, adopting a feature from one of my favourite bloggers & people on the internet: Michelle from Piece of Caustic. It’s a monthly round-up that she’s been doing for as long as I’ve been following her, and I figured it’d be nice to be able to look back at a month after I had immortalised it on the internet. Here we go!

august

August was deadlines and skipping class and chronic headaches and meeting people. I spent most of the academic term in bed, and averaged four hours of sleep because everything was due on August 26th. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who my friends are and why, and rued the day I decided that spending all of my money in a solid two hours was a good idea.

from my camera roll

general life updates

  • I got two more clients through a different tutoring company (!) after I was fired from my long term gig because the student told her mom that I didn’t explain well even though I always asked her if she understood, or if I needed to explain further.
  • I hit my savings goal for my trip to Portugal for the end of the year!
  • Renewed my passport alone, all adult-like and everything
  • Finished my first non-school theatre production AND signed a program for someone

obsessions

  • printing song lyrics in courier sans
  • knee socks, patterned stockings, and short skirts
  • Dr Ze’toile Imma, my African-American poetry guest lecturer (I ADORE HER)
  • venti mocha frappucinos from Starbucks

music

OH GOODNESS I GOT SO MANY ALBUMS IN AUGUST.

boy-mutual-friendsMutual Friends by BOY is such a gem. Every song  made sense and made my heart ache a little bit and I felt scared and safe and warm all at once. I listened to it from start to finish
over and over again.

Favourite tracks include but are not limited to: This is The Beginning, July, Boris, and Little Numbers. The acoustic version of Skin is also phenomenal.

 

When my time comes around, lay me gently in the cold dark earth
And no grave can hold my body down, I’ll crawl home to her

I’M SO BUSY

snippets of internal monologue

  • SHaLOm it is not your fault if they miss the tut because they are high! It isn’t your..it’s not…maybe you should go and get them & look after them anyway.
  • If this boy keeps talking I’m going to put my knees through my eye sockets.
  • If I do get arrested by the CIA, does that mean I get an extention on my law assignment?
  • Is it an incidental finding that I lose followers whenever I post selfies?
  • BLOCK THIS BOY ON ALL PLATFORMS HE IS SCARY BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK BL

I’m happy that September is upon us. I’m almost finished with my first year of university whaaaaat! I’m going to go drink some water and make my bed. Stay well.

love and light,
shalom xo

 

New Year

It’s almost midnight, and I am reporting live from my bed thanks to an obnoxiously strong wifi connection. Did you know that wifi stands for wireless fidelity? I learned that in 10th grade.

I just made my lunch for tomorrow – read: I just put all leftovers from last week into a container to microwave at school tomorrow because I am done spending money the way I have been because I am broke – and I’m thinking about how this week could go.

I was at home for New Year’s Eve for the first time in more than 10 years this year (last year?) We usually go to a church service (which I have mostly always objected to because FRIENDS. HELLO MOM MY CHURCH FRIENDS ARE NOT EVEN HERE.) but there was some tension and strangeness, so I got to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and Home with my sisters, and then climb up to our rooftop to watch the fireworks.

I listened to this song on repeat for many reasons: (1) It was so perfect. So cliche. Living the dream. (2) I love Layla. Mostly because I can sing most of her songs well. And because her lyrics make me remember things I thought I couldn’t. (3) It gave me a lot of hope, and said what I needed to hear.

The sentence, “Yeah, you’re gonna be somebody” is repeated fourteen times in the song. At the beginning of 2016, I wanted nothing more than that reassurance. I was waiting on Canadian universities to give me a chance, and for my father to do the same. I was ready to go and be somebody across the ocean. I was so deeply in love, and I couldn’t shake myself from wanting to be somebody the exact way I thought I would be.

Fast forward to May 2016, and we see that I am heartbroken. The Canadian universities did give me the chance I wanted. I got in. I did my part. My dad didn’t. He flaked at the last minute, and I am somewhat stuck in a law degree for at least the next three years of my life at my current university. I cried a lot. (Thank you, UBC. It means a lot that you wanted me.)

The year so far really has been an understanding of what there is to lose. I’ve lost lots. Not nearly as much as I could have lost, for which I’m eternally grateful, but still lots. I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that things can go tits up no matter how hard you work. Beyonce was right.

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It’s not the first day of a new year anymore, but I am still feeling broken (if not more) and I still want the same: I want to be somebody. I want to make something, leave something, be something. Having anxiety over leaving a legacy and creating that very legacy is a spectacularly painful and exhausting chunk of my psyche.

All this aside, I have an audition tomorrow. (Today?) It’s for a community theatre group. I’m nervous out of my mind. I don’t know what that has to do with anything about me being somebody, but I hope it makes my head a little less foggy. I don’t know. Perhaps this week will be more reflective than I’d thought it would. In all honesty, I should go to bed and stop researching portable chargers and earphones to buy online. It’s after midnight and I’ve got to be out of the house before 6 AM.

hi lovers lost behind us
hi lessons we failed to learn
hi those that tried to mould us
and tried to change us for the worse

can’t flee from bygones
no shaking off the truth
just a first understanding
of what we have to lose

you can’t cover over holes
you can’t burrow deeper down
yeah, you’re gonna be somebody

to being somebody.

love and light,
shalom xo


featured image from my-sweet-love-addiction.tumblr.com

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

This is the Hamilton post I’ve been talking about. I am far too excited to write this.

If you live in the US, you probably thought he was a president for a while. He’s the guy on your ten. You most likely had no idea where he was born, or that he was a bastard, orphan, and son of a whore. Not before Lin-Manuel Miranda & the amazing cast and crew of Hamilton The Musical shared Lin’s extensive (like, six years extensive) hard work and creative genius with the world at The Public Theatre, on Broadway, at the Grammys AND AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

(skip through to 8:50 to see the performance.)

Hamilton is a history Broadway rap musical about the life and work of founding father Alexander Hamilton. A lot of those words shouldn’t go together in a sentence. Briefly, Hamilton is the best thing to happen to the theatre business in a long time, the hardest ticket to get your hands on for the next year and a half, and also really fucking amazing.

Watch the video. For real. Just watch it.

Okay SO. When Lin-Manuel Miranda – the Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winning writer, actor, librettist and genius – thought that the first Secretary of the Treasury of the US embodied the very essence of hip-hop, a lot of people thought he was crazy. Most of those people supported him anyway, because they’re not stupid. And because they know that Lin’s a genius. I’m a big LMM fan. Can you tell?

I learned about Hamilton in November 2015, thanks to tumblr. (Thanks, tumblr.) I had heard about In The Heights (which I’m listening to as I type this), Lin’s first musical the same way. After my final drama exam in November 2015, I ran on the street yelling about my unemployment, slept over at a friend’s house, and got the cast album.

HOLY COW.

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Burr (Leslie Odom Jr) and Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda). Cosmopolitan.

Hamilton is just. UGH. I’m gaggingly awful at doing reviews of things that I love. From the first song, the musical is a fast paced whirlwind – some might even call it a Hurricane. (that’s a Hamilton pun you won’t get unless you’ve heard Hamilton.) I’m super grateful for the cast recording – the musical is sung through, so there are no scenes in between the numbers. Just…some force of crazy magic propelling the cast, chorus & Betsy Struxness (the chorus member who is just…pure…magic?). Hamilton makes the hip hop heads reconsider musical theatre, and makes musical theatre nerds start listening to rap.

 

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That guy in the purple? That’s Thomas Jefferson. (Daveed Diggs) Joan Marcus.

The founding fathers in the musical don’t look like the ones on the money. Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson has much, much better hair. With a cast of black, Latino and Asian-American founding fathers & their phenomenally strong female counterparts, Hamilton does something that seems extraordinary, but is quite simple at the core: “This is a story about America then, told by America now“.

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From left to right (and their names): Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs); James Madison (Okieriete Onaodowan); George Washington (Christopher Jackson); Peggy Schuyler (Jasmine Cephas-Jones); Angelica Schuyler (Renee Elise Goldsberry); Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Phillipa Soo); Phillip Hamilton (Anthony Ramos)

Alexander Hamilton was a crazy, non-stop workaholic. Like, write 51 essays with a quill and ink in 6 months. HAMILTON WROTE THE OTHER FIFTY ONE. Lin, like Hamilton, has this awareness of mortality and the need to live, create and leave legacy now because it could all be over very, verrrrry quickly. (Click boom.)

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I think that’s why I connect with this musical so much. It’s so bizarre and insane and fun that someone would write their way to the top and then write their way write back down because they don’t know when to shut up. It’s 100% a Shalom thing to do. It’s the issue of knowing that death could be today, and what do you leave? What story do people tell? “If I throw away my shot, is this how you remember me?” Legacy has always been really important to me. I think the major difference between me and Lin & Hamilton is that my sense of time cripples me. Search ‘birthday’ on my site for references. What is a legacy if you’re too afraid of not having one to create one?

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Hamilton threw me into crisis.It’s the hardest ticket to get in the world. Sold out until 2017. I loved every second of it. I adore the idea of cabinet meetings as rap battles. I AM OBSESSED with the fastest song in musical theatre being a rap about brining Alexander Hamilton back to fight in the war. (6.3 words per second. Daveed Diggs, everybody.) When the smartest character in the show is Angelica Schuyler -the badass sister that reads Hamilton so quickly you’ll miss it if you blink, and makes sacrifices like you cannot believe- how could you not? This show is evidence of a mind at work (work).

Hamilton will turn you into a US history nerd. I already was – am?- but it just. UGH. YES. While it’s almost entirely historically accurate, it is a Broadway show. Lin takes dramatic license with a few events and characters, only making the show even more amazing.

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Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan), John Laurens (Anthony Ramos)

I don’t know if I connect with this show more because of its sheer brilliance, or because I, like Hamilton, am also a fast talker with a death wish. I don’t know. I DO KNOW that the Original Cast Recording is available FOR FREE on spotify, and if you’re in a part of the world without spotify, the YouTube playlist is here.

There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait…

love and light,
shalom xo

(drop a comment if you caught the hamilpuns. seriously.)