I spent many hours last week enjoying the soundtrack to Hamilton, the hot new musical on Broadway. Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers whose full story was previously known only to the most ardent history buffs.
The book, music and lyrics were all written by the same person, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also happens to star in the lead role. I am impressed by that, and the fact that this is the second Broadway musical that he has written and performed (In the Heights being the other).
But what really turns my head is that Hamilton is based on an existing story. We all heard about Hamilton in history class, but I doubt anyone reading this blog was inspired to look up his story and then set it to music. It was a similar genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber to set T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats to music for the hit Cats and to take stories from the Bible to produce mega-hits Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
One of the songs in Hamilton is Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story which recounts how Alexander’s wife Eliza took on the task of telling his story after he was killed.
What existing stories could you re-tell? You don’t have to set them to music or create a smash play (although that would be nice!), but think about what story has additional value that you recognize. Stories are all around us, even from high school history class.
I guarantee there is a story in your organization or from your personal life that deserves a broader audience. Commit to tell that story.