What You Didn't Know About Lin Manuel Miranda

At long last, Lin Manuel Miranda's musical, In the Heights, is hitting movie theatres this summer! Here's what you need to know about the movie's lyrics and music composer... and more!

Erin Shoshana
Created by Erin Shoshana
On Jun 13, 2021

Let's give it up for Lin Manuel Miranda, shall we? After premiering Hamilton on Disney+ last year, the world was exposed to this creative mastermind's talent. But did you know he wrote In the Heights in college?! Or that he's the mastermind behind some of the music in Moana? Miranda is certainly one the of most gifted composers, playwrights, actors, rappers, and singers of our time. So without further ado, let's get to know him.

Miranda Wrote in the Heights as a Sophomore in College

What were you up to in college? Probably not writing hit Broadway musicals, that's for sure. In 2012, Lin Manuel Miranda told the Harvard Crimson in an interview, "I had the sort of dream-come-true situation of someone who wrote a show in school and actually got it up professionally, which does not happen often."

The musical, for which Miranda wrote the music and lyrics, first debuted on Broadway on March 9, 2008, is a hip-hop-heavy story about life in a Latino neighborhood in Washington Heights, New York. The musical got a movie deal in 2012, and is set to hit theatres on June 10, 2021.

He Was Once an English Teacher

Yes before Broadway and Hollywood knew his name, Lin Manuel Miranda taught seventh grade English at his alma mater, Hunter High School on New York City's Upper East Side.

"It wasn't about getting up in front of the class and having all eyes on you — that's not how great teaching happens," Miranda said about teaching. "The finest moments of teaching are when you're not saying much at all; when you're lifting the discussion up and keeping the ball in the air for the kids to draw from each other. Like great actors, great teachers know how to listen. It's not about being in the center, it's about being part of the moment and being present."

His Name Comes From a Poem About Vietnam

It seems that if your name is poetic, you might be destined for a life in the arts. At least that was certainly the case for Lin-Manuel Miranda. The poem of his namesake was written during the Vietnam War and is titled “Nana Roja para mi Hijo Lin Manuel” which translates to “pink lullaby for my son Lin Manuel.” The poem is written by poet Jose Manuel Torres Santiago- who hails from Mirandas’ native Puerto Rico.

His Son's Namesake is a Crab

Who doesn't love the worried, sweet, and lovable animated lobster from The Little Mermaid? This crab can really belt out some tunes too. He is instantly recognizable to many. The tiny nervous crustacean must have had a big impact on Miranda because he decided to name his son Sebastian reportedly after this animated sea creature.

He Wrote a Hip-Hopera

By now you are probably singing Satisfied in the shower on the regular, but when Lin Manuel first had the idea to write a "hip hopera," many were skeptical. Can you blame them? A rap-based musical about one of American's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, sounds like something your high school teacher might fantasize about. But in reality? The musical was incredible, thoughtful, and has grown into a $1 billion franchise. The lesson here? Stick to your dreams, you just might have the next Hamilton on your hands.

Are You Set to Watch?

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Hamilton is set to hit theatres and HBO in June 2021. Grab your popcorn, M&Ms, and settle into this summer's next great soundtrack.

What's your favorite Lin Manuel Miranda creation?

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