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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  March 22, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: how is it to be back in this house? lin-manuel: very normal. i live a few blocks away. i have been here since i was one-year-old. charlie: this is a house of memories. lin-manuel: it is. this is a house of memories, of ghosts. it was a laboratory for me. i have filmed so many action movies where we are sitting. i have filmed so many animated movies with them i g.i. joe characters.
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i was a kid carrying around a camera. my dad had one of those big over-the-shoulder camcorders and brought it home. charlie: did you think you might be a director? lin-manuel: i did. steven spielberg doesn't get you far in school. i kind of figured out who i was socially by doing a school play. i got cast in the sixth grade play. i played a lot of people. charlie: does that just happen? how has is it that one kid wants to do those things? what was it in you that made you want to do those things because those are the things you do. lin-manuel: isn't that incredible that we get to do what we love? you have to think about how you lucked into this. i grew up in a house where cast albums were almost always playing.
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charlie: all the great albums. lin-manuel: south pacific, sound of music, king and i. that was the music we played to clean up after parties. it was latin music at the party because we are puerto rican. then when we would clean up the house after the party, we would put on the cast album. that is what i keyed into. charlie: were you shy or like you are now? lin-manuel: i still think i'm shy. i do. i fell in love with -- i like applause. i wasn't the kind of person who would take over a run to take over it but if i had something i was good at, i was eager to share it. my mother's favorite story is our first piano recital. i only practiced well enough to play one song. i learned four but it was the
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only one i could reliably do well. it was my first song and they clapped and i looked up and looked around and said "i know another one." if this is going to be the reaction. and i played four songs. charlie: that reminds me ted williams once told me -- i said why baseball? he said "i was pretty good and i got applause and i wanted to hear more applause so i got better." it was an incentive. lin-manuel: i don't think i'm cut out to be a novelist. sitting alone and not getting the payoff. i'm fine with sitting alone. writing "hamilton" was a six years of sitting alone but the payoff is i get to play it for
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someone and they have ideas on how to make it better and alex knows how to make it better. in and he how to stage it. there is this show and tell. the gratification of the other verses film and television. the audience lets you know in the moment how they are feeling about what you are doing. you doubt act once in a camera and then it is in a can and you hope they like it. charlie: and it changes night to night. lin-manuel: we have a front row of people who literally won a lottery to be there and they give us everything. they are there and they didn't even know they would be there that night. they are experiencing it for the first time and i experience it for the first time because they are. charlie: growing up here, you make your way down to manhattan. to hunter college. lin-manuel: hunter college high school and elementary school. charlie: why hunter?
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lin-manuel: you have to ask my parents. i took the test when i was five. i won the lottery when i was five when i passed the mysterious tests that get you into hunter college elementary school because i got a great free public school education. i was learning about matisse and jackson pollock in kindergarten. i remember making drip paintings when i was six years old and getting my early appreciation for art even then. and a school that really valued the arts and put them on the same level as a math and social studies and history. the culmination my school was to do the sixth grade play. we did 28 versions of six musicals. that is a lethal dosage. wasem to be only one that stuck with it and could not let it go. i played conrad birdie.
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my nanny made my gold leather jacket and every girl had to pretend to fall in love with me ng. faint when i sayin why would anyone else do anything else for a living? i was 12 years old, three feet tall. when i played conrad birdie but i was the sex symbol of the grade. charlie: you knew early on you wanted to be an artist. lin-manuel: i didn't know whether it would be movies, theater, animation. i was always gravitated towards that. charlie: but you are doing this without any formal musical training. lin-manuel: just high school music class and piano lessons. we had a great ninth-grade teacher. i learned my major and minor chords. i remember calling my friend
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alex and saying "i'm playing in f sharp -- an 'a' and a 'c,' what is that?" i didn't know the names but i knew i needed them for the songs. charlie: did you have a good ear? lin-manuel: i have a good ear. charlie: they say you are a fantastic mimic. you could do that. you could hear something and repeat it. a song. lin-manuel: got very impatient with piano lessons because the reading was slow. if i could hear it i could figure out the chords and play it faster than it would take. it was a faster system between my ears and my hands than my eyes. charlie: that served you the rest of your life. what music did you listen to beyond showtunes, beyond famous musicals? lin-manuel: i was into hip-hop.
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i don't -- i was born in 1980's so there wasn't ever a time where hip-hop wasn't part of my life. charlie: was it your music from the time you heard it? lin-manuel: it was mine and my sisters. my parents weren't bringing hip-hop records home. my sister was bringing home the fat boys and she took me to see "beat street." charlie: it resonated with you. lin-manuel: it was just our music. the album that really unlocked it for me, that gave me permission to start writing, it was an album called "bizarre ride to the far side." i was a 14. the lead single was about these guys who couldn't get girls and so much hip-hop is about bluster and how much jewelry i have and how great a rapper i am and this was about people writing love notes and the note coming back "return to sender."
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i had a crush on my teacher. and i was like i could get into that. [laughter] the great hook that has sampled by a million artists since is ♪ my dear, my dear, my dear, you do not know me but i know you very well and let me tell you about the feelings i have for you when i try or make some sort of attempt, i symp i wish i wasn't such a wimp because then i would let you know that i love you so and if i was your man, then i would be true the only lying i would do is in the bed with you ♪ it was so angsty and great. i memorized that album quickly. i absorbed hip-hop by making mix tapes with my friends. i have this stuff, what do you have? i got into all these different genres. charlie: the interesting thing about "hamilton" was the mix tapes. lin-manuel: i think of a mix tapes as sonic love letters. i think a lot of my creative
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energy in high school was spent literally making mix tapes to girls i liked, for friends of mine who i wanted them to get to know who i was. it was easier for me to say this 90 minutes on this cassette tape. it defines who i am. differences, you have to listen to it consecutively. i am taking you on a ride. i'm going to have a high energy song. and i put it in into a funny interlude. my fourth song is the most important. it tells you who i really am. it was that and cleanup. i think i still build scores the way we build mix tape for girls. now we can afford to sit for a little while. now i have to wake you up. when i read ron's book and
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started thinking about it, i thought of it the way i started think of making mix tapes for my friends. it is i will take you on the ride. it is going to tell the story of this man's life. charlie: the first step is to draw you in. lin-manuel: the first song is everything. if you fast-forward through the first song, you messed up. [laughter] lin-manuel: remember, you are listening to it consecutively. i set it as a challenge to encapsulate hamilton's entire life into one song. and so it forced me to think in a hamiltonian way. i was telling you before the thing about hamilton is he spoke in paragraphs. the opening sentence is this run-on sentence. -- dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the caribbean by providence,
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impoverished in squalor. grow up to be a hero and a scholar. that is the question we are going to answer for the next two hours and 45 minutes. it is a very hamiltonian. charlie: you put in that some 20 -- that song 20 years of living. when you begin to think about things and at the same time occasionally going once a year or more with your parents to the theater, what were you thinking? what was that like? lin-manuel: it was life-changing. in a couple of ways. one, the first show i remember seeing is a remember a few things from the night. i remember falling asleep for a little while because i was seven. i remember the suicide, the master of the house and laughing really hard.
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much-needed laughter. the thing i remember most was seeing -- my parents brought home the two disc cast album and my mother would play "bring him home" on a loop and burst into tears and it really moved me the effect music had on her. ♪ ♪ ♪ lord on high hear my prayer ♪ lin-manuel: seeing how this story and this man wanting this kid to live moved my mother to tears. i think that is as much of reason i'm in musical theater as anything else. charlie: because of the emotional connection with your mother? lin-manuel: because of the power musical theater has in terms of emotional connection.
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musical theater is not one art form. it is 14 art forms together. the lighting, the costumes have to be right. when it all conspired to create those moments there is nothing like it. charlie: and to say there is nothing like it means it has -- delivers more of an emotional punch than any other kind of visual or musical influence. lin-manuel: because it's happening to you live. there is no distance of the screen. you see it yet you can't believe you are seeing it. i'm thinking of the final moment of america in "west side story," the bottle dance on "fiddler on the roof." it can't possibly go any further and then it does. there are these moments when you stand outside yourself like how am i really a person watching this?
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when you are creating it you are looking to create those moments. charlie: and then you go see "rent." lin-manuel: "rent" did for me what the far side did for me. it said, you can write this. we are not so different, you and i. musical theater and you. it is about people living, , struggling as artists. it was the career i saw myself going into. struggling as an artist. charlie: and living and dying. lin-manuel: and in the present. it took place now and in a neighborhood just down town my sister grew up. my parents went to nyu together. they were all in the village. that was before i was born. but it gave me permission -- you are allowed to write about what you know. that is fair game. i did not know that.
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not in my bones. ♪
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charlie: you said it was a starter pistol for your career. lin-manuel: absolutely. charlie: you heard the starter go off. and for you, it propelled you forward. lin-manuel: larson, who sadly died before his show even opened
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did so many of the things i wanted to do. he made a contemporary sound relevant. he ended the conversation as to whether rock had a place in musical theater. it started in hair, in jesus christ superstar. we would still have these conversations. now it's just a part of language. it was huge. charlie: do you think it gave you any sense of mortality knowing jonathan's story? lin-manuel: i think jonathan's passing before his show opened scared the hell lot of me. you could go at any time. those ideas you have in your head will stay locked in your
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head. they go with you unless you get them out into the world. that is still true. charlie: how so? manuel: then nothing is promised. tomorrow is not promised. i made plans to come talk to you today but my car could have gone over the highway on the way here. we never know what the next day will bring and yet we plan months and years, which is the most vainglorious hope. it is both terrifying -- embarking on a show like this, on any creative endeavor is terrifying because you might not make it to the finish line. charlie: and the finish line is not tomorrow. lin-manuel: the finish line the thing that was in your head into the world. it wasn't about having a career, it was get this thing out of my head so it can exist.
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then i can get hit by a bus. charlie: what was the thing to get out? lin-manuel: it was cam we had a latino musical where we are not murderers from the 1950's? great musical "west side story." great score. but it's such a peculiar subset and tiny slice of latino experience for only gangsters be represented in musical theater. that is what we had. i wanted a licensed business and i wanted to see if we could write a musical about latinos that didn't have any drug deals or crime. because he will see that on the news. that's what they cover, crimes. i was interested in the hard-working people i grew up with then the guy on the corner. the guy on the corner is there but it's also a guy inside the store on the corner.
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i wanted to tell his story. charlie: what did you have to get out with "hamilton?" lin-manuel: i had to get out this guys life. it wasn't until i really want in and started researching that i was in the same theme i was with "in the heights." here's an immigrant, an outsider who writes his way in, right his way to prominence, charms his wife through letters, rights his way into his personal and professional life but then he doesn't know when to shut up and he also self-destructs in his writing. i had a really good idea at the top of the book. he writes this poem. a hurricane destroys st. croix. he writes up home about the carnage of a hurricane. it is used for leaf efforts into scholarship is raised to send him to the mainland.
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he wrote a poem and i said that's the most hip-hop thing i ever heard. it's a story of creating something beautiful out of the ashes of something else. the south bronx was a mess in the 1970's. it was burnt down buildings, empty parking lots, graffiti. it was block parties happening. it was something beautiful being created out of the ashes of something old. that is what hamilton did and he wrote about his struggles and got out on the strength of his writing and that is the trajectory of so many hip-hop artists i respect. charlie: the ability to express yourself in words. lin-manuel: the ability to be a reporter on the frontlines of where you grew up in your struggle and that is what hamilton did. he said my island is ruined. that is what jay-z writes about when he writes about the projects.
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it is writing your way out and that hope that if you can write and you are smart, you can get out. i had that good idea in the second chapter and the idea of him as a hip-hop artist, it just kept -- as i read the book, it kept proving me right. i felt like a mosquito and i hit an artery. it just kept proving me right in a million different ways. he wrote under a pseudonym like so many rappers do, took up a moniker to write against a royalist. then he becomes washington's aid to camp. he is responsible for washington's correspondence during the revolutionary war. he has the front seat. charlie: he wanted to be there. lin-manuel: he wanted to fight.
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that is the other fun thing. he has the plum job and he's like give me a command. charlie: because heroes come from the battlefield. lin-manuel: and social mobility comes from the battlefield. i don't have connections. mother's gone, dad is lord knows where, and i have got to make my bones as a glorious fighter or i can die as a martyr, which would also be fine. charlie: a certification of "i belong." lin-manuel: i belong, i fought for this country. charlie: "i'm an american." lin-manuel: and the fact that it's an immigrant outsider who created the notion of one america more than anyone else through his financial system. we were also speaking of ourselves as commoner. -- we were thinking of ourselves as colonies. people would say to jefferson, will you vote for hamilton's plan or are you new york's countryman? by the country, they meant virginia. this is what began this thinking
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of ourselves as one nation. it's an outsider immigrant who did that. charlie: that's like the greatest day of your life when you discovered alexander hamilton. because of what you were able to do with it. lin-manuel: i saw a way into the story. i immediately went to google and said someone has done this. it's too good a story for there not to be three musicals about hamilton that i don't know about. so i got to work because i wanted to get there first. charlie: the immigrant thing. is there a connection with your father because he made the decision to come here from puerto rico? lin-manuel: i father is technically not an immigrant because puerto rico is part of the united states. charlie: he is from and i went. lin-manuel: from the caribbean and not speaking a word of english. he graduated college by 18 in puerto rico.
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he is the genius of the family. i'm the slacker. charlie: do you in any way have an immigrant's connection beyond your father. is there this idea of being an immigrant inside of your own psyche? lin-manuel: i grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. a historically immigrant neighborhood. it was irish and then became a dominican immigrants and latino immigrants. i think i come at it from a different angle, which was i want a lottery. i learned to pronounce my name differently in english and spanish. i was speaking spanish at homecoming bush high school.
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i i was a little of myself in is both places and it wasn't you and i until i grew up i started bringing all of myself to the room. and it's a great way to make a writer. a part of you was always observing because you are trying to figure out where you fit in. charlie: you had are ready written in the heights when this occurred. lin-manuel: yes. people were asking what is your next thing going to be. charlie: that was part of it. you had done something and wasn't sure about in the next step. lin-manuel: i don't think it was a cool incident it was my first vacation. it was the first time i had any time off. charlie: having done what you had done and you were on the beach not knowing where you might go, you bought to this big 800 page book.
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and hamilton speaks to you instantly. what do you do when you come back from your vacation? lin-manuel: star writing. i go back to eight shows a week but i started writing. i finish the book on vacation and i was like, this will be a beast. charlie: but you knew. lin-manuel: i was making lists of what the songs were. charlie: not a moment of doubt this is something. lin-manuel: it was just can i do it? charlie: this is my opportunity, my story, i was born to tell alexander hamilton's story. can you imagine anybody else better qualified to tell this story venue? lin-manuel: not in retrospect but at the time, i just felt i had a huge thing by the tail. i said it's going to take everything i've got to wrestle this thing to the ground.
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john wightman is up here and a mentor who has wrestled history. as well as anyone could have ever done. i sent him e-mails and said the more research i do, i started getting bogged down. you can't stay attached to the drama of the through-line. that would lead to differing accounts and jefferson said this. he said just keep your head down and write. getting it all into one show. charlie: all of the songs were there. lin-manuel: i could feel the song moments but really being able to get it into a form that
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was to adjustable in one evening, that's the hard part. it's a lot of stories concurrently and the story of our nation and also george washington's story. we see his rise from general to president. it's aaron burr's story who we know nothing about. even ron doesn't write about that much in the book. judith tells it you story. charlie: that's how you know you have to have erin tell the story. the man who killed him tells the story. lin-manuel: is a dramatic way to tell the story. charlie: that is the idea.
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charlie: that is the idea. he wrote a letter. lin-manuel: saying i'm a good christian, i will not do it. i have to face and because of the code of honor but i am not going to do that. charlie: he was going to die. -manuel: the first challenge
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being i have to face him but i will not kill him. now you were asking questions historians have been asking. i had to provide the dramatic answer to that and it was the last thing i wrote in the show. charlie: because you had not come to any conclusion about it or because somehow, it's almost as if you have been doing lincoln story and you can only face up to what happens in the theater when you are really prepared to do it? lin-manuel: something happened to me. by the time i reached hamilton's moment in the duel and the bullets coming at him, a couple things happened. one, i don't care about why. what i care about is what are the last things going through his head? i found that much more interesting. while he is wrestling with whether to shoot at this man who's shooting at him, he's also thinking about having got here, how he got to this moment, the people waiting for him on the other side. and the things waiting for him
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on this aside if he lives. and not judging any of it, just the moments. charlie: do you believe alexander hamilton for all he was and all he became was ready to die? lin-manuel: in the words of notorious b.i.g., "ready to die." i think yes. here is the thing. i think hamilton was ready to die from the time he was 14 years old. i think what he has is what i have is that thing that tomorrow is not promised and i have to get as much done as i can. i think he had this curious fascination with and obsession with death because he saw it at such a young age. his mother died in bed next to him. they both got sick, she never got better. what does that do to you? charlie: what does it do to you? lin-manuel: it makes me think my main character, he sees death everywhere.
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charlie: you just said what he has in him, i have been me. "do it." lin-manuel: we still have to plan. hamilton had an appointment on the books that day. he was going to have lunch that day. a part of them thought he would die that morning. but he also had plans. that's how we all live. charlie: to live a great life, you must be prepared to fail, sure, and to die maybe. lin-manuel: that's why did things scary is to us are those seeds we plant that might outlive us, having children, getting married. you are putting things into the world the might not live out to see, and its so scary but so hopeful. charlie: so you are full of all
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of this. you are thinking by doing anything musical because of who you were and what you live with, your music is hip-hop. your music is rap. lin-manuel: and i also believe that form is uniquely suited to hamilton story because it has more words per measure than any other musical song. -- genre. charlie: it has shakespearean words. lin-manuel: yes, it has rhythm and density and if hamilton had anything in his writing, it's a density. go read it again and you will find something new in it. that is what is true of my favorite hip-hop artists. sondheim has three tenants. it's function follows form. and this is the perfect form to tell this story.
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this musical genre is the best story to tell his and that of the revolution. it took me a year to write "my shot." hamilton's big i want song. every couplet needed to be the best i ever wrote. that is how seriously i was taking it. it starts with the friends and they are doing 80's rap. it's a great rap. " i'm a john warren in the place to be." like super like it -- then here comes hamilton and its rhyming six lines on a line. it's insane polysyllabic, internal assonance. he needed to be like from the future, a world-beating intellect.
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every couplet had to be unimpeachable. >> i'm asked patiently waiting for the first time i'm thinking past tomorrow i am not throwing away my shot i am not throwing away my shot i am just like my country, i am not throw away my shot. we are going to rise up time to take a shot shot o take a rise up, rise up time to take a shot, time to take a shot i am not throwing away my shot ♪ charlie: hamilton demands lots from you. he is calling on your best. lin-manuel: because he is the smartest guy in the room. i have to write from the perspective of the smallest guy in the room when the other
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people are jefferson and washington. very smart guys. charlie: what about the 10 crack commandments? lin-manuel: 10 crack commandments is a how-to manual on how to deal drugs. when i was faced with the challenge of hamilton of how do i explain that duels were not this impulsive thing? there was a code. they were legal but there was a code. a lot of people did them. it's just like a drugs in our country. it didn't matter what class or rank you were in, you could go do a duel. charlie: other people didn't know what was happening. lin-manuel: but there were rules. he wrote a challenge letter, you acknowledge. there's a great book called the affairs of honor that explained the rules. and i said i need to explain this to the audience so they don't think this was some gunfight him positively.
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there were weeks reading up to this and i had to explain that. using the structure, there's a step-by-step book of how to stay alive and support your family and not get killed. charlie: that's in your head. lin-manuel: that is what biggie did with the song and that's what i did with the dueling code. charlie: and then there's the story of going to the white house. you have one song. one song. they said wouldn't it be great if you come here and do something you've already done? i don't think you have one song -- or why were you so hell-bent on this one song for a performance at the white house? lin-manuel: they said we are happy for you to do anything
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from "in the heights." if you have anything else from the american experience -- charlie: they said if you have anything else from the american experience. lin-manuel: i said i have a hot 16 bars. [laughter] if not at the white house, when? do you know what i mean? if the white house calls come you have 16 about alexander hamilton in your back pocket. the call felt like a sign. "i have to do this there." like when i was asked to do the lincoln center concert. the date they gave me was hamilton's birthday. january 11. ♪ ♪ >> the scotsman dropped in the middle of the forgot
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in the caribbean by providence and paul grist in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar. the $10 founding father without a father got a lot farther by working a lot hotter by being a lot smarter by being a self-starter, by 14 the place in charge of a trading charter. hamilton kept his guard up he was longing to be something to be a part of. then a hurricane came, devastation reigned and our man saw his future drip dripping down the drain put a pencil to his temple and that did it to his brain, he rote his first refrain, a testament to his pain the word got around and they said this kid is insane get your education, don't forget from whence you came and the world is going to know your name what is your name, man? alexander hamilton, his name is
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alexander hamilton ♪ [laughter] ♪ there are a million things he hasn't done but just you wait, just you wait when he was 10 his father split, alex and his mother bed ridden alex got better but his mother went quick moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide, left him with nothing but ruined pride, something new inside alex, you got to fend for yourself he started retreating and reading everything on the shelf there would have been nothing left to do for someone less astute he would've been dead or destitute without a cent of restitution started working for his late mother's landlord trading rum and sugarcane in and all the things he can't afford scanning for every book he can get his hands on planning for , the future see him now as he stands on the bow of a ship headed for a new
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land in new york, you can be a new man the ship is in the harbor now, see if you can spot him another immigrant coming up from the bottom his enemies destroyed his rep america forgot him, i'm the fool that shot him ♪ charlie: when you did it and you look at the video now on youtube -- lin-manuel: i see a terrified young puerto rican man. terrified. and you can see it too. once the song starts, i'm good. but my intro, i'm stammering. i don't do that in ordinary speech. i'm terrified because there is a leader of the free world, his entire family, biden, saul williams, one of my favorite poets. angie martinez, james earl jones.
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if i died i could not have dreamed up this room of heroes and luminaries. charlie: all the more perfect place for this song. lin-manuel: and i'm closing the night. i'm the last act. charlie: and when you finished? lin-manuel: i was 50 pounds lighter. charlie: did you know you had done the right thing and you had nailed it? lin-manuel: that video is a microcosm of my entire hamilton experience. i say hip-hop, alexander hamilton, everyone laughs. by the end, they aren't laughing because they are in it. they have been sucked into the story. just like i did. the secret sauce of this show besides the unbelievable work done by my collaborators and incredible casting crew, the secret sauce in the writing is that i can't believe this story is true.
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if such an improbable and amazing story and i learned about it while i was writing it and i think that enthusiasm is baked into the recipe. charlie: that was a great moment for you and hamilton. people understood this is the way to express alexander hamilton. lin-manuel: it was the thesis. charlie: and it's well constructed. lin-manuel: and i had a bit of luck. hbo film that evening. normally, it's c-span cameras. the way it was shot, it wasn't released on youtube until november of that year. it happened in may. and this unbelievable hd footage. it looks like i am in a movie. i still don't believe it's me when i watch that. and teachers started using it in their classrooms. look at the youtube comments. "my teacher showed me this in ap history."
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charlie: is that song still your favorite song and everything you've ever written? lin-manuel: no. i love that song and i'm super proud of it. there are a couple of songs in "hamilton" that really pushed me to the limits of what i know about writing songs. one of them is angelica's song where we have seen the courtship of hamilton's life and we rewind the whole thing and see the perspective of her sister. who fell in love with hamilton first. we hear from her how electric it is and we see the woman is the smartest person in the room. she reads hamilton the moment she sees them. she knows he's perfect for her sister. her sister can marry him sister.
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charlie: but she loves him. lin-manuel: but she loves him. it's an unrequited love song. charlie: women in this musical are important. -manuel: the book begins and ends with eliza's story. so does our show, really. our show ends with eliza's story. charlie: she lives on. lin-manuel: more than twice his age. she meets lincoln. when he is a senator. that is extraordinary. that is an extraordinary life. if we are not promised tomorrow, she got so many tomorrows and did so much with it. and that is very moving to me. charlie: when you write, i have been told you write and tears come to your eyes. you are in the moment. to express yourself. lin-manuel: i think of acting
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and writing as pretty much the same thing. they are two sides of the same coin. charlie: writing and acting are the same thing. lin-manuel: yes. he has to pretend to be the person just to understand what it is like in their skin. charlie: but he never acted. lin-manuel: it's all about getting inside the skin of your characters and seeing where they are and knowing how they've grown up. you have to know what they have come up against, who they are, and then you just start talking and you write until the rest comes out of the faucet and its clear water. charlie: the clear water is the perfection. lin-manuel: it's the stuff that feels true. it feels true and honest. charlie: it's hard for people to understand how difficult that creative act is.
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getting all the rest out until you see the clearwater and the artist knows what the clear water looks like. lin-manuel: the secret is the thing we all have, which is the hardest thing for us to do less people, which is empathy. it's all about empathy. i have got to understand, see the guy and get in his head. i have to get into his heart and blood stream and understand what he was thinking and what he's scared of and what he is excited by. charlie: you are hamilton. lin-manuel: but i was burr too. charlie: are they equally satisfying? lin-manuel: absolutely. they are both so much fun. you get to express so many different parts of yourself.
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i get to be maria reynolds, i get to seduce a guy. charlie: writing these lines, there is a double entendre. there's all kinds of stuff going in it. is that a process of editing over that year? you write one song to get everything right and you are also getting this. because some say they go back and back and back to see "hamilton" because you get something different every time. lin-manuel: that's a function of the hip-hop origin of the idea. i will still go listen to that song i fell in love with an eighth grade and hear something new in it or simply require didn't get because i was too young to understand. the fun of hip-hop as you can
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pack it to the gills with meaning with verbal tricks and , cleverness but also a motion. the notion of the triple entendre is something i learned about through hip-hop. i find that so exciting. i wanted it to be a satisfying listening experience and that has carried over. charlie: when did you know that this thing was going to have this huge, huge impact, this thing being hamilton. at the public theater, "hamilton." "hamilton" people are calling a game changer. lin-manuel: when did i know. i knew when we -- we sold tickets very quickly.
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i knew that would happen because i've been very active on twitter and people had been waiting since the video. history teachers. fans of the one song. i knew we would sell out the initial run. ,hen we announced the extension he said you broke our phone bank. our phones are down. and our internet is down. charlie: nobody has seen a preview, anything. except the video on youtube. lin-manuel: that's when i knew. i began to get an inkling of what was happening. this is as big as it gets off-broadway. charlie: and innovative theater. we grabbed the tiger by the tail here. and what will history say about
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hamilton and the evolution of hip-hop? lin-manuel: i don't know. i'll be dead. the evolution of hip-hop. i don't know. it has been really heartening that the hip-hop community embraced the show. that means the world to me because it is love letter to hip-hop in so many ways. it is my love letter and thesis statement about what hip-hop does in our lives. it enables us, gives us stories of struggle and triumph, allows us to be bigger than ourselves the same way musical theater does. so it's thrilling to me -- writers and rappers i respect have been coming to see this show because it's a love letter to their art form, a slightly different artform. i don't know what it will do to hip-hop. i'm thrilled hip-hop likes it. it's my mixtape to them.
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>> let's begin with a check of your news. belgium is under its highest terror threat ever following bombings at the brussels airport and a subway station that left over 30 feet dead and 200 30's wounded. authorities released video of three men pushing luggage carts through the airport. two men were killed. the third man remains at large. 19 people have been arrested following monday's attack on the european union mission in the capital of molly. -- mali.


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