[…] I had anticipated that the First Lady might come, one day, when we made it to Broadway, but downtown—at the Public Theater? It wasn’t until after the show ended that they said, “Michelle Obama’s here!” At the time I shared a dressing room with Jasmine Cephas Jones and Reneé Elise Goldsberry, my Schuyler sisters. We hurriedly got out of costume to say hello. Giddy with excitement, we made our way to the greenroom. There she stood. So poised and beautiful. She said hello to each and every one of us. I will never forget what Mrs. Obama said, “This is the best piece of art that I’ve ever seen.” I was floored. She has seen so much art in her life. Coming from her, our First Lady, the modern-day Schuyler sister incarnate, and one of the most inspirational women of our time, it was the best compliment I have ever received.
Hamilton is, of course, closely tied to the Obamas because Lin first performed the opening number at a White House poetry jam. I didn’t know anything about Eliza when I first got the call about Hamilton. Tommy Kail, the director, asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. I knew what he was talking about because I’d seen the video of Lin performing it at the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama. I specifically remember a friend showing me that YouTube clip while I was a student in drama school. Cut to five or six years later when Tommy calls me and asks me to be a part of a December reading of Act II of what was then called “Hamilton Mixtape.” I did what most people do when they don’t know something, I googled Eliza. I saw that she was his wife but there wasn’t a lot more. I just chalked it up to me being a lazy researcher. I thought, Okay. I’ll do digging later. I’ll go and see what this project is and enjoy the experience. Hearing the music for the first time was incredible. It had such an instant cool factor. But it wasn’t until I got into the room with Lin, Alex, and Tommy (I would end up working with Andy a few months later) that I truly discovered what the “Hamilton Mixtape” really was. I thought: These artists and creators that I’m working with … this story … is going to change the world. And I get to be in this room. And it changed me, too. I just didn’t know it yet.
In December of 2013, the end of the play still hadn’t been written. It actually wasn’t until that workshop in January, a day before our presentation, that Lin gave me the last song. In the moment at the end of Hamilton when Eliza steps out and you see her, most people tell me they are so taken aback. “Oh my gosh! She’s the one who is telling us this story, like we’re learning this story because of her.” That was the way that I felt getting that last song. A moment of: Really? And you want me to finish the play? I mean I’d love to but …
Lin went on to explain that in the song you look and see everything that she did after Hamilton died. I was just as surprised and awestruck by the beauty of this woman’s legacy that not many people know about, and how beautiful this moment was that we’re giving her, a voice and a place in history for the first time. It’s huge.
When Eliza says, “I took myself out of the narrative,” in reference to guarding her privacy after Hamilton’s cheating is revealed, her situation feels stunningly contemporary. It took me a while to understand this particular moment in Eliza’s journey. In discovering how to play Eliza, I first asked myself, “What is the difference between the common woman then and the common woman now?” But that proved to be less useful. I was only separating myself from Eliza. So I started to ask the question, “What do all women, past and present have in common?” The answer: survival. Women have struggled a great deal, yes. But it has been their ability to overcome, the way women have chosen to deal with their struggles. Not only survive, but flourish through their achievements. The struggle is real, the struggle has always been real and will continue to be real. It’s just a matter of how you choose to find your way through whatever challenges you face. Eliza is empowered by taking herself out of the narrative. I think that’s why forgiveness is such a huge part of the play.
People seem confused when Eliza forgives Hamilton. I suppose it is because we have more options now. It’s easy to opt to avoid someone, avoid forgiveness, avoid conflict, or avoid complicated feelings, love and disgust, that coexist. But ultimately it doesn’t matter how many options we have; it is a miracle that we choose to survive.
In his last letter to Eliza, Hamilton calls her “the best of wives and the best of women.” If I’m trying to get into Hamilton’s brain, he was saying “best of wives” like “best of who you are to me” and “best of women,” meaning who you are to the world. The letter used to be in the show. I used to read it. I still remember every line:
This letter, my very dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you, unless I shall first have terminated my earthly career to begin, as I humbly hope from redeeming grace and divine mercy, a happy immortality.
If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview, my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. But it was not possible, without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. I need not tell you of the pangs I feel, from the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish which I know you would feel. Nor could I dwell on the topic lest it should unman me.
The consolations of Religion, my beloved, can alone support you and these you have a right to enjoy. Fly to the bosom of your God and be comforted. With my last idea I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world.
Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me.
I used to read it, and I don’t anymore. I think we cut it out for time’s sake, but the idea of the letter still lives. It’s chilling. It gives me chills.
I’m a total believer in the universe and the over soul. Somehow the energy that our Founding Mothers put into our history has lasted and has traversed centuries and found its way to me. Eventually, it will leave me and find its way to somebody else. It does feel like ages have passed by the end of the three-hour play so I definitely use that. Because Hamilton has had such a universal voice, it’s brought some of the most amazing women into my life. Women who are politicians, who are actors, who are writers, who are my family members that I respect so much, strangers—mothers and daughters who have lost their loved ones, all of these women, choosing to survive. And to be able to share it with them in this way, I feel like it’s paying homage to them, it’s paying homage to Eliza, and to all the other versions of Eliza that have existed throughout history and will exist for ages to come.
From “The Best Wives and Best of Women” by Phillipa Soo as published in The Meaning of Michelle edited by Veronica Chambers.
Person A writes some cheesy pick up lines on a paper airplane during class with the intention of flying it towards Person B. Unfortunately, Person A throws it too hard and it ends up hitting Person C in the face.
Bonus: Person C is the teacher
Extra bonus: Person C critiques the pick up lines, hands it back to Person A and asks for revisions
I was watching the news the other day with my dad and when they showed Michelle Obama my dad asked me, “do you know who that is?” and as I was about to reply something along the lines of “what kind of question is that????? are you OK? Of course I know who she is!!!” he went on and added, “she’s the future President of the US”
“if I slip up the name of the album, I’ll already apologize to my manager and we’ll have to figure something out” [tweet]
“i’ve already sent this song to three guys i have crushes on and I was
like ‘do you like it? you are the only person i’ve sent it to!’” [tweet]
song is called Love is Alive and when I heard this song i said this is
it, this is the sound of this record for me” [tweet]
“love is something that really can’t be destroyed, it’s something that
is just always inside of you no matter what you’re going through” [tweet]
“Is anybody wasted?? oh, there’s one hand in the back… I don’t know who that is… Is that Becca?” [tweet]
is another song about that kind of love that maybe isn’t the best thing
for you, I’m sure everyone had that kind of relationship where you’re
like 'I know that isn’t the healthiest thing for me but I’m gonna do it
“whatever you’ve been through in your life
you just have to believe… you just have to have faith, there’s nothing
else you can do but have faith that everything is gonna be okay and
you’ll get to the other side” [tweet]
“sometimes I go on Netflix and I just fast forward to my favorite performances” [tweet]
really appreciate you guys being here more than you’ll ever know, i
want to always remember being in this room tonight” [tweet]
about the band: “you’re stuck with me!!! woooo” [tweet]
“the reason i’m doing this next song from glee… what if i was like 'i’m actually not doing any glee songs tonight’” [tweet]
“i wanted to do something different so it wouldn’t be an album with 12
versions of My Heart Will Go On… You know, throw in some remixes” [tweet]
“can i tell a story? people are gonna be like 'omg lea michele just
talks! sing something from glee already!’ but can i tell my story??” [tweet]
“let’s just try and stay present… when I hit those high notes, you guys can snapchat!!!” [tweet]
The Scream Queens star performed some songs from her upcoming album Places last night during a concert in Santa Monica and while performing “Sentimental Memories,” Michele rolled her eyes and smirked when she sang, “All along you were a liar.”
She didn’t let on whom she may have been thinking about, but the audience laughed at the dig.
“Breakups suck,” Michele said. “But they’re also OK if it’s what it’s meant to be.”
I HAVE TO BRING THIS BACK!
soo Michelle said something like ‘we have quite a few husband/wife…
so for me 'a few’ means not just two married couples. It means definitely more than two.
She just could have said something like 'there are even two married couples’
What do you guys think about this?
Some lil Hedwig things
- she used the “set the clock back 60 years ago” line when people were late
- the floor tasted like Mike Pence
- her hair was “Hillary”, but no because her hair was a winner. She then touched her left part of her hair and said she does sense trouble in the West Wing
- when she was still in the middle of her dialogue someone already started yelling words to describe her hair so Hedwig said it sounded like a sneeze and asked if that person was allergic to brilliance cause she was just about to ask people to describe her hair.
- after Sugar Daddy she said she liked grabby hands “just like president elect Donald Trump” and turns out her wig is his hair. She stole it.
- this time with the Lea Michele line she said “do stop believing” again but after that she added “don’t hold on to that feeling”
1. She started her blog with a clear vision, idea. She knew what she is going to talk/blog about long time ago and she stuck with it.
2. She is always kind, nice, treats everyone with respect.
4. She’s never been mean, arrogant, or made you feel less.
5. She welcomes everyone on her blog, she is minding her own business.
6. She is funny, wicked and always up for a good conversation.
7. She is encouraging, calm and one of the hearts of this fandom. ❤️❤️
It’s not easy to run a Gillovny blog, ‘cause people will keep shouting at you, accusing you of things and calling you names. But you are handling it with such a style, it’s insane. You know when Michelle Obama said. “When they go low, you go high.” Well, Girl, in my eyes you keep doing this since you started your blog and I find that so very amazing! I’m very glad that I get to know you because of our blogs and I cannot wait to grab some beers & shots in London and spend an awesome night out!
The best thing about President Obama’s shout-out for his wife was when he pitched his voice way up and said “Michelle Lavaughn Robinson–” like he was going to get down on one knee and propose to her on live tv.