The perpetually busy Lin-Manuel Miranda will visit the White House and hang with Michelle Obama next week. On Wednesday’s Ham4Ham, Miranda announced that he and the rest of the Hamilton cast will perform for the First Family (which makes me feel a little salty because they already saw it once) on March 16, according to Variety. But the cast of the hit Broadway show will also try out new educational programs with children and participate in a Q&A.
Earlier in the week, we learned even more about Miranda as he opened up to Heben and Tracy on Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast, talkinkg about his childhood, paying the bills pre-Hamilton, and eyefucking Kanye West.
Here are seven things we learned about the man who is one award away from EGOT-ing:
On the lack of Latino representation in entertainment
“It’s so scarce as a kid that like the examples are insane. I’m thinking of the chihuahua in Oliver & Company voiced by Cheech Marin… I was like ‘oh that guy sounds like my uncle.’ That chihuahua, that’s us. That’s how bad the 80s were when it comes to Latinos. I mean, ‘La Bamba’ was our movie. That was the big shit for us.”
On How John Leguizamo Inspired Him
“The one that was big deal for me also was John Leguizamo. When he started doing his one-man shows, I remember taping Mambo Mouth and taping Spic-O-Rama. I memorized Spic-O-Rama off my VHS casette, and this was a guy who was just, he played all the parts and he wrote on his own show where he got to play all these parts. That was a huge deal.”
On writing background music for campaign spots
“I didn’t write jingles. It wasn’t like ‘I like Ike’ or things people sang. I was writing the background music for commercials, so my dad would say, ‘Hey, I have a Sharpton spot. I need 60 seconds of jazz, smooth jazz under the political message. It’s going to be on WBLX.’ I remember writing hopeful Latin music for Eliot Spitzer’s Spanish-language spots. And that was how I paid the rent.”
On what really happens backstage
“Daveed [Diggs] and I freestyle backstage during “The Room Where It Happens,” on the meanwhile section. Daveed and I happen to be stage left together, and we always go, ‘freestyle.’ One of us will do a setup line, and of us will knock them out. And then he goes out for his entrance.”
“Well, the Ham4Hams were really, they’re part generosity, they’re also part selfishness and karma guarding. When we did our first lotto on Broadway, 700 people showed up, and it was the dead of summer. And it was like oh, we cannot send 680 people into the streets of New York mad that they didn’t win. That’s bad for our city. That’s bad for America, and bad for personal safety. I got up there spontaneously the first day, and [Hamilton director] Tommy Kail was like, ‘we should do that every day. We’re in previews.'”
On his connection with Kanye
“Usually, I know when an artist is coming, but Kanye kind of just showed up. And it was the day, I think, Life of Pablo was due. He was in the second row with Kim… There’s a moment where I just basically eyefuck whoever’s in the first two rows. And I wink at them and I’m like, ‘Hey.’ That’s my little fun times as Hamilton. The last time he’s single before he meets Eliza. I just winked the hell out of Kanye because he was right in my blast zone!”
On Kanye being Hamilton
“They came backstage at intermission, and so at intermission I came downstairs and said, ‘This whole show is about you. It’s all about you, and Washington is Jay Z. And you started writing about Jay Z before you struck out on your own. It’s all about you.’ And then Kim was like, ‘And the three sisters?’ And I was like,’ Yes, and the three sisters. It’s all about you.'”