July 29, 2016

Sarah Sees Hamilton

A Hamilfan Enters "The Room Where It Happens"

This spring, we offered 2 free tickets to see Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway. The show had been sweeping the nation, revolutionizing the way Americans remember Alexander Hamilton, transforming way we think about Broadway musicals, and potentially even influencing the decision on the redesign of the American currency.

Of course, we at Urgent.ly identify with this narrative - and the narrative of Alexander Hamilton himself. We’re revolutionizing the way Americans think about roadside assistance, after all. We chose one lucky winner out of thousands who entered the promo code ‘HAMILTON’ into the Urgent.ly app, and sent her two tickets to the hottest Broadway show! Hamilfans, meet Sarah!

"I am a 6th grade teacher, but I originally went to school for theater and acting.  I tried auditioning for professional theater, but soon discovered that I'm no good at auditioning, and much prefer the rewards that teaching has to offer.  I still am involved in local theater in my area, having been part of different community productions for over 16 years.  I also teach dance and theater, both at a dance studio and also for the local community college, which offers summer programs and camps for school-aged children. I am an avid reader and challenge myself to read a certain amount of pages every year (and yes, I keep track!).  Some of my favorite books include the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series, Leaving Time, and The Thirteenth Tale.  My favorite television shows are Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, and Friends (which I quote often). I love to scrapbook."
  1. Had you heard of Hamilton before entering the contest? How did you feel about the show, this ultra-popular Broadway musical as revolutionary as the man it’s about?
Yes, I had definitely heard of Hamilton before I entered the contest. I have been a fan of the show since being introduced to it by a friend, Tara, last October.  It was like nothing I had ever heard before, and it combined my love of theater and Broadway with my love for American history. I listen to the cast album at least once a day and I have collected various Hamilton memorabilia, including the show's program, the Hamilton vocal book, posters, and the Hamilton book describing the show's conception and development from Lin-Manuel Miranda's perspective.  While visiting NYC previously, I was actually able to meet several members of the original cast, including Lin, and needless to say it took my breath away.
Seeing the show is one of the most incredible experiences.  Hamilton is like nothing else out there.  One thing I really love the most is how the ensemble is such an integral part of the story-telling process, their movements and presence helping to shape the story right in front of the audience's eyes.  Not only that, but the caliber of talent within the cast is astounding.  Everyone is so amazing, and they carry their roles with grace and precision, the whole experience is moving and breathtaking. It's something that gets inside of you, and you can feel it in your gut. This show gives the audience an emotional reaction.  It makes me think deeper and causes me to be impatient with the way things are now in this world.  There are questions that this show asks that makes you really think, not just about the life of Alexander Hamilton and the time period where America was finding it's beginning, but of this world now, what's happening, and what we can do to make it better.  Hamilton asks during his last moments, "What is a legacy?"  That right there is so powerful.  What IS a legacy?  And further, what kind of legacy are YOU going to leave? And even further than that, YOU ARE someone's legacy.  If your grandparents, your great grand parents, or their parents, saw who you are and what you're doing right now, would they be proud?  Are you representing yourself and your family well?  Are you making a difference in this world that will have a positive impact on the future?  Or are you like Burr, and waiting to see which way the wind blows before taking a stand?  Are you more concerned with being the popular choice, or the choice which will get you where you want to be while sacrificing your own opinions?  Or are you going to stand for what you think is right regardless of what others believe?
This show is so intense just based on how it can spur such a reaction.  I know this is the short version of how this shows makes me feel, but I can't be the only one who has a reaction like this when they listen to the music, when they hear the lyrics, or when they (if they are lucky) watch the story unfold.  I think this is such an important piece of art that couldn't have come a better time for this world to see and ponder.
  1. How did you first hear about Urgent.ly and the Hamilton Contest?
Since I am a huge Hamilton fan, and I post about it often on my social media pages, any type of Hamilton news usually pops up on my Facebook feed.  The Urgent.ly contest was one of the ads that caught my attention, and I immediately entered.  Any chance to see Hamilton, and I am there!
  1. What was it like to hear that you’d won tickets to see Hamilton? Tell us a little about your initial reaction.
I was driving, and my phone rang.  I usually don't pick up if it's a number I don't recognize.  I figure if it's important, they can leave a message and I can call back.  When I listened to the message, I think I had a mild cardiac episode.  I honestly thought I was being punked or something, because I don't usually win stuff...like, ever.  I called back immediately, but no one answered.  I tried to stay calm, but my inner fan-girl won out and I began incessantly pushing the "call back" button in the hopes that I wasn't being pranked, and this was real life.  I was coincidentally on my way to Tara's house (the friend who is as big a Hamilton fan as I am, and who initially introduced me to the show) because we were meeting for dinner.  When I walked in I blurted out that I thought I had just won Hamilton tickets.  She slapped me hard on the arm in her shared enthusiasm and told me to shut up, haha.  The whole rest of the evening was basically spent hovering over my phone waiting to hear news. When it was finally confirmed that I had won, I was in a shocked state of disbelief for a few days, but then became fairly giddy with anticipation of seeing my ultimate favorite Broadway show.
  1. How was your experience visiting New York City to see the show? Did you explore “the greatest city in the world” - as they say in Hamilton?
The city was awesome!  I took my mother with me, and we made a little mini-vacation out of the entire experience.  My mom is my favorite person to have adventures with.  We went to several other shows as well, including the Rockette's NYC Spectacular, Something Rotten! (HIGHLY recommend...the cast is amazing, and the show is absolutely hysterical), and Wicked.  We also went to pay our respects at the 9/11 memorial and experienced the beautifully constructed and powerfully moving museum.  We also got to explore several NBC studios by taking the NBC studio tour. And keeping with our Hamilton theme, we went to the NYC public library, where we visited their Alexander Hamilton exhibition. All in all, the experience was great, and we had an awesome time in the city.  Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to see Hamilton and to have a great week in the greatest city in the world.

Thank you for entering Sarah, and thanks for telling us all about your experience. We’re all living vicariously through you a little, and have loved hearing about what it’s like to be in “the room where it happens!”

The Hamilton Contest is over, but we’ve got more ways to win! Keep an eye out for our next big contest - sure to be a touchdown! ;)

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