My dearest Lin,
I have been a theatre kid for as long as I can remember. I’ve been singing since I could talk. I’ve lived for the Sunday night mid-way through June where Broadway’s brightest stars gather in New York City and sing and dance and laugh together and lift each other up in praise and support and love.
I’ve always believed in magic. I think that’s because I grew up on the stage, where at the age of eighteen, I had played an elderly woman, a chicken, a mermaid, a Who, a magical bulletin board, an emotional single woman (I still play that part on a daily basis), a squirrel, and the mayor of a town. With some makeup, costumes, and lights, I could be whatever I wanted to be.
In the past three years, I gradually stopped believing in that magic. I wasn’t on the stage as frequently as I was in high school. Instead of transforming into new characters, I became a full-time working student who had trouble keeping her mental health in control and had trouble asking for help. I stopped believing that I was special and I think that was in part because I stopped performing consistently.
Lin, you taught me to believe in magic again. You stood up in front of the President of the United States with a glimmer of an idea and seven years later, that glimmer has flourished into the most revolutionary and incredible piece of art the world has seen in a very long time. You believed in yourself and your idea and now you have inspired multiple generations of people all around the world to never give away their shot.
When I watched the Tony’s, I was up on feet screaming and dancing and singing along to every word of “Yorktown.” I cried when I saw the way you looked at Leslie as he delivered his acceptance speech. I replayed your sonnet five times because it was just so gosh darn powerful and beautiful. I cried throughout most of the broadcast because it made me believe in magic again.
As a writer and a performer, I have always related to you and admired you for you work ethic and your determination. But something changed within me after watching the Tony’s this year. I felt rejuvenated, almost like you had cast a spell on me. I felt inspired to write again, I felt inspired to perform again, I felt inspired to live a more creative and driven life again.
I have let life get to me in the past three years. But you have helped me realized that life is always going to throw you curveballs. People are always going to doubt you. But you have to keep going through the hurricane. You have to write like you’re running out of time because nothing in this life is promised.
So thank you, Lin, for reigniting the fire within me. Thank you for writing some of my favorite songs ever (Yorktown is my hype song, not going to lie.) Thank you for sharing your passion and your determination with this world. We need more Lin’s in this world.
How lucky we are to be alive right now.
Thanks again, Lin.