Lin-Manuel Miranda thinks of his different projects as college classes.
The 41-year-old star finds it less intimidating to think of his workload as different “courses” he’s studying and finds it makes his different ventures complement one another better.
Discussing directing ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’, writing music for ‘The Little Mermaid’ and filming ‘In The Heights’, he said:“You know what I did, actually? I was working Tick, Tick … preproduction and Mermaid at the same time, and at the same time that Heights was shooting. And the way that I psyched myself out was to tell myself: I’m back in college; these are all just courses I’m taking.
“I’m doing an internship with Alan Menken [who wrote songs for’ ‘The Little Mermaid’, and worked on ‘Tick, Tick …’ pre-production]; I’m doing my Columbia history project [with ‘Hamilton’]. If I think of it as classes, and projects, they feed each other rather than, ‘Oh god, I have so much work to do.’ I think of it as cross-curriculum; I’m getting a very well-rounded education.”
But when working hard on his stage show ‘Hamilton’, Lin-Manuel had to give an intense focus to the show.
He told The Guardian newspaper’s Saturday magazine: “Doing it every night became my meditation. For two and a half hours, I only have one job. That saved me, because I couldn’t go and party, I couldn’t go to half the things I was invited to; I was like: no, I have two shows on Saturday, which kept my head from getting off the swivel. Being in a Broadway show is like being a cook in a restaurant; they don’t care about how much people liked it last night, it’s about tonight.”
Working for Disney by writing songs for ‘The Little Mermaid’, as with ‘Moana’, is “super scary” because it will create such an impression on children.
He said: “With ‘Moana’, I was the last guy hired, and I was also working on ‘Hamilton’ at the same time, [and it is scary] because you know you’re going on a playlist with [‘The Little Mermaid’s] ‘Part of Your World’, and [‘Frozen’s] ‘Let it Go’. That’s tricky company to be in.”