If you’re lucky, you’ll have at least one person in your life who will make an impact. They will change everything and truly make a difference. And for Lin-Manuel Miranda, it appears one such person was his eighth grade English teacher Dr. Rembert Herbert, because when Herbert sent Miranda a special video message, it left the Mary Poppins Returns star in tears.
Miranda appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about his upcoming production of Hamilton in Puerto Rico, which opens on Jan. 11. However, during the show, CBS correspondent David Begnaud surprised him with the clip.
“Lin, this is your old English teacher, Dr. Herbert, here,” Herbert said. “I’m sure you didn’t imagine when you were in the eighth grade and set some of The Chosen to music that it would lead you where you are today but congratulations. I’ve heard a lot about what you’re doing in Puerto Rico, and I wish you well in those endeavors and continued great success down there.”
The camera then cut back to Miranda, who was tearing up.
“Dr. Herbert’s the reason I’m sitting here talking to you,” Miranda said. “I wrote a musical instead of doing my homework for his class in eighth grade. He said, ‘You could be good at this, and you should stop hibernating in my class, and you should be doing this.’ Because we had a student-written theater club at my high school and Rembert’s the one who nudged me in that direction and he sort of changed my life forever with that.”
Ingrid Michaelson also recorded a message for Miranda, saying “History has its eyes on you” — a memorable line from the show — and former Hamilton cast member, Christopher Jackson, joked that Miranda made the role hard on himself. “Lots of words. Remember, you wrote them all.”
And the surprises didn’t stop there. The morning show had one more treat in store for Miranda: a message from chef Jose Andres. “Congratulations,” Andres said. “Only you will bring Hamilton to beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. So thank you for bringing so much hope to the beautiful American people of Puerto Rico. After all, you know it. Immigrants get the shit done.”
As for me, I’m feeling inspired to go call my old English teacher. Maybe it’s time to say thank you!
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