How One 'Hamilton' Fan Made Lin-Manuel Miranda's Night

How One 'Hamilton' Fan Made Lin-Manuel Miranda's Night

Jamie WhiteA lifelong theater fan, Northwestern University alumna Jamie White booked a trip to New York City to see the smash hit 'Hamilton,' somehow snagging a front row seat.

Several times throughout the show, White could have sworn the star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was making eye contact. Then, as Miranda was leaving stage for the curtain call, he spoke directly to White and thanked her for coming.

Like any good millennial, White almost immediately posted a Facebook status update. Ultimately, her words started a personal Twitter conversation with Miranda, a memorable online exchange that underscored the benefits of being engaged in the moment.

In her Facebook post, White praised the show and the connection she felt with Miranda throughout. "Having Lin-Manuel Miranda make eye contact and vocally acknowledge my weeping as he exited curtain call will be one of the best moments of my life forever," wrote White,  a theater major who is now pursuing a master’s degree in the Learning and Organizational Change program in the School of Education and Social Policy.

Then a Facebook friend alerted White that Miranda had tweeted about a “killer front row,” calling out a girl in a blue dress. While audience members in the second and fourth rows had been distracting the actor with their phones, White (and a child in the front row) apparently made Miranda’s night because they were so thoroughly engrossed in the show.

White responded via Twitter, telling Miranda it had been an honor to be there. And in another tweet that turned the exchange into an actual conversation, Miranda wrote six words that White will never forget: “Hey Blue Dress! YOU WERE LIVING!”

The #HeyBlueDress hashtag took off, and White received hundreds of new Twitter followers. But more importantly for White, the experience reinforced the importance of the show, Miranda’s presence in popular culture and his ability to reshape how history can be presented.

“I continue to riff off what he said, that I ‘was living’ and the importance of being present," said White, associate director of admissions for the master's in management studies program at the Kellogg School of Management. "Responding to things and being engaged with your surroundings can help you connect with people, understand them and build empathy." 

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 11/16/16