A year ago today, Tick Tick Boom was released. It's a film that tells the true story of Jonathan Larson, a composer living in New York. It shows him working on a musical, Superbia, which he has been working on for years and years with no success, to the detriment of his relationship and his financial means.
Without saying more of what follows, it is without doubt one of my favourite films. It touches on a lot of themes that resonated with me; the act of creation (and the risk of failure that comes with it), the feeling of running out of time (a theme that is recurring in some of Lin-Manuel Miranda's other work), of comparing yourself with your peers, of having a vision that is not yet fully realised.
Jonathan Larson was someone who was willing to risk everything; it was not the glamorous depiction of failure that we often see today. And what is worse is that he never got to see his success; he didn't get to see that the journey was worth it in the end. Is that a risk that people are willing to take today? How many Jonathan Larsons are out there today, who we will never hear of?
The film made me think about my own life and what I want to do with it. I don't want to live a life where I don't take risks; where I don't put everything I have into something that I believe in. I want to create something that lasts, that means something. And I hope that Tick Tick Boom can inspire someone else out there to do the same.
Tick Tick Boom is a powerful film that highlights the importance of taking risks and working towards your dreams, no matter how long it takes. It also serves as a reminder that success is not guaranteed, and that sometimes the people who don't get to see their dreams come true are the ones who took the biggest risks.
There's a similarity between the creative journey that Jonathan Larson went on, and the journey of being a founder. Creating something out of nothing.
The core themes of the film are summarised brilliantly here by the film's director, Lin-Manuel Miranda:
With thanks to Adaobi Adibe for help with writing this post!