The Value of Time in Tick, Tick…Boom!

Photo by Joan Marcus from theatermania

Tick, Tick, Boom! directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda covers an autobiographical musical about Jonathan Larson as he tries to make it on Broadway. The story highlights Larson’s relationships with his family, friends, and romantic partner. The story is empathetic to every 20-year old, or anyone trying to search for their truth. It deals with the lingering feeling all of us at one point experienced, that we are about to get older. There are pressures surmounting us: to make something of our lives. The story was written in the 1990s at the peak of the AIDS endemic and at this moment the film highlights Larson losing friends because of the virus. The key point was to portray the very theme of: time and how we are running out of it. The death of people close to Larson, moving apartments, and shifting careers shows that there are goals we feel like we need to achieve or else we lose the limited time given to us. The film calls attention to Larson’s death, he never got to see the success of his play The play Rent played off-Broadway for twenty-years and would end up winning a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Musical. But, what can be learned from Larson’s death? Sometimes, it’s painful to accept but some of us can never be able to see and experience what we have tried to build. Our life task can take years or months to be made or recognized but it doesn’t always turn out how we planned or imagined. The story provides a glimpse into the creative process of artists like Larson but it is timeless as it relates to most of us searching for something bigger than ourselves. Despite Larson not being able to see his success, it shows us that no matter how often we feel we are getting nowhere, we can never know how impactful our work is. So it is important to always keep trying, our work will be meaningful someday.

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