Tonight, I attended Leslie Odom Jr.'s stop in Naperville to discuss his book, Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning, based on the mentoring work and speeches he's given at schools. He started the evening with a reading from his book, then had a conversation with Greta Johnsen of the Nerdette Podcast, a question-and-answer session with fans, and finally, a mini concert. When he sang "Without You" from Rent, I seriously got goosebumps. He followed that with "Wait For It" from Hamilton, and after much insistence from the audience, gave us an encore. He began by singing a gorgeous a cappella rendition of the opening verses of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." When the guitar came in playing the opening strains of "Dear Theodosia" from Hamilton, I cried. It was so what I needed right then, it felt like a gift from the universe. And I cried all the way to the end and part of the way home. (It's been a rough week.)
I'm the owner of my own signed copy of Failing Up, and since I had an extra ticket, I have an extra signed copy I'll be donating to my choir for the silent auction at our upcoming benefit.