I’d just posted to Twitter’s #Fridayreads about a book titled MONSTER LOYALTY: HOW LADY GAGA TURNS FOLLOWERS INTO FANATICS by Jackie Huba.

Monster Loyalty by Jackie HubaOkay, the word “fanatics” suggests unpleasantness, but the word “fan” derives from it. We all are “fans” of a musician, an author, a sports team, chocolate.

Gaga’s fans absolutely love her, and she loves them in return. Her sincerity pulses in a current between her and her “Little Monsters,” in ways Huba describes in much of her book.

I admit, before I read the book, I only saw the tip of the iceberg that’s Lady Gaga: her music, her art, and her legacy — namely the Born This Way Foundation — to promote kindness.

Anyway, right after I posted my #fridayreads entry about Huba’s book, I saw this video Tweet from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda:

Boom! There it is!

He’s another example.

Lin-Manuel Miranda does all those things Huba attributes to Lady Gaga’s leadership with equal depth and zest.

  • #Ham4Ham gives a free street performance to those lined up for tickets and then puts them up on YouTube for those of us who can’t stand in that line.
  • He’s bought and delivered pizza to fans standing in line to see him perform.
  • He stays in contact with fans via social media AND suggests fun diversions for them to engage with him. (I’d link to one, but they’re all over his Twitter feed. Scroll through and check it out.)
  • In the video embedded above in this post, he announces the launch of a Hamilton app, a way for fans to stay connected to goodies from the world of performances of “Hamilton.”
  • He launched a Prizeo contest in Spring 2017 to benefit Code2040 and the Latino Community Foundation, organizations supportive of immigrants, like his parents.

FWIW, these are just the things I can think of from the easy access part of my memory. As a somewhat casual fan — yes, I have the “Hamilton” CD, the so-called “Hamiltome,” and the “Hamilton Mixtape” — I probably missed a lot of things he does. Note: In 2018, I finally saw the play on Broadway.

Like Gaga, Miranda not only talks the talk of kindness, but walks the walk, with a jaunty step and an irresistible smile.

Call me kooky, but everything either one of them does comes out of love and joy.

What can we artists along the path learn?

Well, I think the first step is to nudge past the training to “never let them see you sweat” into focusing on what we love.

Love always conquers fear.

It’s what makes mothers step into danger to save their children.

It’s how I climb aboard a 16+ hand (very tall, to non-horse people) draft cross or thoroughbred and take horse riding lessons at age 62.

It’s how I lost 63 pounds as a side-effect because I was hellbent on saving my much larger husband’s life, so I went on the same diet with him. And, Gentle Reader, that was tough, as in “dieting through the entire holiday season and all the birthdays, plus our anniversary” tough. (BTW, he’s lost 135 lbs. Plus, he says the same about me: he did it for love.)

We can do the hard stuff because we love.

So, how else can we channel what we love into what we love to do?