If you have ever met me in person, then you know a few things about me right away.
- I am a walking basket case of nerves and anxiety.
- My favorite color is pink.
- I tend to fangirl quite a lot and spend 80% of my time talking about the art of my heroes or beating myself up because I am not as good as they are yet.
Today I would like to spend a little time discussing #3 on that list.
So Rafael Casal is not in Hamilton, but I discovered his beautiful work because of Hamilton, since he is best friends with OBC member, Daveed Diggs. I was listening to Daveed Diggs’s work outside of Hamilton on youtube and then one of Rafael Casal’s videos came up after it and I was hooked from the beginning.
THIS GUY HAS SO MUCH TALENT IT MAKES ME WANT TO CRY.
I could listen to his spoken word poetry for hours, and trust me, that means a lot coming from me because in general I really do not enjoy poetry. I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. But the way Rafael does it is so hauntingly beautiful, and I’m going to fess up and admit that I even tried my hand at writing a poem myself the other day. It was called “Snowflakes” and it was a hot mess, but I am really proud of myself for trying something new and I even let one of my friends who does slam poetry take a look at it. *gasp* I should probably add a #4 to the above list and it should say, “I hate letting people read my work and the whole time they are looking at it I am trying not to cry or vomit or a disgusting hybrid of the two.” I was only going to just share one of his spoken word poetry videos but I couldn’t decide between the two so here they both are. They’re both fairly old though and his work had only gotten better from there. Check out “Barbie and Ken 101” and “Abortion.” And he sings!!! I like most of his songs but I think this one is my favorite:
Hamilton may have initially introduced me to the world of rap, but Rafael Casal definitely made me appreciate it infinitely more than I did. When I listen to his work, especially his spoken word, I can really feel the pain and emotion that went into it. I’m not going to lie, I have totally cried a few times when I’ve listened to “Abortion.”
Another thing I really like about Rafael is that he is really good about responding to fan tweets on Twitter. Obviously he can’t respond to everyone, but he acknowledges his fans rather frequently. One night in particular I was feeling rather insecure about my own art so I sent him a tweet and got this back.
I played it off really cool and shot him back a nice thank you tweet, but in real life I was ugly crying all over my McDonald’s because I was so happy that one of my favorites had taken the time to say something so nice to me. I really hope if (when? nah, if) I get famous I take the time to take care of my fans from time to time. Because it really makes a person’s day to get something so nice from someone they really look up to.
Ugh. I just want to be best friends with Rafael Casal and pick his wonderful brain. But honestly I half think I would pass out from being in the presence of such greatness. I think if I ever had the honor of meeting him though I would be way too chicken to share my art with him though, haha. Some things never change.
Browse his website, watch his youtube videos. Even if his songs and poetry aren’t your thing, he made some really funny videos called “The Away Team” and also he and Daveed acted out some pretty wonderful Calvin and Hobbes comics together.