A disastrous morning commute quickly turned into the encounter of a lifetime for a former Marist student.

Jay Thalacker was one of the many commuters attempting to ride the A train just before Christmas. After a service disruption left the subway line disabled, passengers were forced to get on a bus instead.

But Thalacker's misfortune quickly turned to luck as he realized the famed composer and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was seated right behind him. The former Marist student immediately wrote a group text to his friends:

Courtesy of Bobby Perrotti

Thalacker texted "Guys... guys... I am... guys...I am standing on a bus... directly in front of... Lin Manuel Miranda!" Bobby Perotti, a friend on the group chat, responded quickly and urged Thalacker to thank Miranda for writing the music to Moana and the Broadway musical, Hamilton.

After not getting an immediate response, Perotti pleaded with Thalacker to approach Miranda, texting "Damnit, Jay, just say it... Thank you for Moana... Your friend has a couple (of) cute kids who know what a hero looks like and a hero is a girl."

Courtesy of Jay Thalacker

Thalacker didn't want to disturb Miranda, especially since the actor was traveling with his young son. So instead of drawing attention to the Hamilton star, Thalacker thought fast and quietly passed him his phone, displaying the text from his friend.


The photo has since received over 230,000 likes and has been retweeted over 16,000 times. After realizing the bus encounter had become a viral sensation, Perrotti reached out to Miranda to let him know he was the one who sent Jay the text.

Miranda replied by saying hello back. He also acknowledged Jay and included a reference to the group text, sending out a hello to whoever was identified in the group text as the "juggler."  Thalacker has confirmed to us that he, in fact, is the juggler.