Monday, September 08, 2008

How a music teacher rocked my world

Mr. Cringan was a much-loved music teacher at my high school. I studied with him, but it wasn't in class that he changed my life. It was on the stage.

Our school produced amazing yearly musicals. Brigadoon, Finian's Rainbow, they all came alive in that auditorium. In junior high, I went to see one of the performances and was blown away by the sheer energy of it, not only on the stage but also in the auditorium. The show was exceptional and the place was alive, hopping and full of joy. It was so amazing that I started imagining what it would be like to be a part of it!

When I did get to high school, I desparately wanted to audition but figured the competition must be fierce and that there wasn't much chance of making it.

And here's the magical moment.

Mr. Cringan announced that anyone could be in one of his shows. Anyone. If you came to rehearsal all the time, you could perform on stage. There was room for you. No matter what. You just had to want to be there enough to show up.

I love this man for what he taught me. The excellence if the show didn't come from competition and weeding out. It came from harnessing joy and desire. Everyone on the stage wanted to be there. No one had to sit in the audience feeling sad or resentful or left out. If you wanted to be on the stage, you could be.

The Universe is like Mr. Cringan. There is room for you on the stage, my friends. There is. You've just got to show up and sing.


danette said...

oh Jamie, what a beautiful post. Just what I needed to hear, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one.

I hope your music teacher reads this!

Kristen said...

What a perfectly timed post... I too really needed to hear this today!

Sacred Suzie said...

What a beautiful post Jamie! I wish with all my heart that had been my experience at the same school, I'm so happy for you that it taught you to show up and perform. And OMG, what a great photo of you! I haven't seen that one before. You are definitely shining in it. You have always been a fantastic performer.

When I first saw the title, I thought, how did Mr. Begarsky rock your world? LOL! Although I really liked him.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post... and I especially love the final part.

'The Universe is like Mr. Cringan. There is room for you on the stage, my friends. There is. You've just got to show up and sing'.

These words are so true :-)

Vedrana M. said...

how beautiful...thank you!!!! xoxo

Tammy said...

Jamie! This is an awesome post. I had a similar experience with an
8th grade drama teacher! He cast me in a female lead role even though I didn't fit the "stereotype" for an actress! I gained so much confidence because of Mr. Madore.

Unfortunately in high school, my drama teacher was more interested in looks of her cast members than talent. I was not given a chance to shine.

Several years after high school, I spoke with the amazing accompaniest of our school. She boosted my confidence by telling me that she and others had argued for me to have a chance at a lead, but were outvoted by the director. It was nice to know I at least had some backing!

Crayons said...

I really enjoyed this post. The photo of a youthful Starshyne is poignant. Now THIS is a real teacher. Wow, look at the moments of joy that come back to you! I'm inspired by the story.

Jenn said...

Beautiful! Love that there's room for everyone. So fits with your mission that the arts are for everyone!!! Here's to abundance.

Pink Heels said...

That is a beautiful concept! Encouragement through focusing on a passion instead of drawing on one's competitive nature.

robin bird said...

what a brilliant guide in the universe your mr Cringan was! the harnessing of joy and desire i will remember that...thank you :)

daisies said...

its these teachers that open up our possibilities and give hope ... i wish there were more of them :) thanks for sharing this beautiful story!! xo

Tracy said...

"There is room for you on the stage, my friends. There is. You've just got to show up and sing."

A beautiful post and I loved the above statements!

Love the picture of you....very pretty. A shining star indeed! =)

pink sky said...

i love this post so much! what an empowering messege. we all need a mr. cringan in our lives - yay for teachers who really inspire us to live, learn and grow :) thanks for sharing this magic.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! If only every kid in the world had a chance to have a teacher like Mr. Cringan.

I love your I'm going to "show up and sing"!

Melba said...

You are so cute!
What a beautiful story!
We recently went to see the Wizard of Oz at the High school and it was amazing. Ethan's eyes popped out of his head. I wasn't involved in the drama club in high school but Sean was. I think it would be so wonderful if Ethan and Maggie were involved in it~ but of course only if they want to.