Monday, July 07, 2008

Goodnight, Tom

I found out a few days ago that a teacher at my former high school has died. He never taught me, but I auditioned for him, for the school play, when I was twelve, thick-fringed and uncomfortable in my own skin. I turned to a blob of nervous mulch as soon as I opened my gob to sing. Needless to say, I didn't get the part, or any part for that matter. But I knew deep down that I could do better, and so I went home, dejected, and practiced and practiced, everyday - usually in my back garden so my mum wouldn't hear me - until I was note perfect. I can still recite the one bloody verse that was the audition song. I never got to hear it in full, as I never went to see the show itself (having no friends to go with who weren't already in it). Instead, I made up scenarios where I went back in time and did the audition all over again, and the teacher would say "marvellous, we've found our lead!" I don't think it made me feel any better, but it gave me something to strive towards, and eventually, albeit five years later, I did get a leading part in a musical.
I wish I could write about the man himself, his achievements and ambitions, but I never knew him. He taught my parents; he once caught my dad underage drinking in a pub, and bought him a pint; he was the man I wanted to please most for a few months back in 1993. It's strange to think how a person you never acutally spoke to, you never knew, can influence your life. Goodbye, Mr G.

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