"I’m here to inspire and facilitate"

There was a show that premiered on ABC last fall that I really, really liked but apparently no one else did. That show was Eastwick, rather loosely based on the book The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. The show was cancelled rather abruptly at the beginning of the December, yanked from the schedule, and the final two episodes were relegated to the graveyard hours of the night. Somehow, I managed to record the last episode (although not the penultimate one, which resolved all of the stuff that happened on the final episode of November sweeps) and I finally watched it Monday morning.

The character of Darryl van Horne (Jack Nicholson in the movie, some extremely handsome actor I didn’t recognize in the show) is kinda sorta the devil. The three “witches” are women who feel powerless in their lives and relationships and then suddenly find each other and their powers. Their lives are turned around and they are able to take control of the things that had been spiraling out of control. Suddenly Darryl shows up and their powers grow stronger, often much to their chagrin.

Anyway, a bunch of things happen and on the final episode, Darryl explains that he was drawn to them because of their strength and that he was not the cause of their powers, because they existed within them the whole time. And then he said a line that just took my breath away:

“I’m here to inspire and facilitate.”

Now, if you Google this line, you will find that there are 575,000 occurrences of its use in various educational and self-improvement venues, from weight loss to business strategies to creativity. But it sounded new to me, even though I’ve probably heard it 575,000 times.

I hate it when a student’s parents say, upon his or her successful performance, “Wow, thank you. You did this.” I always smile and say, “No, he/she did it. I just provided the materials and he/she ran with it.” I hate it because I grew up with parents who didn’t believe I could do anything on my own, that if I did something outstanding, someone must have told me how to do it.

Yes, I love that my students do well, and perhaps I’m just really good at inspiring and facilitating, but when it comes right down to it, they’re the ones who are doing it. Just like I was the one who “did it” all the times when I did something outstanding, they are the ones who are doing it now.

I wonder what lessons I will learn from the series finale of Ugly Betty. We’ll find out in a few weeks.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

4 thoughts on “"I’m here to inspire and facilitate"

  1. Thanks for sharing that line Chris, it's BRILLIANT! I'll be using it rest assured. It's so frustrating when parent's, friends and family congratulate me on a student's fine performance. The only thing that I did was show them the tools and start them on the path. They chose how quickly to follow the path and what tools they needed to use to finish the task.

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