Holding on to YouTube


Teddy O’Neil ’18 practices in the link between classes.

Loneliness, depression, and anger; everyone has their own techniques for coping with these personal issues. This past summer, Teddy O’Neil ‘18 had conflict with a girl he grew affection for.  O’Neil’s personal coping mechanisms were anything but positive.

“Before uploading the video I was doing a lot of harmful things to myself, lots of bad behaviors,” said O’Neil.

O’Neil’s loss of optimism was felt directly by his family and peers, simultaneously losing the faith and love that had always been there for him.

“[My loved ones] couldn’t take it anymore, which I understood and knew [that] I needed to change,” said O’Neil.

O’Neil has been singing since a young age, participating in local talent shows or small community events. However, he has always kept his talent hidden throughout his time in high school, until he realized that singing was his way out of his sorrows.

“I felt alone, and found comfort in singing,” said O’Neil.

O’Neil revealed his secret when he uploaded a video of himself singing a cover of the song, “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars to YouTube on September 6th. It went viral, amassing 12,251 views since then. Word quickly spread around Jones, and even Teddy’s closest friends were in shock.

“I’ve known Teddy since freshman year, and I had no idea that he could sing,” said Mark Minogue ‘18.

Some friends are ecstatic about O’Neil’s ability to sing, and want to ensure that Teddy feels full support and is encouraged to continue to publish his work on YouTube.

“Teddy is amazing, [and] he should really continue to sing publicly, especially after how successful his first video was,” said Michael Keller ‘18.

The YouTube sensation has been seen from people of all over Jones. Upperclassmen, underclassmen, close friends of Teddy, even people who did not know who he was before watching the videos of him singing.

“I did not know who Teddy was, but by the way he sings, I can tell that the video meant a lot to him,” said Dennis Barber ‘20.

O’Neil’s emotional connection with the song is evident in the introduction to his video.

“I really messed up with someone who meant a lot to me, really screwed up, never got the opportunity to say sorry, and don’t know if I ever will, but I hope she knows I’m sorry,” said O’Neil.

Although the motivation behind these videos may not have been the happiest of times for O’Neil, he began to realize that singing genuinely did change his outlook on life and the situation at hand.

“When people talk about my videos it makes me feel very grateful. I feel blessed to know that I have the support of the school and from my friends,” said O’Neil.