Mary Alice Cookson
The Salem News
---- — Last Wednesday, many excited tweens and teens, along with many parents and grandparents, ventured out on a school night and work night to watch “American Idol” on a big screen in Beverly High School’s auditorium.
They came to root for Angie Miller. They dressed in black T-shirts with orange lettering spelling out “Team Angie.” They brought “We love Angie!” posters and used markers to add personal messages to a giant banner reading: “Beverly Supports Angie Miller and The One Fund Boston.” Their fanfare was meant to show their support for the beautiful and talented young artist, as well as for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Miller fans, who filled the auditorium, were generous with their money, as well as their enthusiasm. Someone slipped in unnoticed from Luigi’s Pizzeria in Beverly and dropped off free pizzas, helping the Beverly Music & Performing Arts Association raise more than $650 to support music education at the high school. Members of the Beverly High School senior class collected more than $1,000 in donations for The One Fund. And Kiss 108 Radio added to the excitement by broadcasting the event, entertaining the crowd and handing out goodies.
This week, if Miller gets the votes she needs to remain among the top three “Idol” contestants, Beverly will be rolling out the red carpet to welcome her home, most likely with a parade, interviews and concerts that will put a bright media spotlight on our city. Indeed, wherever you go in this community and beyond, people are talking about her.
The judges have advised Miller that if she’s truly “in it to win it,” she needs to keep self-consciousness at bay and be herself — an inspiring singer who shines behind the piano, writes and performs her own original songs and puts her whole self into her performances. In short, she needs to be the best Angie Miller she can be.
“Be yourself” is advice we’ve all heard before and most of us can benefit from at some point in our lives. But most of us don’t have to face the task, square-on and at a young age, with all of America watching!
Yet Miller, ever sweet and gutsy, handles the pressure well. Bright-eyed, she soaks up the judges’ advice and pulls out all the stops to show voters why she’s ready to be the next “American Idol.”
Of course, Beverly folks don’t need convincing. They’re standing by their hometown girl as she stands by herself on a national — even world — stage to advance her dreams.
Go, Angie! Whatever happens in the coming weeks, Beverly is with you!
Mary Alice Cookson is a magazine editor, a BMPAA board member and a Beverly-based columnist. She welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.