An Iowa high school musical theater and choir teacher reveals the story behind his viral video series which has amassed nearly 62 million views and has online fans cheering alongside his own students.
In an eight-part TikTok video series, Myles Finn gradually unveiled what his class would be performing for their 2023 musical. He shared the first video post on August 24.
The concept started out innocently enough, with Finn jotting down 13 musical names on a whiteboard and jotting down two of the names each day, crossing them off the list of possible projects. It’s an idea the teacher said he thought of after seeing similar ad stunts on TikTok.
But Finn and his wife, Haley, co-director of the musicals, decided to have fun and added a twist to the ad. “I decided to throw in a little bait and go over there and have the musical that we were doing…actually not on set, [which] really threw them for a loop,” Finn told “Good Morning America.”
The finale culminated in a pre-recorded, interactive video message that Finn presented to his class, somewhat, he says, inspired by John Hammond’s character in the movie “Jurassic Park,” which has a similar back-and-forth with himself in a pre-recorded video shown to park visitors.
Finn will later share it in a two-part TikTok post. “ARE YOU FOR REAL NOW?!” the overlaid text in the video read as a student’s voice presumably echoed the same question. When the musical’s title was revealed, the iconic opening bars of “The Addams Family” theme song began to play – all part of Finn’s master plan.
“I think it’s such an iconic song that as soon as [that] first ‘da da da da’ plays, everyone knew exactly what was going on,” he said.
Finn had to keep the new musical a secret for months before he could reveal it to his students.
“Kids always know I have a general idea of what it’s going to be like and they always try to get it across to me,” he said. “So the more I built up the anticipation, I think, the more it played into, ‘Oh, I gotta make this really intense’ and then it got even more intense as we got closer, and I’m like, ‘ Ooh, I’m gonna make this really fun.”
Finn has taught at Indianola High School in Indianola, Iowa, for four years and said he strives to maintain a “close relationship” with his students.
“I think when students feel comfortable, they learn. When students feel comfortable in a classroom, when they feel comfortable with their teachers, and they know that the teacher is having fun, like, like, they’ll do anything,” Finn said. , referring to his extraordinary announcement and TikTok videos. “They will want to work. They will want to learn.”
Finn said he has since received an “outpouring” of love and support since his TikToks went viral. His message to the new Internet fandom is twofold.
“The first thing I want people to remember is if you want to be a teacher and you have fun as a teacher, you can do anything with education,” he said. declared. “You can go as far as you want. You can go viral on TikTok if that’s something you want to do. But it has to be authentic and it has to be something you’re really passionate about.”
He added that he encourages anyone who is hesitant to pursue their passions to “share their soul.”
“Show that authenticity. Be that person who, if you’re passionate about something, show it to the world,” Finn said. “If you like painting, show it. If you like golf, show it. If you like building trucks, go crazy. Make sure you go all out in this thing you’re absolutely passionate about.”