John Schneider inspires performing arts students

On October 25, actor/director/songwriter and North Springs alum John Richard Schneider spoke to some performing arts students about his successful career. As “the long-haired kid with the guitar on his back,” he has managed to become a Broadway actor, producer, musician, and director. Schneider has found success as an actor with roles roles such as Beauregard “Bo” Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard, Jonathan Kent in Smallville, and James “Jim” Cryer on The Haves and Have Nots. Not to mention, he was chosen to direct certain episodes of Smallville. Schneider has also found success as a songwriter, writing the soundtrack for the film Doonby.

“If you’d told me 38 years ago I’d be in a beautiful theater talking to aspiring film writers, directors, musicians, and actors [at North Springs] I would never have believed it,” Schneider said in apparent awe. “But here you are.”

All his years of experience encouraged many students and teachers alike to ask questions about how to make it big in the growing Georgia film industry.

“Do everything you can, do every audition,” said Schneider. “That’s likely how you’ll get started. The more tools you have in your bag, the more likely you’ll be ready when someone needs help.”

He also encouraged students to start looking for theatrical and artistic internship opportunities to gain easier access to the competitive industry of performing arts. “There are lots of opportunities if you are willing to go for it,” said Schneider.

Schneider’s visit to North Springs also brought a lot of local press attention, such as being a Sandy Springs Patch lead story and in a CBS46 segment. The Sandy Springs Patch article written by Kristal Dixon states how John Schneider “gave an inspiring talk to about 300 performing arts students”.

Students and staff alike enjoyed the educational event. “His talk was very inspiring,” said Sophomore Aireon Johnson-Brown. “I loved every second of it.”

VPA Magnet Coordinator, James Landreau says, “There was a true energy and excitement in the room and the students were so engaged in what was happening. A true once in a lifetime experience for sure!”

“I believe he is a great representative of a North Springs Spartan,” adds Communications Liaison Carol Ciepluch. “The students thought he was great.”

One of Schneider’s most inspirational quotes during the event was: “Whatever your dream is today, double it. I’m here to tell you, you can do it.”

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