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The Glee Project Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Alex, Lindsay, Samuel, and Damian on August 15, 2011 about the show The Glee Project.

Alex, Lindsay, Samuel and Damian

Question:
What was your most memorable moment from the show so far?

Alex Newell:
Mine probably would have to have been working with Hannah and doing Nowadays in drag.

Samuel Larsen:
I think mine would be singing and making the video for Don't You Want Me with Marissa.

Damian McGinty:
Mine would be doing last night's music video Sing. I really, really enjoyed that. And trying to play drums was a lot of fun.

Lindsay Pearce:
I agree; Sing was probably one of my favorite memories of the show, definitely.

Question:
What would you say is the most important thing you've learned from the time you spent on the show?

Samuel Larsen:
I think what I learned the most is to be yourself and not worry so much what people think. Don't try to please people all the time. You know, just be yourself but be the best You you can be.

Alex Newell:
Probably the thing that I learned was stage versus film and just kind of subtleties and knowing when to be on and off.

Damian McGinty:
I think I learned that hard work is one of the most important things. You know, if you want to get better you have work incredibly hard. You know, because they give you critiques and Ryan tells you what he wants you to be. And Nicky and Robert and Zach tell you what you want to be what they want you to be. And you have to go away and work on that and be that. There's a lot of hard work involved.

Lindsay Pearce:
I learned that hard work definitely always pays off. But I just I kind of learned that being imperfect is okay, and that it kind of makes a person human and it makes them vulnerable and relatable. I kind of learned to stop trying so hard to be right and perfect when being real is better.

Question:
Aside from what Ryan Murphy and those guys have said to you along the way, if each of you could create your own dream Glee character for yourself what would you be?

Alex Newell:
Kurtcedes. I would be Kurtcedes if I could.

Samuel Larsen:
Every high school has that guy that's a singer in a rock band and I would be that singer. But maybe my band breaks up or something and I need a place to sing, so I join New Directions or something along those lines, yes.

Damian McGinty:
I would love an element of myself to the show, you know. When I - before I get to know people I can be quite shy, but then you know, once I get to know them, I kind of you know, always joking and have quite a laid back and lazy personality. And you know, I would just love to bring an element of that to the show.

Lindsay Pearce:
I definitely always kind of wanted to play that kind of ugly duckling, like raggedy Cinderella kind of kid that's really awkward and doesn't really have a lot of confidence in herself, but then joins New Directions and well she sort of kind of takes her under his wing and lets her bloom.

Question:
What's been the hardest moment for each of you that you've really had to push yourself through to carry on in the competition?

Damian McGinty:
For me the hardest moment for me was definitely when Cameron quit, and kind of saved my behind. You know, it was weird because obviously it was good because I was saved and lived to play another day. But I lost my one of my best friends on the show. And it was going through my head Ryan obviously doesn't like me that much; he was willing to send me home. So it was definitely the biggest mental fight I had on the show.

Samuel Larsen:
I think my hardest moment was from last night's episode, just you know, being told that I wasn't vulnerable enough, or basically like the fact that I wasn't vulnerable enough and wasn't authentic finding out that what I thought was a good quality in me, which was like to fight through and not show weakness, was actually the complete opposite that Ryan wanted. I'm not sure if I have enough time to proof him the opposite.

Lindsay Pearce:
I felt like my hardest moment was Maybe This Time, that last chance performance kind of going in thinking it was just kind of another musical audition where you're just bright and peppy, and you know, trying to get the role that you want. And not getting shot down, but definitely getting a good talking to. But it was hard to hear, but it was very needed.

Alex Newell:
Mine's probably talking about my father and probably being in the Bottom 3 so many different times. Then where I had to talk about my father and just finally crying and letting it all out.

Question:
Lindsay and Samuel, you were obviously in the Bottom 3 last. Do you think that turned out to be a disadvantage a little bit?

Samuel Larsen:
Yes I think it as definitely a disadvantage. I just found out what Ryan wants from me, and I've been doing consistent eight weeks of not doing what Ryan wants. Whether, I mean, regardless of whether or not I was being put through the whole not wanting to show weakness and kind of just pushing through emotions is not what Ryan wanted and I had no idea. And yes, I think it was definitely a negative thing. he has a relationship with everyone else that has been in the Bottom 3 a few times and he didn't have that with me so.

Lindsay Pearce:
Yes, I definitely felt the same way that Sam did. Just you know, being taught, you know kind of like, a quality about me is to always kind of try and be strong and put on a game face and a good face for everyone else even though I might be feeling something sad or negative. And I think had Sam and I been in the Bottom 3 earlier we might have kind of known that it's okay to be vulnerable. You know, and that's what Ryan wants to see is kids break down and pick themselves up by their bootstraps, and then you know, push forward because he says that that's what Glee is about. So it was definitely a wakeup call.

Question:
What's the fan reaction been like?

Samuel Larsen:
Amazing. It's cool to see like the actual fans of Glee embrace us this way and treat us like we are an actual cast member. It's really cool.

Lindsay Pearce:
Crazy awesome.

Alex Newell:
It's been good.

Damian McGinty:
It's been absolutely insane like Facebook and Twitter has just blown up. And it's incredible and it's really flattering you know, because there's so many. You know, to realize and find out that there's thousands of people behind you, who want you to do well, it's you know, sometimes you have to pinch yourself and realize that these people are supporting you, and kind of you know, want you to do well and get this role.

Lindsay Pearce:
There's always more love than there is hate. And that's what I love about all of it.

Question:
Alex, how has the reaction been for you being out about being gay and doing drag? How has the public reaction in your family been about it?

Alex Newell:
Everyone kind of accepts it. They're just like, "It's just Alex doing what he's doing. He's always over the top; he big or he goes home." And my family loves it, they eat it up. They think it's hilarious. They love seeing me in a dress for some strange reason, they get a kick out of it. My fans they like it. I do get a lot of drag queens saying that I do a good job about it and I should be on RuPaul and stuff like that. But I mean, they like it.

Question:
I've heard there's some divas on the real Glee, so I was wondering how you guys are going to keep down to earth if you win?

Alex Newell:
I mean for me, since I am a diva it's nothing new. Like if you didn't know me before the show, then you would think that I was over the top and a diva. But if you knew me before the show you would know that I've never changed.

Question:
So how would you guys compare the experience of the video assignments versus the last chance call backs; do you guys prefer one over the other or do you find one more challenging?

Samuel Larsen:
They're both hard.

Damian McGinty:
The video shoot that was a lot of fun every week. Sometimes it was really challenging like you know, Vulnerability Week, I think we can all say none of us really enjoyed that. But then there's things like Teenage Dream and Sing and Tenacity with music videos that we all had a blast in them, just really enjoyed it.

Lindsay Pearce:
And you can tell.

Damian McGinty:
And as for the last chance performances; not so much.

Lindsay Pearce:
I do like the last chance performances in the sense that it was finally a chance for each person to sing a solo sing by themselves. But the circumstances were not so awesome.

Samuel Larsen:
You know, shooting the video I would just kind of trip myself out and pretend like I was actually on the set of Glee, because I mean that's the kind of situation you'd be in. And last chance performances is just straight intimidation so, yes.

Alex Newell:
I mean one is making a piece of art and the other one is saving your ass and trying to stay in the competition.

Damian McGinty:
He said what we're thinking.

Question:
What would you say has been the most helpful advice in terms of both the competition and moving forward with a career?

Samuel Larsen:
The best I've ever gotten was, "Stop thinking."

Alex Newell:
I probably got, "Just stand still. Don't have to be the diva."

Lindsay Pearce:
I would say, "To be myself and remember that theatre and film are two different mediums."

Damian McGinty:
Yes the best advice I got was, "When you're on TV everything is a lot smaller than what it is when you're like performing in like a theatre or an arena. It's a lot smaller.

Question:
What were your reactions to seeing that you all were called back?

Samuel Larsen:
I was convinced that I was the one that was supposed to home. I mean I was the last one on the list, so I mean I was kind of the one on the chopping block. So yes, I was convinced I was supposed to go home and you know, to get that extra chance felt amazing.

Question:
What are you guys doing to do during the down time at the show?

Damian McGinty:
What down time?

Samuel Larsen:
Yes, right.

Lindsay Pearce:
We rarely had days off, but sometimes we got to go out and have dinner.

Alex Newell:
I shop. A lot.

Lindsay Pearce:
We like to play that... what was that clapping game called that we played?

Alex Newell:
Slide.

Lindsay Pearce:
That was really fun. We tried to see who could get the highest score on that. So fun.

Damian McGinty:
Apart from that, we slept.

Lindsay Pearce:
Any sleep. I would journal, I kept a journal so.

Question:
For the finale it going to be the same format with a homework assignment and a video or is it completely different?

Lindsay Pearce:
Yes same format.

Alex Newell:
Same thing.

Question:
Have you heard any opportunities coming up for your careers going forward, or are you still kind of focused on Glee right now?

Samuel Larsen:
We're actually not even allowed to know what offers or even accept offers until the show's done.

Lindsay Pearce:
Yes, until it's done airing we're kind of at a limbo.

Alex Newell:
Yes.

Damian McGinty:
Yes.

Question:
How has it been to meet all the mentors who work on Glee, and both the actors and the writers and the producers and perform for them as well?

Samuel Larsen:
Cool, it's really cool.

Damian McGinty:
It's incredible because these guys the people we met, and the mentors and the judges, I think all of us were honored because they've got so much experiences in their back pockets and they've been doing it for such a long time. And you know, to learn from that is incredible, and we're really lucky.

Lindsay Pearce:
We were really lucky. We got kind of a taste of what Glee would be like. You know, we got to work with everybody that works on Glee. And so it definitely was a boot camp, initiation into being in the Glee club.

Question:
How accurately or inaccurately do you think you each have been portrayed?

Lindsay Pearce:
I think Alex and I got the short end of the stick on that one.

Alex Newell:
Sure, we got the tiny end of the stick.

Lindsay Pearce:
Yes. But it's all good. It should all be good in the end.

Alex Newell:
I mean it's hard because little things that I've said or have done have been blown completely out of proportion. And I'm hated by like, a lot of people. And I get, I hate you, and I get slurs and I get stuff like that. But I have to be better than that and just accept that's how it was edited and just kill them with kindness.

Lindsay Pearce:
Amen.

Samuel Larsen:
I think one thing that needs to be kept in mind also is we're under a high amount of stress and just lots is expected of us. So anything we say, anything we do that gets on camera a lot of time might not be 100% true to who we are in real life just because of the stress we've been under. But I mean I think they're doing they're doing best, so.

Lindsay Pearce:
And there's good moments and there's bad moments for everyone, it's always good in the end.

Damian McGinty:
Yes I feel, I don't know, I just feel like it's portrayed me as me that's just the way I am. I just like to have fun and joke around, a little bit lazy that's just it really is who I am. So I think there was really only one way they could have portrayed me to be honest.

Question:
Lindsay or Alex, do you want to follow-up maybe a little bit on getting the short end of the stick, as far as how you feel you were portrayed?

Lindsay Pearce:
Honestly it's really just things that are taken out of context and just kind of placed in areas. But it's always, I mean it happened months ago so it's kind of just something to kind of look back and laugh at. At first I was like, "Oh no." And then I got over it and there's always more love than there is hate. And we really are all a family and we all stick up for each other. I mean granted, a lot of things I say I mean. But some things I look back and I'm just like, "Wow." But it's like, I don't even know, it's just out of context and it's fine now.

Question:
Did anything really surprise you when you watched the episodes back?

Alex Newell:
Mine personally is probably the interaction I had with Matheus and how completely different it was than what actually happened.

Samuel Larsen:
I was shocked to hear that Ian's first impression of me was that he wasn't sure how authentic I was. I mean it's good that I know it and you know, they were honest about it.

Lindsay Pearce:
I was a bit shocked to hear that Ryan had been wanting to cut me since like he first saw me. But you know, at first, it is what it is and he's just a very honest guy. And I understood why he would want to I suppose based on what he'd seen. But I'm glad that I was able to stay.

Question:
I just wanted to ask you what it's really like to be slushied?

Damian McGinty:
It's awful.

Lindsay Pearce:
It's awesome.

Samuel Larsen:
I love it.

Damian McGinty:
It's numb.

Alex Newell:
It's absolutely the horriblest feeling in the world. I'll be honest, it's cold. I'm from Boston, and I can deal with the coldest of cold. But just having it all thrown at you full force is not a great feeling.

Damian McGinty:
It was awful, but you know, the feeling of kind of pushing through something that, trust me is really, really agonizingly, shockingly, diabolically sore, it's a nice feeling knowing that you're pushing through that and still performing. Plus it really, for me, it ended there. It was hell. It was so cold.

Alex Newell:
Yes.

Damian McGinty:
Like it was just awful.

Lindsay Pearce:
I thought it was so much fun. It was very cold. It was kind of that feeling of getting thrown into a pool with your clothes on. You're like, "Oh it was so funny," and then you walk around and you're like, "Okay now this really sucks." But it was really fun in the moment and it was great. It was great.

Alex Newell:
Felt like falling in a snow bank.

Damian McGinty:
Yes. It tasted good.

Lindsay Pearce:
It did taste good.

Question:
If you were to win who you would want your main storyline to involve on the show?

Samuel Larsen:
I'd love to do some stuff with Will Schuester and possibly Quinn or Brittany. I think that would be really cool. Yes, and Darren. I'd like to be friends with Blaine, that'd be cool if I could.

Question:
What would your plot be?

Samuel Larsen:
I'd be going steady with Quinn.

Damian McGinty:
I think I see mine as I think I would imagine Sue Sylvester would not like me, you know. That's the way I kind of - I would love to have some sort of storyline with her, but I think Will Schuester, Will would really appeal to all of us, because he's like he's like the gravity of the show that holds everybody together, you know. But you know, I think it would be safe to say it would be an honor for all of us to play a storyline with anybody it would be pretty awesome.

Lindsay Pearce:
I'd love to do something with Kurt or Tina. Because I really love how shy Tina is, but she's very talented and I just, I love Kurt, I can't get enough of him.

Alex Newell:
I would love to sing with Amber, Mercedes, and just be the two divas that run the schools, and maybe the world.

Question:
After last night's episode did any of you decide to take up musical instruments?

Lindsay Pearce:
No.

Alex Newell:
Not at all. Not even guessing.

Question:
Did you guys have fun playing around with them for a little bit?

Damian McGinty:
Yes.

Alex Newell:
Yes.

Damian McGinty:
I wouldn't put my mom through the agony of listening to me playing drums.

Lindsay Pearce:
My hands are way too small for a guitar.

Alex Newell:
Right, my hands are too delicate for the bass.

Lindsay Pearce:
I admit ignorance when it comes to the guitar, and I admit no aptitude for it. Sam is the one that does all those instruments.

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