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cs master class
I was one of the girl selects! it totally took me by surprise bc I felt like I was struggling.
the girl who helped her bro demonstrate (she’s on GRV!) pointed at me, and I did the whole look around thing and mouthed “me?”
such a good class! soo tired
I’ll wait for them to post the vid on youtube or something…then I can see where I messed up or lagged -_- haha
sang with Darren Criss in SF!
May 1, 2011 was honestly one of the best days of my life because after weeks of nervous anticipation, I finally met Darren Criss! <3 Basically, I had been chosen, along with my friend Lauren, from an online Facebook audition to attend a musical theater master class with Darren. The whole experience was mindblowing, or TOTALLY AWESOME, as i should say ;), so I’ll start from the beginning.
We arrived in San Francisco around 15 minutes early, so we just took some pictures and sang “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Not Alone,” the usual. For once, the weather was actually really warm and sunny. At 1:00 pm, we were allowed inside, along with the other top 5 people, to practice our songs with the accompanist. None of us could really focus, but how can you blame us when all you’re waiting for is to meet Darren? (: An hour later, they let the other 50 people in, and they all took their seats. Soon enough, Darren came out smiling and waving from a curtain on the side of the stage, and everyone started screaming with joy. I absolutely couldn’t process the fact that I was even looking at him, and he was scruffy asdfghjkl. He looked so incredibly amazing in his super skinny Levi’s, a black cardigan with a pale green dress shirt, and his scratched-up brown boots, along with the watch and bracelet that he always wears. He was also wearing a button that said “Rock the Vote” on it, LOL. After some quick intros (his vocab is ridiculously impressive, and he’s really down-to-earth and humble), he sat down at his table, and we each took turns singing our songs. After each song, Darren would offer us constructive criticism, and we would try to improve on that. His advice was actually really helpful, and he was being his usual kind and silly self.
Once Lauren finished singing, he gave her some tips to project her voice more- one of his ideas was to shout “HEY” at the back wall and pretend the crack in the wall was an animal running away (where does he come up with these insane, adorable ideas?) I guess Lauren also seemed nervous, because he said, “Aww, come here and give me a hug.” The entire audience was swooning with jealousy, me included, but it was so sweet. It was intermission by then, and Darren went backstage again while everyone obsessed over his perfection.
I was the second singer after the intermission, and I was super cold and nervous. The director called my name, and somehow I managed to get through my entire song (“How Could I Ever Know” from the musical The Secret Garden) without passing out. After I finished singing, I turned to Darren, and he said to me, “You have such a sweet smile.” I was truly touched, and then he told me that I kept on swaying when I sang (from the nerves), which prevented me from putting emotion into the song. He took me into the corner to recite my lyrics without singing them, to help me add more feeling. I was so shocked that I was literally standing right next to Darren that I couldn’t remember any of the lyrics, and the director had to help me out, which makes me laugh now that I look back. Before I started singing my song a second time, Darren said, “In order to connect the lyrics more with the feelings to your own life, try to find your own secret garden inside of you… And that, is something called wit.” Everyone started laughing, and I felt more relaxed the second time through. When I was done singing, I asked Darren if I could have a hug too (competitive nature kicking in, forsure) and the audience aww-ed. It felt so amazing to hug him, and his cardigan was really soft and warm. He also smelled nice, clean but not overpowering with cologne or anything.
After everyone finished singing, Darren sang for us, and Lauren and I were in the front row, so we experienced the full glory of Darren’s voice. He first performed Coolest Girl, and then To Have a Home, both on the piano. He dedicated the second song to his mom (ahh so sweet) because she really loved it, even though he said he always messed up on this song whenever he performed it live. Speaking of his mom, he brought his parents along to the master class, and introduced them to us. They seemed really nice and proud of their son. :) The passion and emotion he puts through when he sings is simply stunning. His voice is incredible live, not that I was surprised, but to experience that up close was mind-blowing. He then tried to tune his guitar, but it was being pitchy so he had a tough time. He was being really OCD (in a cute way) about it, and called his guitar-tuning “atrocious.” He told us he was going to sing a duet, but he needed our help so we could sing along if we knew the tune. The song turned out to be Granger Danger, and everyone had such a blast singing the Draco part with Darren. Then he sang Status Quo, also on the guitar, and of course he messed up the lyrics (think livestream), but it just made it extra special. The last song was Teenage Dream (on the piano), and omg wow. All of us started screaming before and after he sang. Both his piano and guitar-playing were intense and entralling hehe. <3 Watching him perform was so inspiring because his passion and enthusiasm were very obvious, and he put so much emotion into the songs.
By then, there were only around 15 minutes left, so he did a quick Q&A, where he talked about musical theater and his busy schedule (his next 24 weekends are completely booked) but that he does it all because he loves what he does. He also mentioned that he tries to squeeze in quick naps every now and then, but he is honestly so dedicated and hardworking. After taking a big group picture, they asked the top 7 people to stay after for a bit. Darren hugged us each individually and congratulated us, and then we all took pics with him, during which he said, “Wow this is the first time I’ve been in a group where I’m not shorter than everyone else.” (hobbit LOL) He had to leave for the airport immediately, so we couldn’t get any autographs, but I do have the program that they gave us hanging on my wall. (:
On a side note, Darren was really supportive and enthusiastic about Starship, and Starkid in general. He was genuinely excited and touched when he found out how many of us had watched AVPM, etc. (pretty much the entire room was filled with Starkid lovers), and he shared with us that Starship will probably be on on Broadway within the next two years, yee!
Overall, it was such an incredible day to finally be able to meet Darren, who is so inspirational. It all felt so surreal, and my heart was definitely pounding with love explosions during the entire 2 ½ hours. I couldn’t stop smiling, but now that it’s over, I feel rather sad because it was such a rare opportunity so I doubt I’ll get that chance again. It was everything I expected and more- Darren’s voice, personality, talent, and looks were all pure perfection. Wow this is awkwardly long, but I don’t want to ever forget it!
Here are some of the pictures that we took with Darren:
me with Darren <3
Group pic #1:
Lauren with Darren (:
Darren’s face “wait we’re taking a picture?!”
And here are just some random quotes that he said throughout the day:
- ”If someone is dancing really terribly, but they’re giving it their all, then you’re just like YEAH!” and then he pounded his chest
- ”I could give it back to you, but I won’t.” (about owning the stage when performing)
- He kept on coughing, so a girl gave him a cough drop, and he said, “When people ask me why I do what I do, I say it’s because of the cough drops.”
- One of the singers performed sang an amazing Peter Pan song, and Darren said, “I always have a Neverland in my head.”
- ”I would hope to be like a gateway drug.”
- When the director announced that one of the singers was chosen from Facebook, he was like “What’s Facebook??”
- “If you’re nervous, I actually see that as a good thing, because it means you care about what you’re doing.”
*Some quotes were taken from other blogs of people who attended the event because I’m losing my memory. D:
Credits to: http://insaneandproudofit.tumblr.com/post/5213288451/how-i-met-darren-criss-and-sang-in-front-of-him (One of the performers)
http://deannerzzz.tumblr.com/post/5119350709/some-quotes-and-things-darren-said-today-at-the-class (One of the attendees)