Robert on The Glee Project 108
Before I begin my blog this week I must say two things. First, I have read comments in which people have said I don’t write my own blogs. I want to correct these false statements – I write every word that appears in this blog. I only wish I was a better writer, and I honestly wish that I could spend more time with the writing. Currently I am casting the third season of GLEE and I am so busy I can hardly see straight – hence the tardiness of this particular blog. Every time I sit down to the computer, I try to express how I feel about each episode as truthfully as I am capable of putting the memories in to words. Also, I wish I had time to reply to your comments. I would love to be able to answer you when you specifically ask me about something – at the moment, I simply don’t have the time. But, I do appreciate you following the blog and I hope it makes the entire process a little clearer. I know sometimes you may disagree with the bottom three or you may disagree with who goes home. That is your opinion, and I respect it. Show business is entirely subjective – it is all made up of opinion. There really is no right or wrong. Your opinion is as valid as mine. However, please know that there is so much that goes in to making the decisions –they are never made lightly. The show simply doesn’t have the time to show the hours and hours of serious conversation that took place. However, I think that everyone involved in producing the show has done a wonderful job of capturing the most important pieces of information. In addition, if you wish to see more, Oxygen provides wonderful, informative “extras” .
Secondly, I want to address how certain people have written hurtful, cruel comments about the contenders on my blog, as well as the individual contenders’ blogs. All twelve contenders are among the finest young people I know. They are not only extremely talented, but they are also kind, nice, moral young people. They are all good friends to each other, like family really. It hurts them to see each other hurt. And it hurts and disappoints me tremendously. Please, please be kind in your critiques. These are human beings who deserve to be treated with respect. As a viewer you are only seeing moments, flashes of their personalities, and, not all of the most flattering moments are being shown. Please believe me when I say – each and every contender is a great kid. I am so proud of them all and I can’t bear to see them hurt. This should be a wonderful experience for everyone involved – the contenders, as well as all of you. Please help make that happen. And for those of you who have been supportive and kind, thank you.
This past week was a wonderful, but intense theme, Believability. I would like to speak to the theme of believability since I think it is such an important quality for an actor. The reason a great performance is great, is because you as an audience believe – “buy” – what the actor is portraying.
Jenna was chosen as a guest mentor because her performance of “True Colors” was so truthful, so believable. “True Colors”, in turn, was chosen for the homework assignment because the words of the song speak to being honest and believable.
I loved this week’s group number “The Only Exception”. I absolutely love the song and it was nice to see a challenge which was so focused on acting.
From my perspective, I think the actual filming of the music video was a little more intense than usual. I think at this point in the competition everyone was exhausted, cast, crew and mentors. I also think that the reality of a winner being chosen very shortly loomed large. Also, the tone of the song was somber and emotional, so definitely, for me, the set felt different than it had up to this point. Yet, as always, it was exciting to see the contenders shine.
It was a challenge for each contender to be truthful, simple and still – as the majority of the video was shot in extreme close-ups. When the camera is that tight on you, any movement seems huge. They had been used to dancing and moving, and to be contained was a challenge. Their job was to make us believe that they were “longing” and that is a tough emotion to play. I explained some basic acting techniques, having an intention - what do you want in the scene, substitution, etc.
This week I was the most impressed with Damian and Alex. Damian has just gotten better and better, and he was so connected and truthful in his performance – and so simple, and “simple” is something I never thought I would say about Damian. Alex drew on some pretty powerful stuff, and at the very start of the shoot he was playing one level – sad. However, after a couple of notes, something clicked within him, and I thought his performance was not only his most impressive to date, but it was truly breathtaking. Up until this moment Alex had either been “on” –brilliantly fun and big and over the top – or kind of “off.” He finally “got it”, he learned that he could still be powerful and “alive” while being simple. I was so, so proud of him.
Ultimately, all the contenders did a beautiful job, and to this day “The Only Exception” video is a favorite of mine. Erik White outdid himself – and it was so different from all the previous videos. I am continually impressed with how Erik can make each video so different, yet still have his stamp on all of them. In choosing a bottom three we had to be extremely knit picky. For me, it truthfully came down to the fact that Damian and Alex had such outstanding weeks, and in Alex’s case, a breakthrough week, that they had to be the top two.
Hannah’s elimination was so, so sad. She is incredibly special. I can’t say enough good things about Hannah – I absolutely love her. Zach, Nikki and I all do. She is radiant. A light shines from within her, as a person and as a performer. She’s an excellent actress, and in truth, this was the first week she had ever struggled whatsoever with her acting. She ultimately got it, and did a beautiful job in the video. However, during the process she admitted to being a little confused. In her defense, the challenge was a little confusing – she was having to substitute certain feelings for Alex while singing lyrics which somewhat contradicted her intention, and her ultimate goal was to make us, the audience, believe she was yearning, longing for Alex. As I said, she finally got it, but even that minor struggle, at this point in the competition, contributed to putting her in jeopardy. Why was she ultimately eliminated? As I always say, I can’t speak for Ryan. But I think Hannah was eliminated not so much for anything she did wrong, she was just up against two other contenders who in the moment made more sense to move on. Again, so much conversation went in to the decision –Ryan loved Hannah – and it was not an easy decision, by any means. Yet, I know I have said it over and over and over, this is ultimately a competition – someone has to go home each week. And the decisions are never rash. There is always an extraordinary amount of discussion which goes in to the decision making process. She is smart, and driven and so, so funny. She truly has a wonderful sense of humor. My wife thinks she should do standup. I love Hannah’s voice – again, my wife loves her voice too. I think what is nice about Hannah’s voice is she sings from her soul – the warmth comes through in her vocal quality. I feel what she is singing about. We will miss Hannah.
Going forward, I would say that the remaining four contenders need to stay focused – they must get out of their heads.