Dani on The TGP Casting Special: I was prepared to go with the flow.
I've wanted to be a performer since I was in the fifth grade, when I discovered how much I loved to sing. After that, I explored improvisational acting, theatre, and started playing the guitar at age 16. I fell in love, and have been married to songwriting and performing ever since. :)
It was exciting to see how many people were auditioning for The Glee Project, but I didn't feel too intimidated. I was more focused on giving the best audition I could give, and I trusted everything would happen as it should after that.
The first song I auditioned with for Robert was "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. I chose to do that song because after I was on America's Got Talent, I realized I could take very popular songs and make them my own (rather than limiting myself to only ONE style of music). I wanted to take on the challenge of adapting a Lady Gaga song to my own acoustic/ folk rendition. Robert said that he loved my voice and what I did with the song.
I was obviously ecstatic when I found out that I had made it on to The Glee Project! Ryan Murphy had given me very positive feedback, which gave me hope that I had made it, but of course I didn't want to count my chickens before they had hatched. So the news was a huge relief after waiting! I remember being at a cabin with my family for the holidays at the time, and I ran out of the room cheering and jumping up and down with joy once I got off the phone with Robert. Haha.
After America's Got Talent, I felt I was prepared to "go with the flow" while on The Glee Project. I learned that reality television is a lot of work, and a lot of mystery. I didn't mind taking everything one step at a time. Also, as far as performance-wise, America’s Got Talent opened up my perspective a lot. I didn’t like the idea of doing covers (rather than my originals) while on that show, and then I realized there was nothing wrong with it. I could still be myself, make the songs my own, and continue writing and playing my own songs as well. If I had never had those realizations, I wouldn't have been open to the idea of being on a show like GLEE, or The Glee Project.
I would really like to inspire viewers of The Glee Project by leaving them with a sense of curiosity- about me, but more importantly- about themselves. I hope they walk away with the courage to explore all that life has to offer them, and can find the inspiration to really go for their dreams. Life is way too short to live in fear, trying to meet other peoples' expectations, and we will all be a lot happier when we can fully realize that. I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen if you go for your dreams? You get knocked down or rejected a few times? This is a personal motto I like to live by: every "yes" is a win, and every "no" is a lesson. There are no losses, only opportunities to learn and grow. Perseverance is the key to success. :)
If I won a role on GLEE, I would like to play an androgynous character that enjoys flirting, and making people question everything they thought they knew about themselves, especially their sexuality. I would encourage my love interests to look beyond "straight"/"gay", and "male"/"female" labels, and delve deeper into what it means to really love a person for who they are. I think we put too much pressure on people to define themselves by their feelings, rather than encourage them to explore their feelings in every moment. It adds an unnecessary pressure to life, in my opinion. Labeling something only limits our perception of it. The truth is, everybody is different, and every connection is unique, and that's the kind of message I would really like to bring to GLEE.
I feel like GLEE is doing a great job of increasing peoples' tolerance and acceptance by exposing them to new kinds of people and ideas while also giving young "under-dog" characters they can relate to. That is why I wanted to audition for The Glee Project. I feel like the essence of GLEE lines up with the essence of my music, even though our styles are somewhat different. The whole point is to not only entertain, but also give people hope, and I love the combination of those two things.