Tyler on TGP Casting Special: I never imagined that the open call would actually lead to this incredible experience!
I have always wanted to be a performer. Music is the primary medium through which I express myself and I've known my entire life that I am meant to share music with people. I've always loved music and I've always loved to sing. I gradually realized my love for performing in elementary and middle school through school chorus and band concerts. After my first real solo singing performance in eighth grade, I was hooked and wanted to perform everywhere, in any way that I could.
I have always been very different from everyone that I've ever known. It started when I was born (as a half black, half white, Jewish, transgender person) and continued as I grew up. I was always different from my peers and from adults in terms of both personality and values. I can't explain how I am different as well as it naturally comes across when I am observed both in and out of my element.
I auditioned for The Glee Project because GLEE is the performance opportunity and learning experience of a lifetime. I went to The Glee Project audition to get myself one step closer to GLEE! It was inspiring to see how many people were auditioning for the show. It was amazing to wait in line with 500 people who were also chasing their dreams and doing what they love! I never imagined that the open call would actually lead to this incredible experience I'm having!
The first song I sang for Robert was "Ordinary People" by John Legend. I chose this song because it was the only song suited to my voice on the list of audition songs. It wasn't really a choice - I just knew that "Ordinary People" fit me best and that I had to audition with that song. Robert said my performance was great. He was interested in getting to know my story, so we talked about my transition and some of the obstacles I've faced. After talking about my vocal changes, he asked me to sing another song - any song I loved to sing. I sang "Your Song" by Elton John and Robert said, "That's one of my two favorite songs in the entire world...and you did a great job."
After the casting process, I had mixed feelings throughout the video chat with Robert because he was being so pessimistic! I was hoping for the best, and the best happened! I was so excited and relieved to actually know that I was going to be on The Glee Project and begin the experience of a lifetime!
Through this competition, I hope to inspire people to be who they are and do what they love. I hope to help anyone who is different to feel okay and love themselves for everything that they are. I hope that people see me and realize that transgender people are just people living their lives like everyone else. If I win The Glee Project, I would love to increase transgender visibility. For example, I’d love to play a character that just happens to be transgender, but his story focuses on other struggles he's having (family life, love life, etc.). Or, I’d like to play a character that is transgender and having a hard time coming out and dealing with transitioning. I would also like to play a character that is having trouble reconciling his feminine and masculine aspects due to societal pressure and bullying. The options are endless.