Casting for FOX’s musical/dance number, “Glee” has never been more fun and challenging than with a casting reality show dedicated to the art of it called “The Glee Project”.
In a conference call, casting director for “Glee” and “The Glee Project” Robert Ulrich and choreographer and “Glee” co-producer, Zach Woodlee took questions from reporters on the new season.
One of the new season hopefuls is a familiar face to reality competition game show fans, Dani Shay who was also a contestant on “America’s Got Talent” last year. Ulrich said, “I recognised her but I didn’t know her. She got in because of her talent and because she was special. To be honest not because she was on ‘America’s Got Talent’”
With the new season, there are some new challenges as well. One talented hopeful is Mario who is blind. Ulrich said, “it was so wonderful to watch him dance and move. He was willing and able to do more than I thought was capable.” Another contestant, Tyler, is transgender. Ulrich said, “dealing with transgender Tyler, you really have to remind yourself that he is transgender.” But, in general, Ulrich state that the whole cast uses their differences as their strengths on the show.
All in all there was nothing more difficult than dealing with our regular show (Glee). Regarding their role in finding talent for “Glee” and the competition of “Project Glee”, Woodlee said, “Our job is to preserve and mentor them…to make somebody the best that they can be so that anyone can win. That makes is challenging and emotional every week. Its’ sad and frustrating because you don’t want to see anyone be in the bottom. But that’s the point of the show.”
Just how difficult is it finding those triple threats for the show? That is talent who are gifted at singing, dancing AND acting we asked. Ulrich responded with, “We see thousands to get it to the 80 that the 14 come out of. In seeing those 1000′s we are hearing their stories and hearing them sing.”
Zach stated, “to find a perfect triple threat is universally impossible now a days. It’s about what you have and how well you work with what you got. We don’t have time to turn these contenders to everything you want them to be. We really want them to own the skill set that they already have and that’s what makes them special.” He also pointed-out that if they had cookie-cutter talent on the show, then there wouldn’t be much personality or believability. “If you find 14 different types of diamond’s in the rough. It comes to the one Ryan [Murphy, creator of "Glee"] thinks he can mold into being on the scripted show.” Ulrich finished by saying that even on the scripted show “Glee”, there are different things that the talent can excel in.
Ulrich stated of this new season’s contender, Dani Shay, who is a Justin Bieber look-alike, “she is exceptionally talented and not only a singer but also a song writer. She epitomises what the show is about. She’s unique and talented. The Justin Bieber thing goes away after a while. She’s much more than that.”
Woodlee stated, “our job is how do we make you look the best we can. They all have what it takes, they just all have different ways and different paths to get there.”
I think last year’s talent was awesome. This season they are even more unique so different. What to expect from Lea Michele, star of “Glee” who plays Rachel Berry as a guest mentor this season of “The Glee Project”. Zach said Lea is perfect to be in that position – she has experience in theatre, and film and can honestly evaluate them and teach them because she knows. Lea is the epitomy of Glee. Both the character Rachel Berry and Lea herself. She’s just wonderful. She had so much fun and enthusiasm”.
Fans can tune in to season 2 of “The Glee Project” on Tuesday, June 5 at 10/9 c on Oxygen, and watch how they will handle a slightly bigger pool of contestants!