Shelly recently got to go to the taping for the season finale, titled “Journey” – a reference to the show’s first hit single “Don’t Stop Believin’”. At the end of her report, there are scans of the programs that were given to everyone in the audience, so check that out before reading Shelly‘s highlights from the cast Q&A’s! Enjoy!
On Wednesday, April 21st, I went to the taping of “Journey,” the Season 1 finale of Glee! I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this, so just to clarify again, the taping was only for the performances at Regionals. As much as I wish I did, I have no idea what happens in the episode beyond that. However, there are some slight spoilers in this, so if you don’t want to know anything that happens at Regionals, stop reading! For those of you who do want to know, read on, and make sure you go all the way to the end for the Q&As with the cast.
The filming took place at Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, which seats about 1400 people and is where the Glee PaleyFest screening and panel were last month. I arrived at the theatre at 9 am and was first in line, surprisingly. The next group didn’t show up until around 11, but going early was worth it because I got to see a lot of set pieces and props outside, as well the members of Vocal Adrenaline hanging around the theatre. And while I was waiting, Jonathan Groff hopped out of a van parked right in front of me! He was wearing – wait for it… a hot pink shirt with black suspenders and slacks, just like all of the other VA guys. Surprise surprise.
At around 2 pm, they started letting us in and seated all of the “invited audience” in the balcony. I managed to snag a program (scans at the end), and since I was first in line, I got to sit in the front row, center! (So look for an Asian girl in plaid when the episode airs. :P) Once we were in, we got to watch VA perform their number for Regionals. All six minutes of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Their performance was full of crazy jumps, flips, throws, spins, etc. Believe me when I say that it was EPIC. As much as I love New Directions (more on their performance later), I have to say that they didn’t compare to Vocal Adrenaline. They filmed the audience waving glow sticks, rocking out, swaying, and giving a standing ovation. While they were filming, Jane Lynch was watching from the audience, and Ryan Murphy was directing from the side of the theatre. They announced that the four judges for Regionals would be Josh Groban, Olivia Newton-John, Sue Sylvester(!), and Rod Remington (played by Bill Jones), so that explains why Jane was there.
Soon after they finished filming VA, they announced that New Directions would be performing for us. They came out in black and gold outfits – simple, but sharp. After some more waiting (they had to set up the lighting and rehearse a bit), they were finally ready to start filming. They first did several takes of the audience reacting to the announcement of the winner of Regionals. This was all done very ambiguously so that we wouldn’t know who the winner actually was, which I definitely appreciated because I for one don’t want to be spoiled just yet. They did a couple of neutral shots, and then a “winning” shot, where the cast totally goofed off – it was hilarious. Kevin jumped out of his wheel chair and started running around, Cory was rolling on the ground out of joy, etc.
Then, it was finally time for New Directions’ performance! First they filmed Cory and Lea finishing up “Faithfully,” and then they went straight into their Journey medley. The first song was “Any Way You Want It,” some bits of other songs (sorry, I’m not very familiar with Journey’s music) in between, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” at the end. It was a good, solid performance, but nothing spectacular like Vocal Adrenaline. Most of it was Finn and Rachel, but Puck and Santana did get their own solos, so that was exciting to see. Oh, and Quinn? Two words: Baby. Bump. Which is interesting because Mark confirmed that the baby would be born by the end of the first season. So… emergency birth during Regionals? Being rushed to the hospital afterward? None of these and I’m just way off? Who knows.
They told us that they were “done” with us extras at around 10 pm, so that’s when everyone started heading out. I was there for a total of 13 hours, so it was a very long day, but it was totally worth it and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Thanks, Fox!
Throughout the day, there was a lot of downtime for the audience, so various members of the cast came upstairs to say hi and do Q&As. I probably say this a lot, but no matter how many times I see them, I can’t help but be amazed at how genuinely nice they all are. Seriously, they’re the one of the kindest, most hardworking casts out there… not that I’m biased or anything. I unfortunately missed most of Jane, Dianna, and Cory’s Q&A because I had to leave to check on my car (talk about bad timing), but I did write down everyone else’s. I didn’t get it all verbatim, but I got the gist of it.
Q: What was your favorite song to perform on Glee?
Q: TV or Broadway?
A: Broadway, because you can tell a whole story on stage, which you can’t do on TV. But as great as Broadway is, more people have probably seen the pilot episode of Glee than I’ve ever had in the audiences of my entire ten-year career on Broadway, so the numbers are definitely better on TV.
Q: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
A: I would be a gynecologist. [audience laughs] No, seriously, my dad is one.
Q: Do you have any sacrifices or regrets since you’ve been on Glee?
Q: What is your favorite Broadway musical?
A: Shrek! [audience laughs] Just kidding, Dreamgirls.
Q: Most challenging song?
A: And I Am Telling You.
Kevin McHale and Ian Brennan
Q (for Ian): What was the inspiration for the show?
A: I was in glee club when I was in school and we were terrible. I guess I just never let that go and wanted to make a story out of it.
Q (for Ian): How do you come up with Sue’s lines?
A: You just write down what you wish you could say. I imagine what Ryan would say; he can be pretty mean.
Q (for Kevin): Favorite song from Glee?
A: Push It, because it’s so wrong but right. We’re all very close, so we had no problems with getting in each other’s personal space.
Q (for Ian): Are any characters based on real people?
Q (for Kevin): Do you ever feel sad that you can’t dance?
A: The first couple of days, I was sad about not dancing. But then I realized that it meant less work for me and that I got to leave rehearsal earlier, so I was like, “yay!”
Q (for Ian): How many years is each season?
A: Not sure; a season isn’t necessarily a year.
Q (for Ian): How old are Will and Emma?
A: I’m not sure. I would imagine they’re both around 30.
Q (for Ian): Have you ever been turned down for a theme.
A: No, the network is generally very supportive and accepting. Lots of respect for Fox.
Ian is the “previously on Glee” voice.
Kevin will get some more solos.
Question about guest stars – Ian said they’re not going to stretch the show to fit celebrities for the sake of having them on.
A Beck song is coming up.
Ian says they choose popular songs because when you hear it, they want you to feel an endorphin rush of recognition.
Usually they come up with the story and theme first, and then they find the songs. It was the other way around for “Power of Madonna,” which is why that episode has a different feel.
There will be more Sue singing; “Sue Sylvester up in yo’ face!” – Kevin
Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff
They have known each other and been best friends since 2005.
Jon plans on spending May in Pennsylvania with his family.
Jon would like to do a musical comedy with Lea.
Q: What is your favorite part of your character?
A (Jon): The numbers I get to do with Vocal Adrenaline.
A (Lea): Rachel’s funny, I love doing comedic parts.
Jon wants Lea to do the Wicked movie.
Lea told us about how she, Kevin, and Jenna just went to a tattoo parlor together. Kevin and Jenna got new tattoos, but Lea didn’t. She plans on getting a new one soon.
Dijon Talton, Heather Morris, Naya Rivera, Chris Colfer, Harry Shum Jr.
Q (for Chris): What does it feel like to be such a young gay icon?
Doesn’t see himself as an icon, thinks he’s weird, but it feels good.
Q (for Chris): What’s the most ridiculous episode?
A: Lady Gaga. I had to wear ten-inch heels.
Chris was so excited that he screamed when he found out about the Madonna episode.
Q: What’s your favorite Brittany line?
A (Naya): Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?
A (Chris): The line about the ducks.
A (Harry): The misogynist one, from the Power of Madonna.
Q (for Harry): Do you speak Chinese, and how long have you been dancing?
A: (in Cantonese) Yes, I do speak Chinese. I’ve been dancing for about 8-9 years.
Exclusive from Harry: The first LXD episode will premiere on May 21st – we heard it first!
Q: What song would you like to do on the show?
A (Chris): The Time Warp.
A (Naya): I’ll sing anything.
A (Dijon): Usher’s new song.
A (Harry): Michael Jackson is amazing.
A (Heather): Brittany Spears.
Q (for Chris): If you could be any character in any musical, who would you be?
Q: If you could switch characters with anyone, who would you want to be?
A (Heather): Artie.
A (Harry): Brittany.
A (Dijon): Santana.
A (Naya): I want to be the second Artie.
A (Chris): Sue.
She would love to do Miss Saigon – Lea Salonga is one of her idols.
Q: In the beginning of the season, Tina sang “I Kissed a Girl.” Her character has changed a lot since then. Was that intentional?
A: I don’t think anything necessarily changed. She just dabbled with it. She’s not a lesbian, that’s Kurt’s thing.
Tina will get more of a storyline, but she won’t sing as much in the back nine.
Q: What’s your biggest fear?
A: I’m really afraid of spiders.
Q: Your character Puck is a bad boy on the show. Are you a bad boy in real life?
A: In real life, I’m the worst boy. [laughs] No, just kidding.
Q: What was your favorite performance on Glee?
A: Defying Gravity. I don’t know why, just something about that song.
If you aren’t doing so already, be sure to follow her on Twitter (@GleekShelly) for live Tweets from the many Glee events that take place in Los Angeles!