Colleen Ballinger, aka International YouTube sensation, "Miranda Sings" is a singer, actress, and improvisationalist who has taken YouTube by storm with her humourous videos of bad singing. Colleen now travels around the country as "Miranda Sings" performing sold-out nightclubs and theaters in New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dublin, and Sydney. Her shows comprise of improvisation, hit songs, onstage voice lessons, magic tricks, and dramatic readings of her own hate mail.
Colleen is bringing "Miranda Sings" back to Birdland NYC for a ninth time on Monday, May 28 at 7pm! Joining "Miranda" on stage will be former "Rent" and current "Memphis" star Adam Pascal with Seth Rudetsky at the piano. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My grandfather inspired me to become a performer. He was always entertaining people with his terrible singing and corny jokes. He used to take me to see community theater when I was a little girl and I loved it. He would lean over to me in the middle of the performance and whisper "You're going to be up on that stage one day." He always encouraged me to be a performer and believed in me more than anyone else.
2. How did you come up with Miranda Sings? 4 or 5 years ago I started noticing people posting videos of themselves singing on youtube. I thought it was so weird that these kids were posting videos of themselves sitting in their bedrooms alone singing their hearts out to "Wicked." There are a few girls from my University that Miranda is based off of, and I mixed that with the kids I watched on youtube and viola! Miranda was born!
3. What was it like when you realized that your very first video as "Miranda Sings" went viral? I was terrified when "Free Voice Lesson" went viral. The character was never meant to be seen by anyone but my close friends. It was an inside joke and I was horrified at the thought that the girls I was making fun of would find the videos and know I was imitating them. It was all very overwhelming. I also didn't want anyone to know that it was fake. I deleted every picture, video, and blog that mentioned my real name and turned down many interviews because I wanted everyone to believe that Miranda was real. It was stressful, but fun to watch people try to figure out if Miranda was an actress or just an untalented brat.
4. How has your life changed since "Miranda Sings" exploded? My life pretty much revolves around "Miranda Sings" now. Before Miranda got popular, I was working at Disneyland singing in a couple of shows. Now I spend my days filming, uploading videos, promoting my live shows, selling merchandise, and reading as much of the hate mail as possible so I can to come up with new material. If someone told me when I created the character that it would eventually become my full time job, I would have laughed in their face.
5. How have you handled your success thus far? How do you deal with the hate mail you receive? I'm having a blast traveling and performing. I get to act like a crazy person and make people laugh for a living. :) The hate mail is absolutely hilarious. I'm so appreciative of the haters because they are the ones that made the character popular. The whole reason Miranda went viral is because people were making fun of how stupid it was. If I didn't get hatemail, I wouldn't have a job.
6. You've performed at Birdland a couple of times now. What excites you about your upcoming show on May 28? What do you like most about performing there and how do you keep your shows fresh for your fans? I love performing at Birdland! Jim Caruso asked me to do a show two and a half years ago and I've been performing there ever since. Its the first place I ever performed as Miranda so it has a special place in my heart. I can't wait to perform with Adam Pascal and I adore working with Seth Rudetsky. It's going to be a fun show! It's very important to me that my fans are getting what they want from Miranda, so I make sure to keep the show fresh by reading responses on Twitter, facebook, and youtube and applying it to my videos and live shows.
7. What haven't you worked with that you would like to? I've worked with so many talented performers in the broadway community, but I would love to branch out and work with people in the tv/film industry. I'm a huge fan of Kristin Wiig and would love to work with her some day. We'll see...
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I have learned many wonderful (and not so wonderful) things about myself from being a performer. With Miranda in particular I've discovered that I love improv and comedy. Before Miranda started I had never even thought to do comedy, but now I can't imagine it not being a part of my life.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The only person with your best interest in mind is yourself.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I know my answer is supposed to be interesting and scandalous, but I actually have no idea. Probably someone like Gene Kelly...
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? I love going to Santa Barbara and spending the day with my family. I'm absolutely obsessed with my Niece and Nephew and would spend every second with them if I could!
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Eating lots of in-n-out.
13. Favorite skin care product? Showers.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would it be? The ability to make annoying people go away.