How Did Waitress’ Colleen Ballinger First Become Miranda Sings?

Seth Rudetsky   How Did Waitress’ Colleen Ballinger First Become Miranda Sings?
 
This week in the life of Seth Rudetsky, Seth shares stories from Ballinger’s high school days—plus plans for his star-studded Election Day Vote-a-thon and a concert with Beth Malone.
Miranda Sings
Miranda Sings

Yes, Tuesday is Election Day but it’s also a very special Stars In The House! James knows that the day will be filled with lots of anxiety, so he decided we should do an all-day “Vote-a-thon” edition of the show. We’re going to start at 9AM ET and go until 7PM ET (when results start coming in). This way people will have a place to go to during the day to chill out, laugh and feel a sense of community.

We have SO MANY STARS stopping by!!! Get thee to StarsInTheHouse.com beginning at 9AM ET (if you’re awake)…and because I know most show folk don’t like to be up that early, I’ve reached out to celebs in different countries to start the show. Yes, our first guest will be Lea Salonga, because she’s in Manila and that means a delicious 12-hour time difference. So she’ll be nice and refreshed because it will be 9PM her time when she joins. And after I write this column, I’m literally writing to other peeps in New Zealand and Australia….for real!

I have a podcast on SiriusXM/Pandora called Seth Rudetsky’s Back To School where I talk to stars about their high school experiences. My newest episode just “dropped” with Colleen Ballinger who became an internet sensation (and got her own Netflix TV show) because of her character Miranda Sings. If you’ve never seen her, please watch this hilariousness:

Turns out, Colleen says she was basically Miranda Sings in high school. Her family is very religious and she was home-schooled for her childhood. Before ninth grade, she begged her mom to go to public school (because she loved theatre and was so bored at home) and her mom allowed it. Here are just two of my favorite stories:

Colleen had a huge crush on one boy and didn’t know how to tell him. Her “friend” told Colleen not to worry… she would go talk to the boy and handle it. Well, her friend came back and gave her the good news: “I told him you liked him!” Yay! Then her friend followed it with “…and then we made out.” Colleen was taken aback. Why would her friend make out with the boy she had a crush on? Her friend explained that she wanted to make sure the boy really knew how to kiss if he was going to date Colleen…so she “helped” him learn. Yay? I asked Colleen if she got to date him. The answer is yes and decidedly NO. Colleen did indeed date him…for one (1) day. Basically, their “dating” consisted of him writing her a letter asking her to be his girlfriend and her saying yes. But before anything else could happen, her friend convinced her to break up with him! She told Colleen she needed to tell the boy she had a crush on someone else and therefore couldn’t date him. Of course, there was a chance once Colleen was with the boy they could start making out…so the “friend” literally went with Colleen to see the boy and stood next to her to make sure Colleen broke up with him. I think Lucy and Ethel sang best about that kind of friendship.

The other story I loved was her answer to when I asked if she thought there was a “before and after” in high school. She feels there was and It had to do with musical theatre. She remembers trying out for My Fair Lady her freshman year. She was not cast in the show…. but got on the costume crew. Her sophomore year she did get cast in Anything Goes …but in the ensemble with one (1) line…and being in the back row of every number. Pirates of Penzance was her junior year and she really wanted to be in it. She hoped that maybe she’d even be cast as one of the sisters. Well, suddenly she got a callback for the role of Mabel, the leading lady! What? She couldn’t believe she was even being considered. She went to the callback and suddenly it was the day the cast list went up. (P.S. Do you remember that? The excitement of crowding around with your friends and waiting to see where your name was? If it was even there at all?) Well, Colleen approached the cast list and looked at the bottom. She didn’t see her name. She accepted she wasn’t cast in the show. Someone then said “congratulations” and she realized she was cast in the show…as Mabel!

She started to cry. She was so excited by the thought of being onstage and singing an actual solo that she couldn’t sleep for weeks. That’s when she decided she would pursue what was always her dream…to go into the arts. But not as a performer…that was too much to ask for. She decided she could be a choir teacher. Well, even though that was her goal, she did indeed wind up being a performer…all over the world. Here she is when she was one of the stars of Waitress opposite Todrick Hall!

Listen to my entire podcast (and my other ones with Tina Fey, Alison Janney, Martin Short, BD Wong, Vanessa Williams etc) here.

Finally, I did an amazing concert with LaChanze for The Seth Concert Series. I’m sure you know that she won the Tony Award for The Color Purple, but do you know she happens to live with another Tony Award nominee? Yes, her daughter Celia Rose Gooding, nominated for Jagged Little Pill. I asked them to do some duets and, boy, did they! Here’s one of the songs they sang together…LaChanze’s big song from Once On This Island:

We were live Sunday at 8PM ET and now the entire concert is available for another week. Get thee to TheSethConcertSeries.com and watch LaChanze tell stories and do songs from The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Bubbly Black Girl, If/Then and more!

This coming Sunday I have the amazing Beth Malone from Fun Home. She was so serious in that show but she’s actually really funny with a crazy high belt—as anyone who saw her in The Unsinkable Molly Brown would know! Here we are at the Humane Society Benefit. Listen to these chops!

See me and Beth Malone this Sunday at 8PM ET…and we now have VIP tickets where you can come to our dress rehearsal at 5PM and watch us pick songs and figure out what the hell we’re going to do! Tickets at TheSethConcertSeries.com.

See you Sunday at 8PM and don’t forget Election Day on StarsIntheHouse.com!

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