Sunday, October 28, 2012

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is an actor, singer, novelist, and screenwriter.  He is one of the first openly gay teen actors to portray an out character on primetime television. Today's Out Spotlight is Chris Colfer.

 Chris Colfer was born May 27, 1990  in Clovis, California,  the son of Karyn and Tim Colfer.  He and his sister were raised in Clovis  and was home schooled during middle school because he was bullied so much at school.  Returning to public school, he excelled in high school, where he was president of the Writers’ Club, and edited the school’s literary magazine.

Colfer's younger sister, Hannah, suffers from severe epilepsy, and often experiences over fifty seizures in an hour. He has said that when he was younger he used acting as a method of escaping the stress involved with having a family member with disabilities.

While at Clovis East High School, he was also involved with the speech and debate program, where he won "many speech and debate champion titles," including placing ninth in the State Competition for Dramatic Interpretation, the drama club, the FFA."   Despite his achievements, Colfer was harassed because he was perceived to be gay.

As a high school senior, he wrote, starred in, and directed a spoof of Sweeney Todd entitled "Shirley Todd", in which all of the roles were gender-reversed.  One of his real in-school experiences was later turned into a sub-plot for his character on Glee, when the high school teachers denied him the chance to sing "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked because it is traditionally sung by a woman.  His grandmother, a minister, let him sing the song in her church.

 The first show he was involved in with community theater was West Side Story.  He also starred in a production of The Sound of Music as the character Kurt. At the age of eighteen, Colfer starred as Russel Fish in Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident, a short film where an awkward teenager must pass a Presidential Physical Fitness test or fail gym class and lose his admission to Harvard University.

With basically only community theater experience, he auditioned for the role of Artie in “Glee.” He did not get the part, but inspired the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, to create a character for him. “He’s never been formally trained,” said Murphy, “and I just thought he was so talented and gifted and unusual.”

Murphy the created the role of Kurt Hummel specifically for him,  and in the process, scrapped a planned character called Rajish so they could add Kurt. Murphy explained in the season two finale of the Glee Project that Colfer was the inspiration for the project show because he didn't fit the role he auditioned for but was still "incredible and special" so a role was created for him.

 His character was name after Kurt from Sound of Music,  and Hummel because Murphy felt Colfer looked like a Hummel figurine.

 Kurt is a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school, not only for being gay, but also for being part of the very unpopular Glee Club.  Kurt is an outspoken member of the glee club who performs songs traditionally sung by women. Similar to Colfer’s real life experiences, Kurt overcomes struggles with his sexual identity and bullying. He falls in love with prep school boy Blaine. The New York Post named the pair “one of the most beloved TV couples of the millennium.”

Through his television character, Colfer hopes to give people strength and “show the little sparks of bravery that are in us all.” He is an inspiring role model both for teens discovering themselves and for adults who have been in his shoes. He recorded a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign, telling teens “there’s a world full of acceptance and love just waiting for you to find it.”

In a 2010 interview with Allison Kugel, Colfer stated that "There have been a couple of times when I have gone to Ryan Murphy and told him a couple of things that have happened to me, and then he writes it into the show. Or he'll ask me what song I would want to sing, in this situation or in that situation. I don't think any of us directly try to give input on the character or on the storyline, but they definitely steal things from us."

Murphy revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that at the conclusion of Glee's third season, Colfer's character Kurt would graduate from McKinley High along with fellow seniors including Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith). At the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, producer Brad Falchuk stated that "because they're graduating doesn't mean they're leaving the show." Falchuk also stated "it was never our plan or our intention to let them go…. They are not done with the show after this season."

Colfer won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his performance. He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of Kurt.

Colfer is in the coming-of-age comedy Struck by Lightning that has been set up with David Permut (Youth in Revolt). The plot revolves around Colfer's character, who is struck and killed by a bolt of lightning, and chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he is publishing. Not only does he star in the movie, he  also wrote the script, which was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2011. The filmed premiered at that Tribecca Film Festival in 2012.
In Jun 2011,  he signed a book deal to write two novels for children to young adults(age range) the first of which, The Land of Stories, was released on July 17, 2012. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, the twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. Upon its first week of release, it soared to top of The New York Times Best Seller list.

Colfer is also writing another movie, set to film next winter, in which he will appear as a supporting actor.  He has also landed a deal with Disney Channel for a pilot based on the book "The Little Leftover Witch".
In March 2012, he was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Ryan Kendall. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Colfer has won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and a Teen Choice Award.  He has been nominated for two Emmys, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a People’s Choice Award. In 2011, he was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine.

 “I’ve tried being other people and myself suits me the best.”


Special K said...

To all of us on the East Coast here in the US, stay safe and here's hoping you don't lose power.

Special K said...

Congratulations M&M on your Giants sweep to win the 2012 World Series!!

Jersey Tom said...

Hang on everyone in the East. It is bad out there and it hasn't even hit yet.

Congrats Giants. Quite an accomphishment.

prairiegirl said...

Wow,good for Chris Colfer. What a tough childhood he had and now look at him. He has the last laugh on his scoffers, doesn't he? What a courageous young man and he looks very relaxed and pretty happy, doesn't he.

Thinking of everyone out on the east coast - this is very, very serious stuff. You guys take great care and be very cautious if you have to go outside. If your trees are like ours, they still have quite a few leaves on them and the poor trees, this weighs their branches down even more. There'll be flying debris and watch out for wires. A lot of water and down lines spell for possible disaster. Even inside your homes, take caution.

I'll never forget during our big ice storm in 2003, I was without power for over a week and it was awful. I had to stay at a friend's mother's house and it was pretty bad. I wouldn't want to go through that again.

Thankfully, my dog people are going to get out of NC all right this morning, she already texted me. I know their pets are going to be happy to see them. 3 BIG dogs and a small house is a bad fit. LOL! Zack-y's big tale hits everything in its path because it's always wagging. LOL. Bang, bang, bang Geez.

Anyway, praying for the best possible outcome for all!

prairiegirl said...

Tale = tail. Good grief, where did I go to school. lol

Jersey Tom said...

Chris is a talented and courageous young man.

Jersey Tom said...

Chris is a talented and courageous young man.

destiny said...

I love Chris, one of the best things about Glee.

Hope everyone on the East Coast stays safe and dry.

Jersey Tom said...

Getting a little scary here.

Special K said...

Stay safe Tom.

Lot's of wind up here and power outages. Boats getting tossed around, big trees down, billboards coming down in Kenmore Square.

The Vineyard was getting hit hard earlier.

prairiegirl said...

I'll be glued to the news tonight, that's for sure.

Those winds must sound awful. Heck, we have had gusts of 30-40 mph on "normal" days around here and those are enough to blow my car a bit, let alone try and walk straight.

I cannot imagine 90mph susstained winds. That is just unreal.

Jersey Tom said...

No power. This sucks. I think the roof is next. damn .

destiny said...

I hope not Tom!

prairiegirl said...

I bet MaggieMoo is scared.

It is pretty funny how many tweets there are out there about The Day After Tomorrow and Jake. Just unreal. People can be funny during times like these.

prairiegirl said...

Destiny, they're saying that water is starting to enter some of the subways. Jim Cantore is in NY and they were just showing the NYC skyline and it looks like the 4th of July, as power transformers continue to just blow.

Jim says he has never seen anything like it.

I can't help wondering where the Gyllenichols all are, whether they're separated or together....