When the Fox television series “Glee,” a musical comedy about a high school glee club, first aired in 2009, Lily Mae Harrington was immediately hooked. “I have to be on this show,” she said.
Now, only a couple of years later, her dream is well on the way to coming true. Lily Mae Harrington, an 18-year-old from Dennis, is a contestant on “The Glee Project Season 2,” which premieres tonight at 10 PM on Oxygen (channel 68 in Falmouth or watch it now: Glee Project) and runs for 11 episodes throughout the summer.
Harrington is one of 14 talented young performers who will compete in a series of musical contests for the opportunity to win a seven-episode guest-starring role on “Glee.”
Harrington is 2011 graduate of Nausett High School and is well-known in the local theater community. She was a big hit in the musical “Side by Side by Sondheim” in February of last year at Cotuit Center for the Arts, showing off not only her singing talents, but her bubbly personality and fine comedic talents. She also played Kim in “Bye Bye Birdie” at Harwich Junior Theatre and has appeared in many other shows.
Nina K. Schuessler, producing artistic director of HJT described her as a “vivacious and luminous talent,” and Daniel Fontneau, producing artistic director of Cotuit Center for the Arts, said she had a “winning personality and onstage charisma that you just can’t find anywhere else.”
Harrington began classical voice studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, last September. She missed musical theater, though, and when her mother encouraged her to audition for the Glee Project, she decided to give it a try.
She talks about the experience on John Murelle’s local television show, “Cape Cod Arts.” Murelle is a voice teacher, and Harrington was his student for over two years when she was in high school.
You can see the show here:
Harrington took a leave from college and worked six days a week, 12 to 18 hours a day, sometimes shooting overnight, from 5 PM to 7 AM, a huge undertaking for anyone, but particularly someone just out of high school.
The show, she says is not strictly about which contestant is the most talented. It is about the contenders and their stories, what makes each of them different, an individual, and how each of them wants to change the world. It takes more than talent to succeed, she says. You need to be able to get the audience to connect with you.
For Harrington, it is more than her big, bold talent and warm and outgoing personality. It is about her size.
She says she has always been big, she says, and has accepted this reality since the age of 10, but it has kept her from some leading woman roles because of people’s attitudes toward full-bodied women. In one of her Glee Project videos, she says:
“I think I should win the Glee Project because I would make a great role model for younger girls and for really anybody who is self-conscious about their weight. I know I am not the only tubby white girl who thinks she is beautiful and sexy.
“I want to show those younger girls who think that they have to be that 115 pounds Victoria Secret model that you don’t have to be like that and that you can love yourself and that you can be the leading lady.
“I am going to put all my power, all my ability, my talent, and my confidence into this one thing.”
We wish her all the best! Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter (@lilymaeh), and on the Glee Project site on Oxygen.
And do check out John Murelle’s “Cape Cod Arts” too. The well-produced monthly show features an interesting guest and highlights arts activities on the Cape and nearby. It is produced at Sandwich Community Television and can also be seen on Falmouth, MidCape, Brewster, Provincetown, and South Shore community television stations.
All shows may also be seen online at sandwichcommunitytelevision.blogspot.com/p/about-us.html. Scroll down and choose Cape Cod Arts/John Murelle from the categories listed.