My Personal Glee Experience

Greetings everybody. I hope everyone had a Great Memorial Day weekend. After a brief hiatus “ The Outsiders Guide To The Inside Of Hollywood” is back in full swing. On May 24th I covered the Glee Live Tour at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. For people out there who don’t watch or are not familiar with the Fox TV show “Glee”, here is some Gleek  101 (names for fans of the show). There is also a funny story how I met “Glee “ star Matthew Morrison at a movie premiere.

Gleek 101

Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox It focuses on the high school Glee club “New Directions” competing on the show choir competition circuit, while its members deal with relationships, sexuality and social issues of everyday high school life. The show has a strong young and female audience but has crossed over age barriers in a lot of cities including members of my family.

I have to admit being really upset when Glee started winning a number of awards. I also have to admit to never watching the show at that point. When the show first started,  I saw the premises and it made me think of a cross between “American Idol” and an 80’s show I use to watch as a kid called, “Kids Incorporated”.

Love & Other Drugs Premiere

For weeks I’d been eagerly waiting for the start of the 2010 AFI Film Festival. I was lucky enough to have a ticket to the opening night film “Love & Other Drugs world premiere, at the historic Chinese Theatre,  in Hollywood.  After waiting till the last minute possible before the film started to enter the theater,  I saw an actor on the carpet with short blond hair. At first I thought it might be Justin Timberlake but it turned out was “Glee” star and teacher Matthew Morrison. I saw a publicist give me the evil eye so I headed to the candy stand.

Unlike normal movie premieres where the popcorn and soda is free sadly, at festivals you have to pay for it. Lucky for me that meant a short but slow line. Next thing I know i turn around and Matthew Morrison is behind me. I also see that same publicist staring at me. Not wanting to get booted from a premiere of a film I really wanted to see, I asked Matthew to take a picture with me. He seemed happy to and was such a down to earth guy. A month later I bumped into him again at the Gwyneth Paltrow Hollywood Walk Of Fame Induction ceremony. Once again he was the ultimate nice guy. I decided to give the show a shot. I’m not a hardcore Gleek, but I do appreciate the superior acting, writing, and singing, and all around talent on that show. So after getting familiar with the show on DVD,  I applied and was granted media credentials for their live Tour show.

2011 Glee Live Tour at the HP Pavilion 

If anyone is familiar with my work as a photographer you might know I have a different style of shooting. What I like to do for concerts and book signings is shoot normal shots but also from a fans prospective. One of the reasons why I shoot for PR Photos is that they allow me to use atmosphere shots, which I always include fan pictures. So I got to the HP Pavilion early to take pictures of the fans entering the arena. You would never of known that the San Jose Sharks were fighting for their play off lives on the road. The Pavilion was filled with Gleeks and Glee Mania.

I finally found the media meeting place and we were escorted in underneath the area. The photographers were tapping the the San Jose hockey boards for good luck ( might have jinxed the Sharks) as we passed by them. We get to the floor where we find out instead of shooting from the front of the stage,  we would be shooting from the floor in the back by the soundboard. A number of the other photographers were upset but I knew that was probably going to happen and you just have to be professional and make the best of your situation.

Tickets to the show were about as expensive for a family of 4 as it would have been for a trip to Disneyland. As the lights hit the crowd went in to a frenzy almost like my “Twilight Experience in the past. They started the show with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as part of the original members of Glee’s New directions. The concert heavily favored, Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer(Kurt) and Cory Monteth (Fin). They were then joined by fellow cast mates Mark Salling (Puck), Chord Overstreet (Sam) Kevin McHale (Artie), Harry Shum Jr. (Mike), and Darren Criss (Blaine) , Naya Rivera (Santana), Dianna Agron(Quinn), Amber Riley (Mercedes), and Heather Morris (Brittany) and others from the cast come together during the show to perform cover songs from season 1 & 2.

This by no means is a review since I was photographing it and only permitted to stay for the first 3 songs. It was only the 3rd show of the tour so I’m sure they were still working on things. After all the couldn’t have had much time to practice since the show just ended taping season 2. The third song the cast performed all together was  “Sing” a My Chemical Romance song. They did an excellent job of recreating a live atmosphere. I just wish it was in a smaller venue.  It felt like each person had their own personality and you could tell in the live performance. The thing that i liked about “Glee” Live was it was set up as part performance and part theatrical. Unlike American Idol they were able to make it a concert and a theatrical experience. I’m sure the show and the tours will go on for a number of years as long as the crowd continues to match the casts excitement.

Thanks for joining me on this week’s edition of “The Out Siders Guide To The Inside Of Hollywood”.  This weekend we are going to be taking a tittle detour with my next Blog. I won’t have media credentials and there will be no red carpet.  As some of you may know I’m a huge Deadhead. I’m also a huge supporter and a volunteer for a non profit voter registration program called HeadCount since 2008. We are going to be registering voters at the Phil Lesh & Bob Weir Furthur shows at Shoreline Amphitheatre – CA  on Friday and Saturday June 3 & 4. If you won’t be at Shoreline and have recently moved or need to register to vote you can do it online here.

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About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. Check out my entertainment blog, "The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood".
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