Arts & Culture

‘Glee Project’ star reflects on reality TV life

Michael Weisman ’17, who tied for 4th place on the show, plans to study applied music

Contributing Writer
Monday, October 7, 2013

After being discovered by Glee casting director Robert Ulrich on a plane home from college visits, Michael Weisman ’17 competed in the second season of the “The Glee Project,” which aired on Oxygen last summer.

Three months of on-set life and stressful competition were edited into eleven television episodes to make the reality series — so what do the viewers miss? Weisman said his time on the show felt like “half summer camp, half prison” but was overall a pleasant experience. Though they were reminded of the competitive nature of the show when the bottom three competitors were announced every week, Weisman said the contestants became close friends and have continued to spend time together since the show’s end.

The cast members would often have to change their clothes or get their hair and makeup redone in order to recreate the atmosphere from the previous day, and he said wearing makeup for filming gave him sympathy for people who wear makeup regularly.

The audience also does not see how isolated the cast members are from normal life while living entirely on set, he said. Weisman said he was not allowed to use a cellphone, the Internet, the radio or any other sort of media. He was allotted just 10 minutes of monitored phone time per week.

On set, the walls did not reach the ceiling, and the utilities were often broken or dysfunctional, Weisman said.


Far and away

Between his time on “The Glee Project” and beginning school, Weisman did advertisements for ROSS stores and acted in television shows such as Disney’s “A.N.T. Farm” and TV Land’s “Hot In Cleveland.” He also worked on a music project called Far and Away with fellow contestant Nellie Veitenheimer. They released a mixtape this September, which is available online, and performed shows together.

After competing on the show with Veitenheimer, Weisman said he knew they had to make music together. For their original songs, Nellie writes the lyrics and Weisman writes the music. They are still looking for a drummer or a bassist or someone who “(plays) anything else” to jam with, he said.


Performing at Brown

Weisman is a member of the Jabberwocks and an actor in the upcoming show “The Vibrator Play,” in the Production Workshop Downspace. He said he knew about the prominence of the performing arts community at Brown but did not research it too much before attending.

His visit to campus was the big draw for him. “Everybody’s got something completely unique that they’re awesome at,” Weisman said about Brown students.

Jared Newmark ’14 of the a capella group the Jabberwocks said Weisman is very prominent and recognizable but that his fame was not a major factor in his acceptance to the group.

Though a quick Google search draws up many references to Weisman’s love for calculus, he said he is more interested in studying applied music at Brown. Weisman said he was working on his application for “The Glee Project” late at night and added that he loved calculus because he was distracted by the math homework he had to finish later that evening.

  • Vrdman

    Great article!

  • Guest

    really interesting article! I’m definitely going to look into that show!

  • Stephanie Ellis

    Loved the article! Definitely going to look into that show!