StarKid Says Bye to YouTube with The SPACE Tour – Give Me My Remote.com Exclusive
November 9, 2011 by Kath Skerry
In the 6+ years since starting Give Me My Remote.com, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing some of my very favorite television stars. One thing that never changes is how surreal it is to talk with someone, face-to-face, whom you’ve only ever seen on your TV.
So imagine how very odd it is to sit across from actors who you know only from YouTube.
Such was my experience recently when I had the immense pleasure of hanging with members of Team StarKid while they rehearsed for their recently launched SPACE Tour.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with StarKid, they are a theater group based in Chicago but born from the University of Michigan theater program. StarKid rose to cult fame when A Very Potter Musical - a musical parody based on the ‘Harry Potter’ series – became an instant internet sensation. Originally posted on YouTube so it could be viewed by friends and family who couldn’t be in attendance for the original performance, A Very Potter Musical quickly and organically found its way into the hearts of the uber-passionate Potter fandom and from there a new fandom was born – the StarKid fandom.
StarKid followed up their Potter debut with A Very Potter Sequel and then with another musical comedy entitled Me and My Dick, which made Billboard history as the first college production to ever debut on the ‘Original Cast Recording’ charts.
After graduating, many members of Team StarKid relocated to Chicago – a city with a thriving theater community. Their first post-grad production, Starship – a musical about an insect looking to live life among his human counterparts – was an instant hit playing to sold out audiences and the soundtrack debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts for ‘Top Cast Albums’
Ironically, the Starship soundtrack blew up the same week that another album featuring a StarKid member also stormed the charts. Darren Criss, best known (to those outside of the StarKid fandom) as Blaine Anderson on GLEE, is a founding member of StarKid, and actually wrote all the music and lyrics for Starship. So I can only assume Mr. Criss was having one hell of week in late April when both the Starship album and Glee Presents: The Warblers – an album which featured Darren as lead vocalist – both hit the top of their respective charts.
[I had hoped to talk to Darren as part of this article, but there was something about a restraining order...so I decided not to push it.]
So here we are, just a little over two years after their very first performance of A Very Potter Musical, and Team StarKid is having another one of those mind blowing months. Just a few weeks ago the StarKid YouTube channel hit 100 million pageviews. And last week, members of Team StarKid embarked on an almost sold out 14 city tour. Not bad for some theater geeks with a YouTube channel, right?
As a self-proclaimed member of the StarKid fandom, I was thrilled to have the chance to catch-up with Team StarKid during one of their final tour rehearsals in Chicago. As you’ll see in Part I of my exclusive StarKid conversation, we covered a bunch of topics including how The SPACE Tour came to be, what fans can expect to see during the live show, and how the troupe is breathing new life into StarKid fans favorite songs.
But what you won’t necessarily see in the video is something I witnessed first hand while watching rehearsals, and that is the passion and dedication that drives these performers. As Brian Holden said to me, “none of this exists without the fans, and we want to make sure this tour is everything a StarKid would want to see.”
I was honored to be the first StarKid to see a full run-thru of The SPACE Tour, and I can tell you that this show is everything you would ever want from a StarKid experience. And as far as getting to just hang out with the StarKids in Chicago, yeah, I totally geeked out. I thought I would be able to play it cool and professional, but I failed miserably. My cheeks were hurting from the constant smile I had on my face. I sang along with every number and had to hold on to my chair to resist dancing along (and embarrassing myself in the process). And I’ll admit, there were times I got a bit emotional. When Dylan Saunders started in on his rendition of “Home” it was so flawless and beautiful that I might have been just a bit overwhelmed. I remember turning slightly away from him, embarrassed to be tearing up, but just as I turned, Joey Richter caught my eye and just nodded at me in agreement. He was just as blown away as I was. It was that good. Expect moments like that and a lot more from StarKid now and in the future. On Mars. At Pigfarts. (Sorry, I tried to resist, but it was futile.)
I hope that you can see The SPACE Tour if it comes to a city near you. If not, don’t worry, you can follow the lead of Darren Criss and watch all the fan videos on YouTube – it is the birthplace of StarKid, makes sense.
A BIG thanks to StarKid for taking the time to chat with me and allowing me to sit in on rehearsals. It was such a treat! Can’t wait to see you guys in Boston!
Stay tuned to Give Me My Remote.com for Part II of my StarKid interview and here about the possibility of revisiting Starship, the Threequel (you know I had to ask), what fandoms Team StarKid are a part of and more. And to be the first to see our exclusive StarKid videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/givememyremoteTV
Tickets are limited but there are a few still available in the following cities:
New Orleans, Louisiana (House of Blues) – November 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Orlando, Florida (House of Blues) – November 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Charlotte, North Carolina (The Fillmore Charlotte) – November 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio (Bogart’s) – November 22 at 8:00 p.m.
Boston, Massachusetts (House of Blues) – November 25 at 2:00 p.m.
Did you know GMMR is now on Tumblr? Yup! Follow us (and reblog us) today!