With more than half a million YouTube subscribers for her 240-odd videos, Miranda Sings is one of the true stars of the internet age. The creation of American comic Colleen Ballinger, Miranda has evolved since her humble beginnings in 2008 to become a fully-fledged, borderline insane character with a global fanbase.
For those who haven’t seen her videos, here’s the lowdown: Miranda lives with her mum and her slightly creepy uncle and often escapes to her bedroom to film herself singing today’s pop hits. If you dare point out that her off-key wailing isn’t quite up to scratch, you’re a hater (and you should back off). Miranda’s middle hair part, button-up shirts and gigantic red lips have made her a style icon – she’s truly ‘bootiful’, but she’s not porn. Miranda’s a GOOD GIRL.
We spoke to Ballinger ahead of her alter ego’s upcoming sell-out Australian visit.
Q: Hi Colleen! What can we expect from your Australian shows?
A: The show is a lot of fun! It’s full of singing, dancing, magic tricks, videos, and dramatic readings of hate mail. It’s like a modern day vaudeville show; that’s the best way I can describe it.
Q: You’ve said that Miranda was initially inspired by the clueless girls you went to school with, is that right?
A: Yes it is! Miranda is a combination of clueless girls I went to school with and girls I watched on YouTube seven years ago. Back then, YouTube wasn’t as popular and it seemed so strange to me that people would sit in front of their camera alone in their room and sing. I started making videos just poking fun at that concept, and never thought anyone would see them except my friends. But my videos started to go viral, and now it’s my career. It’s insane.
Q: And Miranda’s really evolved from those early days as you’ve fleshed out her world. Do you plan those details, or do they just seem to happen when you’re in character?
A: Most of Miranda’s weird quirks just happen organically. I tend to latch on to the things that the audience enjoys the most. When I plan things, they don’t go over as well as when things are improvised. Like the creepy uncle – I definitely never planned that. My viewers actually created that story line – comments started flooding in about how creepy he was and I just went with it. Same with the lipstick, the clothing, the weird speech impediment… I just respond to what the viewers want!
Q: Do you find that there are still people who think Miranda’s real?
A: Definitely! I’m constantly getting hate mail. I don’t understand how people still dont get the joke! But I get a lot of comments every day about how ugly, or untalented Miranda is. They have no idea that it’s a character. Its definitely a weird job.
Q: Do you feel like there’s a long future for Miranda?
A: Miranda has already gone much further than I ever anticipated. I can’t believe I’ve been touring the world for the past four years. It blows my mind and I’m so grateful for the fans that I have. As far as Miranda’s future, I will definitely keep doing it as long as people want to watch! I’m working on writing a Broadway musical right now with some phenomenal writers and we are hoping to have it on it’s feet some time next year. It’s scary, but very exciting. Other than that, I just plan on keeping Miranda alive as long as people want.
info: Miranda Sings, Sydney Seymour Centre Nov 6-8, Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel Nov 14-16. More info at www.facebook.com/