The Glee Project’s Emily Vasquez Interview

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Emily Vasquez What do you do when you’re a cocktail waitress losing faith in your dreams? You audition among 40,000 people and make it to the top 12! That’s exactly what Emily Vasquez did along with dazzling the producers with her personality. This native New Yorker took the Glee Project by the reins and made herself known not only as the flirty one but the one with the great belting voice. Emily discusses her experiences and life here with Hopeless Thunder.

On life before the show.
Before the Glee Project, I was a cocktail waitress! I was finding it very difficult to book another musical after the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia closed two years before. I was sort of losing a little faith because I kept auditioning, but not landing much.

On how she showed her personality during auditions.
I knew that for these auditions, I would have to stand out. There are so many great singers out there, so I really wanted to find a way to get noticed and show originality. I think having a sense of humor definitely helped get me on the show! The show was about finding the next character for Glee based on the contestant’s own personas, so I wanted to show as much personality as possible. It’s a reality show, so I knew people would find me entertaining whether they liked me or not!

How her alter ego, Maria Josefina del barrio, came to be.
Gosh! We were all sitting around bored one day. So, I thought well let me do something to liven things up and give a little performance. Humor and being able to make fun of yourself is a big part of my family’s dynamic, so it sort of came to me naturally. I just thought why not create this crazy out-there character and run with it. I’m happy my peers all laughed and enjoyed it. I really didn’t think that would air! Don’t count her out, Maria Josefina del barrio may still be a top contender for the Glee Project! Lol!

On the show, you told Zach that he was hot and was openly flirting with Darren Criss. Did that make things awkward with them or were they just part of that funny personality you have?
HAHA! They definitely knew I was kidding! I’m serious, but I’m not that serious. Zach was the first one to really understand my humor and me in general. I love him! He is so great to work with and is actually hilarious. As for Darren, he probably gets that all the time! :)

Emily Vasquez

Her experience with having a performing background and learning choreography with people who obviously hadn’t the experience she did.
I wouldn’t say I’m an amazing dancer, but I have good rhythm and movement because of some of the training I’ve had. The choreography given was very simple, so it should not have taken too long to learn. It should have been picked up in the short time available, as that is actually how learning choreography for the show would have been like. With that, people learn at different paces and you should be able to work with people with different strengths and weaknesses. If someone can’t dance, it’s ok with me. Smiling while doing it is enough.

Emily’s experience with the Vulnerability episode where she opened up about her past and her vulnerabilities and what was it like to show a different side to herself.
The Vulnerability challenge was a very difficult week for me. I do have different sides to me and I often cover up my weaknesses with humor. Letting that vulnerable part of myself show was a tough but necessary process for me. Ryan Murphy spoke the truth when he told me, “The people with the biggest personalities are the people with the most to hide. They have the most pain!” He is really perceptive and I appreciated that he was able to see the depth of my character.

Do you agree with Ryan, Zach, and Robert’s comments that it was your coming in and out of character that got you into the bottom three?
I don’t agree with them entirely, but I respect their critique. I actually found myself able to pop into character in a few seconds. Also, that day wasn’t my best day emotionally. My mind was a little scrambled by the Vulnerability challenge, but as soon as the cameras were rolling, I really felt the moment and got focused. In the music video, I thought I accomplished my part.

What were you thinking when Ryan said that it was through your performance that he now knew how to use the song, Grenade, on the show?
I was shocked and amazed! I’m so happy Ryan enjoyed my performance. I was sick that day, so I knew I would have to step it up big time! I am still in awe that he said that! It’s an enormous compliment!

Emily Vasquez

Who Emily became close with on the show.
I became very close to Alex and Marissa! They are both so down-to-earth and really sweet! We still talk often and will probably continue forever! :)

Her favorite and least favorite aspects about the competition.
My favorite part of the show would have to be shooting the music videos. I loved shooting music videos! It was super surreal! I guess my least favorite aspects would be having so little down time and the expected stress of being in a talent competition. But they come with the territory, so I would take them any day for the opportunity I had, to compete on The Glee Project.

What she’s doing now.
Right now, I just released my new single Slow Motion! It’s so exciting to see my song up on iTunes. I’ve been trying to put on shows to keep my artistic juices flowing! I’m performing Slow Motion at Webster Hall on the 29th. I’m looking forward to that live performance.

Her plans for the future.
My next goal is to be signed to a label. I really want to be a recording artist! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to be in musicals as well. But this time, on a real Broadway stage!! :)


Check out her latest single, “Slow Motion”:

Photo Credit: Emily Vasquez

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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