The Glee Project’s Hannah McIalwain Interview

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Hannah McIalwain was a theater student at Queens University at Charlotte when one day, she saw a commercial for auditions for The Glee Project. She left North Carolina and made her way to Dallas for the auditions. She was called back and auditioned for Robert Ulrich and eventually beat out 40,000 people to win one of the 12 spots to compete for a guest starring role on Glee. On the show, she was known as MC Hannah with her signature, “Skadoosh” and her rambunctious laughter and smiles. Read on to see Hannah discuss the show, her leaving, and her future.

Hannah on life before The Glee Project.
Before The Glee Project, I was a theater student at Queens University of Charlotte. I went to class everyday and rehearsal every night and that was about it. I am from a small town in Western North Carolina so nothing too exciting ever happened.

Hannah didn’t have any vocal training before the show other than school chorus. These are her feelings on beating out singers all over the country.
It felt pretty amazing to be honest. I usually kept my singing inside my car and shower so being acknowledged as a good singer meant a lot to me. It was a dream come true having a chance to be on Glee.

On having to drop out of college and leaving everything behind in North Carolina to move across the country.
It was way harder leaving school then I expected. I had no idea I would make it as far as I did in the competition, so I basically gave everything up while simply hoping things would work out. Saying goodbye to my friends knowing that I would never be back was SO sad. Lots of tears..

What happened when Idina Menzel came in to be a guest mentor on the show.
I’m pretty sure I teared up when Idina walked in. Seeing Wicked on Broadway changed my life because I realized after that performing was what I wanted to do with my life. So meeting my idol and having her compliment me was almost more then I could handle.. [laughs]

Hannah McIalwain

Having to embrace what you’re most vulnerable is a very hard thing to do for anyone. What was it like to have to walk around Universal CityLoft with a sign that read “fat?”
At first it was really difficult and almost embarrassing. But I just told myself that what I was doing was hopefully going to help other people and focused on the task at hand. There was no way that some silly sign with marker on it was going to send me home. At the end of the day, it was just a word and I was not going to allow it to have power over me anymore.

On the show, it was made like Hannah really didn’t like Lindsay at all. Her response to watching the show and seeing her portrayed in this light.
During taping, Lindsay and I had our ups and downs. She can sometimes come off in the wrong way before you get to know her so things were sometimes strained between us. But since then, we have gotten a lot closer and I love her like a sister.

On what it’s like to be recognized by fans now.
It is amazing! I just love hearing stories about how we have inspired people to follow their dreams and try things they normally wouldn’t. It is just SO cool to know that people appreciate something we all worked so hard on.

On the character she would dream up for herself for Glee.
The more I think about it, I think it would be fun to play someone outside of the box for me. Maybe a new mean girl that shows up and steals Puck from Lauren…

Hannah McIalwain

Hannah on her friendship with Cameron Mitchell and Damian McGinty.
We all just sort of clicked from the beginning. I think it was our senses of humor that worked really well together; we were constantly laughing and joking around. We are still pretty close because friends like that don’t just drift apart. I feel like all twelve of us will be forever bonded by this experience.

On the show, Hannah admits her feelings for Damian. Her response to watching her confessionals on the show and Damian’s reaction to her crush.
It is something we all have a good laugh about. Damian knew how I felt about him during the show (I think it was pretty obvious.. [laughs]) But he and I are really good friends and we both agree we work better that way.

Whether or not Hannah agrees with the judge’s decision to send her home.
To be honest, not really. I don’t know who in their right mind would think they should be eliminated [laughs] I still think I am perfect for Glee but I will admit that Samuel and Lindsay out-sang me that night. But Glee is not necessarily about who the best singer is, so I am still a little confused by Ryan’s decision.

What we can expect in the future from Hannah McIalwain:
Hopefully a lot! I am already going on auditions and hope to be back on the screen soon enough! The Glee Project gave me an amazing start and now it is up to me to keep it going.


Photo Credit: Oxygen Media

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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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