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DOWNEY – What do you get when you mix vibrant pop-rock anthems and tightly choreographed dance routines with 21st century high school drama? A number one hit TV show.
Since 2009, Fox’s primetime series “Glee” has lit up television screens all across the country, chronicling the challenges and triumphs of a ragtag glee club with big dreams and even bigger voices.
While the show is known for its creative remakes of classic pop songs, “Glee” has also inspired scores of young people who only wish they had the opportunity to join the cast of teenage balladeers.
Downey resident Pablo Rossil is one of those young people.
“I’m a big ‘Glee’ fan and I really appreciate the take they have on the arts,” Rossil said. “They’re a promoter of the arts and music. I’m a fan of anything having to do with expressing yourself.”
Next year, the ambitious 19-year-old hopes to land a coveted role on “Glee” by competing in “The Glee Project,” a reality TV talent competition, which gathers young adults from across the country and gives the final top 12 contestants a chance to audition for a spot on “Glee.”
With the help of cable channel Oxygen, the executive producers of “Glee” launched the new talent show last year.
The concept is simple: find fresh talent by asking young aspiring vocalists to submit videos online of themselves singing popular songs. Producers go through the online auditions and ultimately select 12 top contestants to compete on “The Glee Project.”
The winner joins the cast of “Glee” for seven guaranteed episodes.
Last year, when Rossil first learned about the contest, it was too late to audition for the first season of the show, but after hearing the show would return this year, he was motivated to submit his own video.
When producers started accepting auditions more than a month ago, Rossil signed up online and posted a video of himself singing the Righteous Brothers’ classic “Unchained Melody.”
“I took like a hundred takes before I submitted it,” said Rossil with a laugh.
Nonetheless, Rossil’s performance highlighted by his deep, yet tender voice has been viewed more than 6,700 times and has received nearly 930 “likes” from viewers, placing his video among the highest rated of all the “Glee” applicants.
But Rossil maintains that the competition isn’t about how many “likes” one receives, but based on the quality of the singing.
“It’s all about what you got,” he said with a smile.
Rossil, who grew up in Downey and graduated from Don Bosco Technical Institute in 2010, has always been engaged in the arts, but is now hoping to launch a full-time career in music, theatre, and entertainment.
“I want to encompass everything – trumpet, singing, acting – anything having to do with the arts,” said Rossil who currently plays his trumpet at local jazz gigs. “Just recently, I found I have a passion for theatre too.”
In addition to taking music classes at East Los Angeles College, Rossil also attends workshops for acting.
This week, Rossil even auditioned at The Groundlings, the legendary improvisation and sketch comedy theatre company and school, which has turned out some of Hollywood’s most popular comedians like Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens and Jon Lovitz.
“You never throw your eggs in one basket,” said Rossil who aspires to become a well-rounded performer.
Rossil said he admires actor and comedian Nathan Lane and hopes to follow in his foot steps by possibly embracing a career in theatre, acting, music and comedy.
Any exposure on “The Glee Project” would help further Rossil’s budding career and may lead to success in the future.
Next Thursday, Rossil is leaving for New York City to audition live for “The Glee Project.”
In addition to uploading video onto the internet, “Glee Project” hopefuls can also audition in person at open calls, which take place next week in Chicago, Nashville and New York City.
“When you do both, you’re doubling your chances,” Rossil said. “You wait in line for hours to sing for casting director Robert Ulrich.”
“The Glee Project” producers expected to choose nearly 80 applicants next month who will then come to Los Angeles and go through another round of auditions until the final 12 contestants are chosen.
Waiting for that phone call is the hardest thing, confessed Rossil.
If he makes it all the way to the Fox series “Glee,” Rossil hopes to play an overachieving, overcommitted student, based on his own high school experience.
“Just getting on the reality show – it would be such a blessing,” Rossil said. “I’d use this celebrity status to help others and community organizations. I’d use it as a vehicle to help people.”
Rossil hopes local residents will support his aspirations by voting online and spreading the word.
“Vote, vote, vote…it means a lot to me, my family and friends,” he said. “People see this worldwide, I just got a response from someone in Israel.
“When I’m on the show, it’ll say my name and say my city and that’s significant for me and I assume it’s significant for the people. Downey will always be the place to be for me. I have a connection to Downey and I hope to represent it.”
To view Rossil’s performance and vote for him, visit thegleeprojectcasting.com and search “Pablo Rossil.”
Published: November 03, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 29