She will leave you questioning “How can this even be the same person?” Comedian, actress, author, mother, Colleen Ballinger transformed into Miranda Sings.
Leigh Ann sat down for a phone interview with the comedian and actress to learn about how this transformation came to be.
Leigh Ann: I’m a huge fan of yours. I actually first started watching you after i saw you in an interview with Jerry Seinfeld in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
Colleen: “Yes, oh my gosh, that was so fun, thank you.”
Leigh Ann: So then i had to google you because i had to see what this person actually looks like. And i’m sure you get that a lot.
Colleen: “Yeah, people want to know if Miranda is real or not, that’s kind of how my career started and people started asking ‘is this real? Or is this an actress?’”
Leigh Ann: We’re taking a look at some of your footage right now. Explain how this process works. You’re hair is slicked back to the sides, your lips, i don’t know if you’ve noticed this, the lip line, how do you bring her to life?
Colleen: “Well it actually started 12 years ago, which is insane. I can’t believe I've been doing this for that long. I was actually imitating some girls i went to school with who were not very nice. Then over time i started getting a lot of views from the internet and started to get a lot of hate comments. I thought the hate comments were really funny because back then the internet wasn’t as popular as it is now. The fact that these people were bullying a girl who wasn't even real, they were so bored they were making comments against me, it was so funny i just started exaggerating what they didn’t like. They didn’t like my lipstick, I would put on more, they didn’t like the way I talked, so I talked weirder, they didn’t my clothes, I dressed more outrageous. Hate comments are actually what made the character grow into the weird person she is now, but I can’t believe I'm doing it all these years later for over a decade.”
Leigh Ann: That’s awesome. They actually fuel your fire, now look at you. You have billions of views, millions of followers, right?
Colleen: “Yeah, and it’s insane. It’s funny how this character became a silly thing for myself and my friends started to go viral got so popular over time and just grew such a huge audience. I never imagined being a figure for so many young girls to live up to. It’s always been such a silly thing for me. I actually found out it was something that was inspiring young girls to not care about the bullies and the haters; it’s okay to be weird and confident in your uniqueness. It’s been a really fun journey to create this character and grow with her and have the fans inspire me, so it’s pretty fun.
Leigh Ann: Do you find that people have a hard time separating colleen from Miranda in certain situations?
Colleen: “You know, sometimes I think I have a hard time separating the two. It’s not too bad, sometimes I think a little bit of Miranda comes out of me, but I'll always have a little bit of Miranda in me. As someone who’s weird, quirky, and different, not really caring who they are, I think she’s all in us somewhere, we just have to pull it out. People have a hard time figuring out which one is me and which one is Miranda, but people often call me Miranda instead of Colleen. I’ve known that it’s for the kids more than myself.”
Leigh Ann: Speaking of your character, you’ve been on stage, you’ve written a couple of books?
Colleen: “It’s crazy, I can’t believe how far this career has taken me with this character. I’ve written books, I have a Netflix series, my Netflix special, the world tour, I did Broadway last year, it’s really brought me a ton of opportunities. I can’t even believe it. Even my Netflix show is where I met my husband, and now we have a son. So thanks to Miranda I have a son and the best parts of my life. It’s really brought me all the most wonderful things in my life. This weird character has changed everything for me. “
Leigh Ann: I’m a weird mom, I have a son who will be turning four soon. I’m kind of at the point where I’ll be weird and make silly faces and you’ll find out you’re not as cool as you thought you were.
Colleen: “Oh no, I've already found out I'm not as cool as i thought.every day I've thought, oh no I'm a mom now, everything i do and the things that I say. It’s so funny.”
Leigh Ann: But he can’t call you mom. You’ve called him your little pinto bean in your videos. What does he call you, your highness? Or your majesty?
Colleen: “In character, which is rare, I try not to scare him, but when I'm dressed around him, I make him call her ‘your highness' or 'your majesty' and she calls him pinto bean. But when it’s me, it’s mama and we’re pretty much best friends. That might be confusing for him as he starts to get a bit older to understand why is my mom changing and becoming another woman? But for now, he doesn’t get it, so it’s fine.”
Leigh Ann: Well we have to start wrapping up here really soon, i could talk to you for a very long time. But your act coming to grand rapids, what can we expect to see without giving too much away?
Colleen: “My last show is my favorite show, it’s the best one I've ever done in my years of touring. But there’s a lot of singing and dancing and acting and magic. It’s kind of like a variety show when you’re watching Miranda, but then i transform on stage and become me. It was a magic trick, so in front of everyone’s eyes, I change from this character into myself. So i do the second half of the character as myself and sing properly, or I try to at least. There’s a lot of fun comedy and craziness, it’s just a fun show for the whole family. There’s bits in it for everyone. So it’s a blast, I hope everyone comes out to see it.”
Leigh Ann: It’s going to be a blast. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to speak to us. Friday you can come out and see her out at fountain street church. The show starts at 7. Go to laughfestgr.org to snag tickets. Colleen, you have fantastic day.