Getting to Know Darren Criss

Getting to Know Darren Criss

Holly Bissonnette | November 13, 2014

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Darren Everett Criss, best known for his portrayal of Blaine Anderson on Fox’s Glee, was born and raised in San Francisco, California.  He is actually Eurasian as his father is of European descent, even if he is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while his mother is a native of Cebu, Philippines.

In his early childhood, Darren Criss was already interested in music and performing arts. He took up violin lessons at the age of 5 and was accepted into the American Conservatory Theater at the age of 10. From there, he studied theater performance until he made his professional stage debut as Cesario in 42nd Street Moon’s production of Fanny.

 

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Because of his passion in playing musical instruments, he practiced playing different instruments, including guitar, mandolin, piano, drums and harmonica. When he was 15, he started exploring music composition and wrote his very first song.

Throughout his adolescence, Criss performed a number of American Conservatory Theater plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Christmas Carol and The Voysey Inheritance. While studying at the University of Michigan, he appeared in a number of stage productions, such as The Cripple of Inishmaan, Pride and Prejudice and A Few Good Men.

 

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After completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009, he founded StarKid Productions, along with his friends and colleagues. While with this musical company, he was noted for his acting role in the musical comedies A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year.

 

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In 2010, Criss made his first appearance in Fox’s Glee, playing the role of Blaine Anderson. Anderson was the lead singer of The Dalton Academy Warblers and served as Kurt’s mentor and friend. Because of the overwhelming support for the potential couple, they were paired romantically onscreen and Criss was promoted from a recurring guest to the show’s lead stars.

 

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Darren’s first performance as Blaine was Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. His rendition reached number 8 Billboard’s Hot 100. It even topped the Billboard Digital Songs Chart. Blaine and the Warbler’s performances became extremely popular that a soundtrack album was released after them, Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers. In its first week, the album already sold 86,000 copies. All in all, their tracks sold over 1.3 million copies.

 

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Criss made his Broadway debut in the year 2012 when he replaced Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Other than Radcliffe’s final week on the show, his stint proved to be a success, making over four million dollars.

Apart from music, Criss also supports The Trevor Project, a national organization that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTs.  He was even chosen by UNICEF Philippines to represent their organization and take the $25,000 donation from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

 

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In September 2012, Criss made his debut in the comedy film, Girl Most Likely, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

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