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Hypable

In an unprecedented move – usually he sticks to short, funny and infrequent tweets, despite his fandom constantly begging for more social media interaction – Darren Criss has taken to his official Facebook page and posted an extensive blog expressing his love and gratitude towards his fans.

He also writes about his appreciation of the community they have created in his name, and discusses his personal thoughts on his own crazy rise to stardom over the past two years. This is a must-read, and we have copied the blog post, in its entirety, below:

From Darren’s Facebook page:

Dearest friends-

Though my very first episode aired on TV in November of 2010, the end of this past September actually marked the two year anniversary of a phone call that really turned my life upside down: I was notified that I had been cast as a new character on the popular television series, “Glee.”

Woah.

By that point, some of you had maybe known me from silly youtube videos, and for even less of you- from cafes, restaurants, and bars I used to play music at. Regardless of the when or the how or the why, it’s been been a pretty incredible journey for all of us since that phone call.

Some highlights:

In April of 2010, I was getting ready to start working on what some of you might now know as A Very Potter Musical. I was a senior at the University of Michigan, and I had just read an article about the cast members from the new hit TV series “Glee” singing at the White House. I thought, “Man, that’s insane.” Well, just this past June I took a song I wrote called “Not Alone” that I used in that very same musical I was working on in college, and sang it in person for the President himself… Shortly before I got to fist-bump him.

In July of 2011***, I was asked to speak on a Harry Potter-based fan panel in San Diego. I thought I was a bit under-qualified for the job, but was nonetheless excited to be asked to speak on a panel at one of my favorite summer events: Comic-Con! When I got there, I realized that we were given a rough time slot because it was the same exact time as the panel for that same hit TV show, “Glee.” I thought, “Man, this ‘Glee’ thing is really stealin’ my thunder…” Ok, well, the very next year, I couldn’t do the HP fan panel again because I was on that Glee panel.

The crazy stories go on and on, not to mention the little things like magazine covers or hitting Billboard charts, or doing a film with the likes of amazing people like Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon… Let’s see, what else, oh, getting to live my dream of doing a Broadway show, and then of course, there was getting to sing “Rainbow Connection” with Kermit the Frog… I mean, these things are unbelievable. Unbelievable. I have a pretty wild imagination, but I never thought any of that could actually happen, let alone in such a relative short period of time.

Here’s the deal- I work hard, I try to make the right decisions and do the best I can with everything I do and all that good stuff- but really, that can only go so far. There are so many contributing factors to what has happened for me that go far beyond my control… And that’s where you come in. You, the fans, have been a huge part of the reason why I’ve been able to do half the things I’ve been able to do.

We live in an unprecedented age of social connectivity, and I am happy to say that you none of you have failed to take full advantage of that. Don’t think I’m not aware of how active the fandom is, or how much impact is has. Remember: Not only am I fan myself, but I do have an internet connection. I see the gifs, I see the fanfics, I see the memes, and it’s all amazing stuff. Though I haven’t met the majority of you, it’s a real thrill to know that many of your lives have come together on behalf of mine. That’s an incredibly moving concept, and the fact that those connections have yielded so much positivity is something even more amazing.

Let’s take my own stories out of the picture for a second- you, as a group, have all accomplished some pretty amazing things yourselves. You done everything from raising money for great causes to organizing awesome flash mobs over the internet to show your support. You have shown up at the crack of dawn and stayed until you’re the last one standing. You have come together to create something far greater than any of us: a real sense of community and a genuine place of support- not just for me but for each other. And I can safely say that I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for that.

Oftentimes I meet people who challenge me, “You have no idea what you’ve done for me.” Well the truth is, it’s the other way around. I do have an idea, and a pretty good one at that. Because for whatever you may think I may be giving you, you are actually giving back to me, tenfold. And I am constantly wondering when and if it will fade, who will stick around, who will get bored- I often think about the day there won’t be anyone on the other side of the stage door… but despite myself, as time goes on, you all have never ceased to amaze me with your enthusiasm, creativity, and seemingly endless joy that continues to inspire and encourage me.

Tonight is the premiere of the dreaded break-up episode. For many Glee fans, I imagine there will more than reason to be sad. But cheer up, think of it this way: much of your support has allowed me to be on this show long enough to reach a breakup in the first place; it has created a relationship that people cared enough about whereby it was even worth writing an episode about its potential end. I never thought I would get to be around long enough for something like that. And I really have you, the fans to thank for it. It’s something to be proud of.

What’s more, I was even asked to play my own arrangement of teenage dream for this episode- an acoustic piano version which so many of you have supported since I sang it as my first song on my very first episode. I started playing this version at shows as a sort of “thank you” to the fans, for making it such a big song for both myself and the show. It was the song that started everything.

So before the episode airs tonight, I thought it was only appropriate to write a fully fledged note to all of you that could express my deep appreciation for the past two years since that crazy phone call. I hope that this is just the beginning, and that I get to thank you many more times for many more adventures as the years roll by. But for now, know that I am so very grateful for everything you’ve given me, and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. From teenage dream to teenage dream, thank you for allowing me to live mine.

your biggest fan,
Darren

[*** He means 2010. He was on a Harry Potter Fan panel at 2010 Comic Con panel, and Glee's 2011 panel.]

Admit it – who’s weeping? In all seriousness, this is a lovely gesture from someone who has a reputation of being very expressive and eloquent in personal interactions and in interviews, but who has generally shied away from using social media to address the fandom at large. It’s no secret to Darren Criss fans that Darren has a true understanding of fan culture and is integrated into his fandom – one of the things that has always made Darren’s fandom so loyal and so familiar.

From starting out with Team StarKid – where the “us” and “them” dynamic isn’t “us, the fandom” and “them, the stars” but “all of us” and “the rest of the world who aren’t in on the joke,” Darren has held onto that attitude while growing into his position as one of today’s brightest young stars. Some celebrities never have that attitude, never have that relationship with fans, because they never came from fan culture. Darren Criss does. He’s proved that time and time again, in every fan interaction, in every livestream, every time he’s given the chance to go a little off-book with the press, when he’s at his Broadway show’s stage door thanking the crowd every single night. And he’s proved it here, in writing, which will doubtless be quoted and reblogged all over Tumblr and printed onto teeshirts in Skreened stores in a matter of minutes.

So if anyone ever wonders what the deal with that Darren Criss guy is, what’s with the hype surrounding him, what’s with the pink sunglasses? Point them here, because it’s not simply that he’s on Glee, because he has a charming smile or sings a cute song or kisses a cute boy. It’s this. This is the deal. He’s still the “us.”

  • http://twitter.com/MaireadNguyen Mairead Nguyen

    I LOVE YOU, YOU ASSHOLE.

    • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

      ^^^^

  • aschech626

    I cried after I read this. And the paragraphs below it are great too. I love you Darren

  • Sisi

    Thanks for posting this Natalie :) and yup. I’m crying. even after the second time…

  • http://twitter.com/claystripe Clay Ammentorp

    Excuse me, I’m gonna go off and cry now. What a marvelous human being.

  • Daughter_of_Eve

    didn’t read the entire thing, not the biggest fan of the bloke either, BUT, he’s got heart and I hope he never loses it.

    loved his closing.

  • JoleneJ

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for spreading this amazing letter. Thank you for what you wrote as well. So accurate.

  • Kavitha

    Okay, I read this when it was posted, and I’m still not over it. It’s just so considerate and humble and wow okay. (And Natalie, your words couldn’t be more true.)

  • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

    He forgot to add, “I listen to the podcasts,” in there as well. :P

    • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

      He’s totally been subscribing since ‘How To Succeed On Glee Chat Without Really Crying’

  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    WHY DID I READ THIS AFTER WATCHING THE BREAK UP D: THIS DOESN’T HELP MY BOX OF FEELS. Can I just give him a big hug and weep onto his bowtie??

  • Vanj203

    What an endearing, generous, and kind heart he has, but does it sound a bit like he’s writing a “goodbye” letter to glee fans? Does he think that after tonight’s ep the fans will turn away from him, or has he asked RM to write him out sometime soon? Just a thought. Thanks for posting this Natalie.

    • NatalieFisher

      I do think that part of this was calculated damage control, and also that the part of it mentioning knowing what goes on on Tumblr etc, was in part a veiled warning or just a reminder at least, to fans who go too over the top, to say ‘hey yo, I do see your crap.’ Like saying “I do know exactly what goes on.” including when stuff is negative. But mostly I do think it is totally genuine. He’s just very good at subtly putting his points across to fans with a positive spin on it, even if it’s a slight warning.

    • http://twitter.com/hp_otaku Veronica

      I thought this as well, it sounds a bit like a goodbye letter to prepare his fans for Blaine leaving the show. And it is something that kinda worried me last episode with his realization that he did transfer for Kurt, and now what is he at the school for? And I may be wrong but weren’t there rumors somewhere that the Warblers are possibly going to make another appearance? I wonder if maybe he will transfer back for his last year. It’ll be a shame if he does, as I love seeing him on the show.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amber.carney3 Amber Carney

      When I started reading it i thought exactly the same thing!!! I thought Blaine was a goner. I thought he was gonna get hit by a bus reading a text from Kurt or something. I was terrified that this was the revolutionary thing Ryan was getting at…having Blaine in glee but from Heaven. gosh. My brain goes crazy places…

  • http://twitter.com/glasswatar Sarah Sutherland

    Can I just give this a standing ovation? because it definitely deserves one.

    I know no one will probably fully understand what I mean by saying that this letter encourages me to keep going with a certain project I have an idea for. Thanks Darren, for not only giving me an example, but also reminding me of why it needs to be done.

  • http://twitter.com/notenoughpuff Sarah

    He’s the absolute best. I hope he never changes, but will always continue to grow and flourish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.carney3 Amber Carney

    I started crying at the part where he talked about singing Not Alone for the president. That was an incredible moment for him and I was so proud he got to do it. When people don’t understand my love for Darren Criss i try to explain how awesome of a person he is, but words can’t describe it. Maybe this will help some people understand the hype and love surrounding our nerdy, selfless, loving, Harry Freakin’ Potter…our Darren Criss. <3

  • grapes9h5

    I have long since quit Glee but I still have a tremendous respect for Darren. He’s the man.

    • NatalieFisher

      Sometimes I wish I could quit Glee, but thanks for this comment. He is truly a class act.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607519910 Catherine Lai

    I love this letter so much! I don’t usually watch Glee, but I happened to watch it tonight, and I cried like a baby. Then I went on facebook and saw this letter, and… I just love him. Reminded me of… AVP3D

  • Ev42

    I’m waiting, quite impatiently, for The Break Up to load, but yes. This makes me emotional for so many reason. Very sweet gesture.

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    Notes like these are the veins in the heart of Hollywood that give me faith in the entertainment industry. There’s no quota or method to how someone in the public eye has to use social networks, so I love to see posts like these written with the same spontaneity and heart as any other human being who presses the post button, because actors are human beings too. There’s also absolutely no pre-determined rule that actors must sacrifice parts of themselves or severe ties to their roots to succeed which he proves with these message and how closely he addresses his fans, a.k.a us. (How to… how to… SUUCCEEEEDDD – sorry couldn’t resist.)

    I don’t need these words to know that Darren Criss is an incredible human being but they make me feel valued not only fandom level but on a personal level as well. I couldn’t be happier when people like Darren prove how deserving they are of the power that comes with fame, and how much they understand the two way transference of heart and soul that has to occur to make artistic creation enjoyable.

    To summarize – urgh damn that freaking lovable beautiful asshole stupid face and its perfection

  • petit_rhino

    And another date confusion: “In April of 2010, I was getting ready to start working on what some of you might now know as A Very Potter Musical.”
    He means 2009.

    I know this is something he’s said countless times, but I love that he took the time to write it to us.

    • NatalieFisher

      No, actually, he means 2010, but he means A Very Potter Sequel. The Glee at White House thing happened in Easter 2010. He actually went in the comments of the post and was like ‘dammit, so many typos and mistakes in this post and now I can’t change it.’

      • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

        That’s so weird… He NEVER messes up!

        • NatalieFisher

          lol can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but he constantly makes typos in tweets, deletes them and then corrects and re-posts them..

          • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

            I know, sorry, it sounded sarcastic in my head…

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555714057 Jayme Keally

          HAHA! I know! He’s ALWAYS perfect with everything that he posts!

  • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

    Is he quiting Glee? I mean, that sounded pretty much like a good-bye-Glee letter…

    • NatalieFisher

      NO, he’s not quitting Glee. I WISH he was, but no, he was just being emo.

      • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

        LOL I wanted him to quit last season… Now I’m hoping for Ryan Murphy to give Blaine a stupid personality so I can love him properly and less screen time so we can get some new music for a change!!! Or even some live shows… or just something new with Starkid… (this comment is turning into a rant)

  • Tara

    I was bawling my eyes out, Darren is amazing, all I could ever say would be “thank you” which is nowhere near enough!

  • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

    I love the hey-I-know-whats-going-on-on-the-internet part! It feels a little bit like a warning… I feel second-hand embarrassment myself though since I’ve seen (and blocked) nasty creepy stuff on Tumblr.

    • NatalieFisher

      It absolutely felt like that to me as well. It was a subtle warning in my opinion.

  • Ann

    With the character assassination of Blaine and the destruction of Klaine in The Break-Up, I refuse to watch Glee any more. The writing is sloppy, irresponsible, lazy, and a thousand other pejoratives.
    That said, I will always support Darren in all his endeavours. I will always love the character he created and the amazing, inspiring relationship he helped to nurture on Glee. I refuse to let the writers of Glee ruin that for me, and certainly none of it takes away from my admiration, respect, and love for this incredible man. The “Darren doesn’t know” meme is a popular one, but it’s clear that Darren DOES know, far better than the large majority of his contemporaries.

  • Bowties&highwaters

    amazing man! No nicer guy on the planet. He is a better person than all the glee cast combined. I hope he moves on to great things. He’s the only one I actually respect as a person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianna.goins.3 Brianna Nicole Goins

    This is why Darren has been, and probably always will be, my favorite celebrity. Possibly my favorite human. <3

  • cw990

    I feel like I am more of a Darren-in-general fan than a Glee fan or a Starkid fan. Even though I have never met him and don’t know him personally, I have followed his career closely and have a HUGE amount of respect for him. I have never come across a celebrity who is so talented and successful, yet so incredibly humble, down-to-earth, and just a genuinely nice person. Like what Natalie was saying on Glee Chat this week, I feel like he just “get’s it.” He get’s what it’s like to be a fan and he is actually truly appreciative of everyone that supports him. This letter just proves that everything I have always admired him for is true. He never fails to amaze me.

  • http://twitter.com/BeccaPhoenix16 Rebecca Feliciano

    Silly YouTube videos? I feel offended!

  • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.biggs Catherine Biggs

    Yet another reason to love him! How many celebs would do something like this? Not that many, Darren is a class act.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555714057 Jayme Keally

      Catherine,
      This is EXACTLY what I told my dad when I was telling him about the letter. You hear celebs saying how much they really appreciate their fans, but you NEVER get this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555714057 Jayme Keally

    I read this right as he tweeted it. I, along with like all of the people that I follow on Twitter, was bawling my eyes out. I do think that there is a subtle indication that this is probably the last season that we will have Blaine on the show. I have watched Glee since it first aired, and I have watched it as it’s gone horribly downhill from that point on… I’m going to admit that I probably won’t watch the show anymore if Darren is no longer on it. The storyline is just all over the place nowadays. If he does leave Glee, I hope that this means that he will have more time for Starkid and, obviously, other things like possibly starting a solo tour

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