Nellie Veitenheimer is just barely out of her teens but she's already learned a really grown up lesson thanks to her recent turn on "The Glee Project." Each week the former barista from Tacoma, Washington, was pushed to go way outside her comfort zone. Unfortunately she didn't drop her barriers enough to impress the judges and she was sent home. But Veitenheimer is still a great example for kids everywhere that it's okay to be shy and there's always room to grow.
Nellie Veitenheimer Had to Push Beyond Her Comfort Zone on 'The Glee Project'
Before taking the main stage on a reality TV show and performing for "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, Veitenheimer was an unknown. She had just eight-years experience and her big gig was performing with a local Washington state swing group whose members were 20 years older than her. The soft-spoken singer-songwriter was more comfortable playing guitar in a quiet corner of a coffee house than making a music video with choreographed dance moves.
During taping of "The Glee Project," Veitenheimer was constantly being put in situations where she needed to show a sexy side, a personality trait she clearly wasn't comfortable with. In her final challenge, she had to dress up as and channel the spirit of pop icon Britney Spears. And then was regularly given the feedback that she needed to come out of her shell.
Nellie Veitenheimer Said 'The Glee Project' Is True to the Spirt of 'Glee'
Some might feel that this direction is contrary to the concept of not only "The Glee Project," but the mother ship "Glee." Both shows consistently hammer home the theme that people should just be themselves and not conform to what other people want or expect from them.
During a recent conference call interview, Veitenheimer addressed whether or not she felt the show was sending a conflicting message. She acknowledged, "The show does stay true to what it is. It's not as if they were telling me to be a different person. I think they were just trying to make sure that I was able to be outside of my comfort zone. And really in the end, although it was frustrating in the moment, I thanked them for it because my comfort zone has now officially been expanded into something that it never would have been."
Nellie Veitenheimer Would Have Wanted to Represent the Introverted Girl on 'Glee'
Still if she had been cast on the show choir series, Veitenheimer would have liked to have been a role model for kids who might not have found that confidence yet. She revealed that she would have liked to portray "the more introverted girl who has a lot to offer but has to be given that chance first, and not the kind of person who's going to just stand on top of a table in the middle of the room and yell about what I want."
She might not shout it from the rooftops, but Veitenheimer has admittedly left the show with a newfound sense of confidence. And isn't that what "Glee" is really about?
"The Glee Project" airs on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on Oxygen.
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