It’s always heartbreaking when you wake to the news that someone you admire has died. It’s an emotional roller coaster when you hear that news while at a convention for the show that actor was a star in.
That was the news I awoke to this morning in London, along with 250 other Glee fans who are now mourning the loss of Cory Monteith.
I’m not one for public crying – in fact, I’m not one for crying in general. But even the toughest of people would have struggled not to have shed a tear this morning. But, as emotional as that scene was, I couldn’t have thought of a better place or better people to have gone through it with.
Sure, some people may call it irrational to be upset over the passing of someone you have never met. But when you invite someone on a weekly basis into your life via a television from the comfort of your own home, somehow it feels personal.
Not only that Cory was an inspiration to many. He never kept his past struggles a secret and inspired many to believe that they too could get through whatever demons they were facing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about him.
The mood in the hotel lobby at the convention was drastically changed from yesterday – understandably. Tragedy always brings people closer together and reminds you that anything can happen. There were many people comforting each other, making sure others were okay. People that had maybe only met two days ago came together to support one another.
And that is one of the best messages from Glee – it’s a family. And this morning that family mourned together.
Regular programming was pushed back as the attendees and some of the guests gathered together in a room to express sorrow and messages of love. Of what Glee meant to them – people who had met their best friends through the show, were inspired to chase their dreams, were taught that it’s okay to be yourself or change to be a better person.
Telly Leung spoke about how Cory would speak to everyone on set, regardless of if they were a guest star or an extra – he treated everyone the same and with the same kindness. He said it spoke volumes for his character.
The talk ended with a minute of applause for Cory to celebrate his life and a group hug.
In the main hall, the pilot episode of Glee was aired, and when Don’t Stop Believing came on, the whole room stood and sang and celebrated Cory and his life.
Curt Mega also shared a story from the Glee Live! Tour. “All the main cast would fly on a jet everywhere they went and we were like, on a bus. And the bus – the bus was way cooler. So he came over one night and was like ‘I heard your bus is super cool and I want to check it out’. He was like, ‘Dang! I don’t wanna be on a plane any more, I wanna crash with you guys’. And the Glee people were like, ‘You can’t cause you have press and stuff ‘ and he was like ‘Yeah, okay’ but he kept coming over to our bus and was like ‘This is so cool’.”
Curt also mentioned that when he first tested for Glee, it was for the character that eventually became Sam, but he had to audition with Finn’s lines. “Robert, the casting director, told us ‘Don’t try and copy Cory’s performance, you just won’t get it’. And when you read the script – it’s just words on a page and you realize how much he brought of himself to that character. His quirks, his vulnerability. I remember thinking at the time how he brought so much to that role.”
A minute silence was held for the actor and people joined hands, sending out vibes of love to his friends and family.
I’m a firm believer in celebrating someone’s life, not mourning their death. So I hope that you’ll join me and all the other attendees and raise your glass for Cory Monteith tonight.