Colleen Ballinger is a YouTube personality who rose to fame with her character Miranda Sings some five years ago. Miranda is a caricature of the worst aspects of a young musical theatre geek: she’s full of herself, overdoes her acting, and thinks she knows all there is to know about performance without ever needing to actually study it. She says “I’m a professional and professionals don’t need to take lessons from other people because they can teach themselves”. Now, believe me when I say that my enjoyment of this character in no way implies that I dislike musical theatre geeks. I am one, and I’ve made some of my best friends by geeking out over musicals together, but that’s not to say these aspects of Colleen’s Miranda character don’t actually exist among us. Now, I’ve never met anyone who was as extreme as Miranda or possessed all of these traits at one time, but it’s fun to see aspects of people I know, including myself, parodied by this character.
Like most Mirfandas (as Miranda calls her fans), I first encountered Miranda when someone shared the link to her “Free Voice Lessons”. Back in those days, most of us believed that Miranda was an actual person who was deluded enough to think that she really was the best singer in the world. Slowly, however, rumors started circulating that she was actually a very talented singer by the name of Colleen Ballinger. Searching her name on YouTube I discovered it to be true! There she was, without the garish lipstick, singing songs from musicals with a crystal clear voice and actual acting rather than hamming. This newfound information was pretty cool, but eventually I forgot all about Miranda Sings and Colleen Ballinger.
It wasn’t until pretty recently when I was watching Seth Rudetsky’s “OBSESSED!” series that I realized she was still making videos. Not only had she continued making videos and gathering fans as Miranda, she had begun posting videos regularly as Colleen as well. I checked out her videos and found them to be very entertaining. She has one of the most personal, casual styles I’ve seen in a YouTube personality. Her videos are populated by friends and family and there’s always a lot of fun and genuine love to be found in the content she puts out.
Even though it was the Miranda videos which first got me interested in Colleen, my preference has definitely shifted to the latter. I still enjoy Miranda as a comedic character, but I honestly think Colleen herself is much funnier, not to mention friendlier.
Miranda videos come out on Mondays and Thursdays (Mirandays and Mirthursdays, naturally), while Colleen’s regular schedule for posting videos is Tuesday and Friday, plus daily vlogs for special occasions like trips or holidays. You can also catch Colleen live as she performs shows in-character as Miranda around the world. More information on dates can be found here.