How It’s New York:  Glee is about musical theatre loving kids (well musical kids, anyway), and that’s so New York.
How It’s Irish:  Damian McGinty is from Derry, and plays Rory Flanagan, an Irish exchange student, on the show.  Loads of info here!

We’ve been lax with the Rory report, but one thing we can tell you is that Damian’s contract has been extended.  He was supposed to do 7 episodes, but so popular is our boyo that he’s going to be on some more.  Ricky Martin is a guest star on Glee tonight, and Damian’s posted about it on his Facebook page– and he’s also listed as a guest star himself, so maybe there’s a duet or a dance coming!

Who’s excited for Glee tonight?..a certain Ricky Martin makes an appearance…

The official show description: 
On the Next Episode of GLEE…
Will assigns the glee club a Spanish singing assignment, and enlists the help of his musically-inclined night school teacher (guest star Ricky Martin). Meanwhile, Rachel spills the beans to Kurt and Mercedes on Finn’s marriage proposal, and Mercedes has love complications of her own.

Heere’s an interview we did with Damian in November, originally published in Irish Examiner USA.  

He comes by his love of Dean Martin and Bobby Darin honestly:

My grandfather used to listen to that, kind of got it off him. Mum loves Dean Martin; years ago on Sunday she would have played him in the house. It’s a real dream of me to be onstage with huge brass orchestra behind me. 

Read on to learn what Damian would sing at Karaoke!

Tuesday November 1, 2011

Glee-ful For The Opportunity

An Exclusive Interview With Damian McGinty

By Gwen Orel
Tonight, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Damian McGinty makes his debut on Glee ( in an episode called “Pot O’gold.”
The 19 year old former singer with Celtic Thunder plays Rory Flanagan, a foreign exchange student from Ireland. Damian himself is from Derry.
He’s living with Brittany (Heather Morris), who thinks he’s a leprechaun.Rory pretends to do it, because as Damian says, Rory “really fancies Brittany,” and if he grants her three wishes, he can get into her “pot o’gold.”
The show is having some fun with silly Irish motifs, as one of her wishes is for a box of Lucky Charms that’s all marshmallows. Expect to hear Damian say “it’s magically delicious!”
Damian “won” the role on the show by being one of the co-winners of Oxygen’s competitive reality show The Glee Project.
With his sparkling blue eyes, pink cheeks and black hair, the sweet, impish Damian won over America, and the show’s judges, who included Glee showrunner Ryan Murphy (particularly when he sang that he wished that he were, not that he had, “Jessie’s Girl”).
When we caught up to him for this exclusive interview, he was about to begin filming the show’s episode seven.
Irish Examiner (IE): How do you like living in L.A.?
Damian: It’s an amazing, incredible experience. I don’t drive yet. They drive on the other side of the road here! When I get back after Christmas, I’ll learn to drive.
IE: Are you being led astray by dangerous celebrities?
Damian (laughing): I’d like to think I’ve got a good head on my shoulders; I’m not going to be out clubbing and stuff, especially because it’s 21 here! I’m only here for one reason and that is to work. I do love the weather.

IE: On The Glee Project, they talked about “acting” but it was really just expressions in music videos. On the show, you must have lines!
Damian: Oh yeah! I’ve been singing professionally since I was 14, but I’ve never acted before; it’s totally fresh to me. I’m loving it. I’m attending 3 acting classes a week for about 5 hours. I want to improve, and it’s not going to happen if you don’t work at it. If I get a new script I bring it in, read it over with the acting teacher to get an idea of it. We get the script at night, and have to learn it for the next day. Each script takes about 8-10 working days to film. We also do different scenes from books and films.
IE: What’s your dream role?
Damian: I don’t know, I want to play a lot. The role I’m playing at the minute is amazing. Rory Flanagan is so interesting, so vulnerable, so young. He reminds me of myself four years ago to be honest. It’s interesting to see this kid trying to fit in at McKinley High and it’s not happening for him. I do have made-up roles in my head and write stuff in my head; I would love to play more serious characters too.
IE: Would you ever write a play?
Damian: I take it one step at a time. It would be an interesting route to go down.
IE: On The Glee Project they sometimes subtitled you; are they doing that on Glee, too?
Damian: No. I’ve been working in America since I was 14; I’ve learned to be clear, more articulate. A little bit of effort makes all the difference. When I came over here the first time, it was just a lazy way of talking. I didn’t realize, not everybody talks like that. Subtitles on The Glee Project began on week 5 or 6 of the show! It was a result of me becoming emotionally damaged and tired.
IE: It was also funny. Was the show that draining?
Damian: I’m happy I’ve done it because I’m sitting here now, but it was a really tough experience. I wouldn’t do it again for love nor money. I would encourage others, because if you make it through to the other side it’s all good. It’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made in my life.
I’m trying my best to forget the emotional scarring. I wake up in cold sweats at night.
IE: I was impressed that you humbled yourself to go on it; you could have crashed and burned or been one of the first ones cut.
Damian: Most people never understand that after having a career with Celtic Thunder, it was a risk. It was taking a huge risk going from a professional environment to an environment with kids who had never really done anything professional before. For the first few weeks I was thinking it was a mistake because it was so hard. It took me a while to get into the competitive environment.
But I just wanted to improve, to better myself. I knew I could, and still can.

IE: Were you really saved when Cameron (Mitchell) quit?
Damian: I was never actually told, Damian you’re going home; it was just Ryan told Cameron, well you’ve saved Damian because he would have been the one going home.
Obviously then I didn’t go up and look at the list; they did that for filming purposes.
IE: I’m not so sure you were really about to go home, but even if it was fabricated, wasn’t it hard to recover from that?
Damian: There was going to be somebody who benefited when he did that, and, luck of the Irish, it was just me.
When I realized it would have been me going home, it was a hard pill to swallow. I was being told by the judges you’re improving, you’re doing great and then it was a huge kick in the stomach. I had to tell myself listen I am good enough for this and Cameron quit and I was saved for a reason so I’m going to go ahead and fight and let’s see what happens. So that’s what I did.
IE: When they announced you had won with Samuel, you literally flew backwards. Were you really that surprised?
Damian: Yeah, after my journey… you could really make a movie out of my journey. Before the show started I met the deadline to get a visa by one hour. First week we filmed the show there was problems with Celtic Thunder contracts and it looked like I was going to have to quit again, and then we got it sorted, and then I ended up in the bottom three in week one.
When he announced that Samuel won, being a human being naturally I was upset and annoyed, but you cant take anything away from Samuel, he deserved it… so I was left standing there when Samuel won, and I was in a bad place. And then Ryan said you’ve also won. I can’t explain how many emotions I was going through… it was incredible. I remember I nearly hit my head off the piano. The second I did it I flew backwards and jumped… it was insane.
IE: Have you overlapped with other kids from The Glee Project, like Lindsay, or Samuel?
Damian: Lindsay was in episode one… no, not yet.
IE: Lindsay’s really a belter, but you’re a crooner. How did you get into the Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra thing?
Damian: My grandfather used to listen to that, kind of got it off him. Mum loves Dean Martin; years ago on Sunday she would have played him in the house. It’s a real dream of me to be onstage with huge brass orchestra behind me. Michael Buble is a real inspiration to me.
IE: What song would you sing at Karaoke?
Damian: Dean Martin, “ain’t that a kick in the head.”
IE: Will you be in the Glee production of West Side Story?
Damian: That will remain to be seen.
IE: You don’t know, or you’re not telling?
Damian: I’m not telling!

We think he’ll give Kurt and company a run for their money!

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.