By Jill Rothwell – Collegiate Staff
Colleen Ballinger, performing her original character “Miranda Sings” returned this year to Grand Rapids’ LaughFest March 19 to a sold out crowd at Fountain Street Church.
With over 6 million YouTube subscribers, Miranda Sings’ expanding fan base of teen girls gleefully refer to themselves as “Mirfandas” mimicking her bad fashion, including the red lipstick generously drawn beyond the outline of lips.
“How to dress up like Miranda Sings” was one of the Top 10 Googled Fashion questions in 2015 according to Glamour magazine.
Ballinger’s creativity is fueled by the hate mail she receives. Actual examples are sung while she plays the ukulele as part of the performance, bleeping out the expletives, but the words are left on screen to view. Mothers are warned and apologized to for the language, in advance.
“Your comments make me money and you’re paying my bills…thanks for paying my bills,” Ballinger sings to the would-be “haters.”
The satirical character, Miranda Sings, makes fun of egotistical performers using YouTube as a serious outlet of self-promotion into show business.
Ballinger created the narcissistic, socially awkward and prudish character, Miranda, who she morphs into on stage, changing the lyrics in an off-key version of “Let it Go” from Disney’s hit movie “Frozen.”
Miranda’s self-proclaimed expertise in fashion, singing and magic are all exaggerated and insensible in a humorous way that resonated with parents as well as the younger set.
Engaging the audience by asking them to participate in her “vlog,” the crowd erupted into a shrill of screams, jumping up from their seats, all hoping to be a part of the performance.
Miranda’s unmatched clothing and condemnation of what she illogically considers risque dressing or “porn” was demonstrated when she invited an unsuspecting adult female audience member to join her on stage.
“Your chestical cavity (cleavage) is showing,” Miranda said. “That’s porn. I’m anti-porn.”
The audience roared with laughter as the woman left the stage with a sign covering her chest that read, “Pray 4 Me.”
Miranda’s video “Where’s my Baes at” is in itself a tutorial, the do’s and don’t’s of finding a boyfriend. At times the message was nonsensical, yet Miranda’s understandable language pervades in this segment.
“To get the bae have smart,” Miranda said. “Lots of money, fast wi-fi and attractive hairs” were positive traits to look for in a “bae.”
Her famous magic trick, being stabbed in the throat not only boosts her self-esteem, but changes her voice from off-key to nearly pitch perfect. The blade is removed then re-inserted a number of times, shocking the audience with the gag.
Sophie Thompson, 15, of Cascade, joined several of her friends for the show, and afterwards for the meet-and-greet.
“My friends and I just love her (Miranda),” Thompson said. “Her jokes are silly but make sense.”
Ballinger is certainly having the last laugh. Netflix has picked up eight episodes of her comedy series titled “Haters Back Off”, Miranda Sings’ signature catchphrase. The air date has yet to be announced.