Part of my morning ritual before leaving bed, is to take a moment to check my mail, messages and calendar for the day. On slow mornings, I browse Facebook for a few moments to see what's trending in the newsfeed. Usually, I find something of value. Either humorous tidbits or the status post of a friend or family. This morning, instead of humor, I find news of Cory Monteith's untimely death at the age of 31. I stared blankly at my computer screen in shock. I began to click the link to find out more, when I realized my hand had already been occupied as it had gone promptly to my mouth. I'd never known the involuntary reflex had happened.
What is Glee?
Growing up in choir both at school and church and once being a first chair Clarinetist, music has always had a place in my heart. Glee is an extremely popular TV show where the actors (and actresses!) portray happy, energetic teens going through some of the typical high school and life drama - with a twist. Every show features amazing vocal performances that are an ode to some of the greatest songs EVER recorded. It's basically like your favorite songs re-sung in a cool way that intermingles them into a fun to watch storyline.
Personally, when I discovered Glee, I found it to be an addictive show. I sang along with the show and found joy in their infectious harmony. Even my Husband was lured into bravely enjoying the show by their songs like some poor Greek sailor lured by a siren. This was a show that developed a following in a short time period and has continued remained strongly popular. With hilariously entertaining scenes like the one of the 'manly' football team dancing to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", no wonder the show has such loyalty.
Who is Cory Monteith?
This was the actor who's adorable, almost shy smile broke the hearts of female viewers. He didn't have the whole 'rock star' persona like Puck (played by Mark Salling), but his shy charm and caring nature was infectious. Despite obvious female jealousy, viewers loved to watch the evolution of the Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) & Finn Hudson romance. They'd get so close to happiness, yet something would get in the way. Much like with real life. Surprising to many, both actors were actually dating off-screen too. This made their on-screen romance that much more 'sparky'. The chemistry was legit.
So what happened?
As of right now, the cause of death is unknown. He was scheduled to check out of Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, July 13th. He was found by the hotel staff and reportedly had been already been deceased many hours prior to discovery. Currently, foul play has been ruled out. He was reportedly seen entering his room in the early morning hours Saturday. I can only hope that his death was not by choice, for such a fate is never worth the outcome. UPDATE: Death determined to be drug related.
I don't feel Glee will ever be the same. It will be interesting to see how they handle this....but I assume they'll weave it into the show somehow, much like the emotional and untimely passing of John Ritter in 8 Simple Rules' episode 'Goodbye'. Yet, with his role's importance I really don't know how Glee will ever recover. I hope they still air his last performances, despite the season's recording not being complete. I have no predictions for how the writers will weave this tragedy, but I hope they offer both the actor, the cast, friends, family and fans the respectful send-off he deserves.
I promptly tweeted: "In shock! Glee will never b the same RIP @CoryMonteith May family friends & fans find comfort despite untimely tragedy Hugs 4 @msleamichele", but this is not enough words to express my shock and sadness. When you grow up in choir, you feel like a family. Even though I never met the cast in person, I feel their pain. The sudden injustice. The unexpectedness. The shock and anger. The regret of words unsaid. The finality of it all. A voice can be mimicked, but never replaced. His voice will be remembered. Not just because of the immortality of being on TV. I can only offer my sadness to the family, friends and my fellow fans. There are no true words of comfort in such a moment. Regardless of any cause of death or controversy due to his past with drugs...he was still a person who will be greatly missed. He seeked help and that is what matters. Not the negativity that is sometimes portrayed by Hollywood. If I were able to reach out to them, I would offer my sorrow and best wishes for their strength despite this tragedy. He touched the lives of so many, yet none of us ever knew him like the cast and crew of Glee. Prayers for strength and comfort for you all. May his recorded moments and songs help heal the void in your hearts and your memories provide strength and comfort during this time of grief.
Here is more information about his death:
Actor Cory Monteith dead at 31: CBS News article which explains the death's circumstances in better detail.
‘Glee’ Co-Stars Mourn Cory Monteith’s Death on Twitter: Video with more details, a few short scene clips & screenshots of co-star reactions
Cory Monteith's Death Shocks Hollywood: More screenshots of Twitter reactions
The reaction of fans across Twitter has been amazingly supportive. So many voices...like a choir in mourning.
Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cory_Monteith_@_Toronto_International_Film_Festival_2011.jpg