Kate Walsh On The “Grey's Anatomy” Moment That Changed Her Life Forever

I think it was a Bee Gees album. Or it might have been a Shaun Cassidy album — that’ll date me.

“I would love to do a movie with Kristen Wiig.” 

Elegant, easy, chic.

Kristen Wiig. I had a short haircut wig on recently and someone was like, “You look like Kristen Wiig.” People have said that to me before, too. That would be awesome. I’d love to do a movie with Kristen Wiig, I’m a huge fan — who isn’t? And there are certain times we look very much alike.

I had this super-fan, May, who came to see me in my play, If I Forget, about five or six times. And she was awesome. I love when people come see me do live theater and it makes me feel so good when they come from all over the world. My brother saw the play four times, but he was eclipsed by May. She made little personalized candy bars for everyone in the play – she was obsessed with it and it was really kind and awesome.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

The dancing lady in the red dress!

One Tree Hill was my TV show back in the day.” 

It used to be One Tree Hill. That was my TV show back in the day. I also just love laying around and doing nothing and hanging around with my cats.

The first thing that comes to mind is when tags on clothing scratch my skin. I get sensitive skin. And also, loud talkers. I get a little sensitive to noise. Although I do have a loud voice myself — I don’t realize how loud my voice is sometimes.

Potato chips.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

Anywhere with powder white sand and turquoise water. I’ve never been to the Seychelles Islands. I’d love do that or the Maldives.

“I don’t watch myself in [Grey’s Anatomy].” 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

I really don’t watch a lot of reality shows. I like a documentary or anything about nature — I love Animal Planet.

I don’t! Once in a while I’ll see a gif somewhere online. It would be really interesting to go back and watch now — that would be really cool. It was funny, I was on The Today Show and I didn’t know that Taye Diggs was guest-hosting and they showed a little clip of us when Sam and Addison were dating [on Private Practice] and I was like, “Oh my god, who is that girl?” It’s like watching someone else. I don’t usually watch myself — I get a little freaked out. It’s not good for me.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

“I kind of
liked being
the Wicked Witch.” 

That entrance [at the end of Season 1] that changed my life. I got more calls and attention from that 60-second scene than anything in my career before. Isn’t that funny? Shonda [Rhimes] is a genius. Everyone hated me, but at that time there was no Twitter. There were chat rooms, but I never really went on them. I kind of liked being the Wicked Witch from the east. Or the wicked bitch. Shonda’s really gifted at flipping every character that’s seemingly awful. It’s a great lesson in how to have compassion for people that you initially hate.

Well, I was surprised when they killed off Patrick [Dempsey]. It had been so long and I was like, “Oh, really?” And I tuned into that episode. It was like, “Oh, I guess I should watch this.”

We dropped it on a Friday and on Monday the entire world knew about the show — it was pretty phenomenal. But no one expected it. I had no idea because it was a new show.

With Grey’s, I remember because I came in at episode 8, at that time the morale was really low. They kept changing the name of the show. It was Doctors and then Surgeons and then Complications and I was like, “What a bullshit show title!” Grey’s Anatomy is the perfect title. To keep our morale up they started showing us episodes at Friday lunches that were already edited. And I was like, “This is a really good show” and I was so excited to be a part of it. I was supposed to do a pilot for another sitcom on ABC, and it didn’t end up getting picked up and then they called me to be a series regular on Grey’s and the world changed. It was stunning right? It was really phenomenal. And that Super Bowl episode! That was what put us into the stratosphere.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

“Katherine is such a beautiful kid and such a gifted actress. It makes me a little teary.” 

Every scene I got to shoot with Katherine [Langford] was a favorite memory, because she’s so adorable and beautiful — I mean, all the kids on the show are so wonderful. And the adults too. But really every scene I got to shoot with her, especially the flashbacks. I don’t have kids (I’ve been a stepmom, which I loved) so it was a really beautiful opportunity to be a mother. You know how there are some actors who are like, “I don’t want to play a mom!” For me, maybe it’s because I’m not a mom, to be able to find that and play that and have that space in my life to be a mother, I really loved it. Katherine is such a beautiful kid and such a gifted actress. It makes me a little teary.

That she gets some answers and gets some resolution.

I don’t even know if I was on the show then! Oh my god, I love that. I hadn’t even heard that. I had heard that he was on Grey’s, but I didn’t know that. That’s really funny. Well there it is, it’s in the universe. The cosmos. I love it.

“I’ve gotten some beautiful letters from mothers and fathers saying they’d never seen it accurately portrayed like this. It was such a huge honor.”

It’s been pretty phenomenal. People seemed to like the work I did as Olivia Baker. We’re just so thrilled with the fan response to the show in general. We all hoped that it would be successful. It’s fiction — it’s still entertainment at the end of the day, but it’s so heavy. It’s dealing with such complex and huge unimaginable issues that we really all hoped that it would be successful. And that it would make people feel heard and that they matter. For me it was such a gift portraying a woman who had to go through this — going through the unimaginable of losing a child to death by suicide. I honestly wanted to do a really good job and wanted to honor the parents who have had to go through this. I think that people seemed to believe it. I’ve gotten some beautiful letters from mothers and fathers saying they’d never seen it accurately portrayed like this. It was such a huge honor. I’m lucky that I get to leave Mrs. Baker in Northern California on set and go live my life. Whereas other people aren’t that lucky. To hear that somebody got heard or seen or that their experience was mirrored in some way was very powerful.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

There’s a lot of them and they involve press tours for sure. One trip we went to Cannes. This was my former manager and one of her other clients and me, and we didn’t see a single film at Cannes. We showed up to parties, we were on yachts — it was ridiculous. It was like an R-rated comedy. But it was so fun — I had never experienced Cannes and I’d never experienced that decadence and opulence, so that was a seminal moment. And additionally I would say the European press tour I did for Grey’s back in the day, but it wasn’t just girls — T.R. [Knight] was on that and Ellen [Pompeo]. But I had my best friend Corinne with me too and we just had a great time. We were able to travel and see so many places we never would have been able to see.

To go to Antarctica!

Going broke — my mother was born in the depression, my dad was an immigrant. I think there’s a lot of people in this country who have that fear. What happens if you don’t have any money? You’re going to end up on the street or on welfare. Or not having health insurance which is really real. I lived without health insurance for a lot of years and it’s not fun. I’ve worked since I was 14 and have paid for everything. Luckily, I got on a hit TV show so I could pay off my student loans to a college I didn’t even graduate from.

To be kind, always. And to know thyself. That’s always been a mantra of mine.


Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

Sleeping in. Making a delicious cup of coffee with full cream. Staying in bed with the cats and dog, taking a few Instagram stories of them. Then I meditate. I go out, walk around. Read a book. And then go eat delicious food somewhere. Come home, watch something — I’m currently binging on The Last Kingdom Season 2 — and then get some sleep.

“So many women have come up to me and said I went to medical school because I saw Addison.” 

I get to do what I love, and not a lot of people get to do that. I just feel very fortunate. It didn’t just come to me. I had to work my ass off. I didn’t have anybody in my family in this business, I just had to make my way and it’s what I dreamed. I was the daughter of a an immigrant and grew up working class, sometimes being on welfare, food stamps, and having a single mom. I dropped out of college because I was trying to do something that I thought I should do, but it wasn’t my passion. And then coming out of college with a ton of student debt and then following my dreams and having countless waitressing jobs and temp jobs and being able to do what I love — that’s the biggest gift. And I guess living in a country where that’s possible. I feel like I have a blessed life. Part of what I also love about what I do is hopefully contributing to the culture like Grey’s did — so many women have come up to me and said I went to medical school because I saw Addison or because I watched Grey’s Anatomy. Or people who have reached out about 13 Reasons Why — even as controversial as the show has been for various reasons — and are grateful that there’s language around suicide and sexual assault, which is still so uncomfortable for people to talk about in this culture. For me to be able to do projects that matter — that’s all I want for other people attaining their dreams — and living in a country that makes it possible still.

I hope there’s some peace. Keep the peace in the world. I hope that we keep people who have health insurance insured. And I am thrilled to have this work to do and that will take me through most of this year. You know — health, wealth, prosperity, and love. I’m really excited by what’s happening in the world right now in that people have become so activated politically and culturally. I think that’s the positive to take from things we see in the culture that we may not like. Where there’s vitriol and hatred and fear, there’s always an opportunity for love and generosity and kindness and abundance — and caring for others. I feel like that’s been an incredible moment. People are reaching out and caring for each other in communities and just showing up for each other.

10 Things You Never Knew About Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles made a name for herself 18 years ago with her feminist portrayal of Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You and has been a permanent fixture in cinema and TV ever since, playing an assortment of seriously badass female characters.

Her new TV show, Riviera, is no exception. Sky Atlantic’s new 10-part series charts the life of Georgina (played by Julia), whose husband is mysteriously killed in a yacht explosion leaving her to unearth the secrets beneath his fortune and lavish lifestyle. If it sounds dramatic, that’s because it is – when BuzzFeed UK sat down for a chat with Julia recently she said this is the first time she’s had to actively distance herself from a character after a day of shooting, because she “experiences so much tragedy” in the show. She also has no idea how the plot will culminate, as the cast shot multiple endings.

But that’s not all she told us during our chat. In homage to the movie that propelled her into the mainstream consciousness, we decided to find out 10 things we never knew about her before – and the results were honest, funny, and enlightening.

Julia Stiles: A sommelier. I mean, just because wine is great. But I feel that it’d be really interesting too – the way wine is grown and cultivated. You’d probably get to go to some interesting parts of the world.

JS: Anywhere where there’s sun and saltwater is pretty great. The south of France is amazing and I really can’t say that enough. I lived there during the filming of Riviera and even though we were working there, every weekend when we had time off I’d go exploring and it felt like a mini-vacation. It has the food, the beach, the language. It’s pretty wonderful. It really was an extraordinary place to live.

JS: Definitely not frogs’ legs. I’ve tried them and ugh. I’d say snails, but I would just have the butter and garlic part without the snail. That’s the best part.

JS: It was Boss Baby. And I actually went to the [movie] theatre. I feel like there’s been a lot of good TV lately. I’m really into Fleabag – I just watched the whole season in probably three days. Veep is also great. I really look forward to Sundays, when I can see Veep.

JS: Speak up, I guess. It’s broad, but it’s important to have your voice heard. And I think “you only live once” is a pretty good motto.

JS: I got what I called a baby banjo for Christmas a few years ago. It’s a four-string banjo that is more like a ukulele that I take with me when I travel because it’s tiny. And I can kind of play it. That’s a secret mini talent.

JS: Pretty much anything that Beyoncé does. “The Beyoncé” is what I’ll call it. Because whatever dance she does, it’s now hers.

Bonus fact: After hearing that Julia loves Beyoncé, we played Lemonade while we shot the stunning photos for this post. During the shoot, Julia revealed that she has “Formation” set as her alarm. Brb, doing the same.

JS: I did go, but it was when I was a junior. I went to a senior prom because I was invited by my gay best friend. My mom still has the pictures.

JS: When people say “sorry” when they don’t really mean it. Like, a politeness or formality sorry. Although I do spend a lot of time in Canada and they say “I’m sorry” as an “excuse me”. So I guess I should come up with a different pet peeve!

JS: I love going swimming, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. And then cooking dinner for friends is always fun. Just simple stuff. I also love going to concerts and hearing live music. There’s a band I haven’t seen live yet who I would really like to – it’s a great, great band called Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. They’re so good. The whole album is so, so good.

JS: It was a while ago, but yes I do. I went to see the Spice Girls during the filming of that movie. I’m pretending I only went because my younger sister wanted to go and I was chaperoning her, but I actually secretly wanted to go too.

21 Super Extra Things Fangirls Have Actually Done

1.

Harry’s fork:

“I worked in a pub next to Harry Styles’ house in London. The first time he ever came in, I was so excited I ended up stealing the fork he used to eat his food with. I took it home with me and kept it in a bag for a good six months!”

briannacarse

2.

The accidental spit:

“I have followed 5 Seconds of Summer since their early YouTube days in 2011. When they came to my state for the first time this past August, I was the first to grab my tickets. I spent months preparing and figuring out what I was going to do when I finally saw them. So, I prepared my sign with the fairy lights around them that said ‘Forget your English Love Affair, I can be your Mrs. All American’ (song names). My dad surprised me with meet and greet tickets the day before. I was planning on being the cool and confident fan girl that they liked, but that was soooo not what happened. When I finally walked up to the table where Ashton, the drummer, and Calum were sitting, I choked on my own spit and it flung out onto Calum’s face, and then I cried.”

graceokaufman

3.

The Niall stalker:

“I followed Niall Horan from One Direction around a golf course. Didn’t talk to him, just stuck close and creepily stared… I don’t even like golf.”

jvmcbride4

4.

The story of Jack “Bearakat”:


Instagram: @ahoyrebecca

“Y’all know the band All Time Low? I was OBSESSED. I went to the show and had previously bought meet and greet passes. Jack Barakat was my favorite human at the time so I MADE him a bear. I dyed the shirt to match one of his Glamour Kills JAGK shirts, gave it a wig complete with blonde highlight strips, and a guitar.”

rebeccal45007dfde

5.

The Bloomin’ tattoo:

“Got a tattoo of Orlando Bloom’s first public Instagram post because he’s god.”

christinac4a0f757cf

6.

The impersonator:

“After One Direction’s Take Me Home tour concert, I found out which hotel they were staying at, and obviously it was the one with the thousands of girls by the front door. I knew Harry Styles’ sister, Gemma, was at that concert from an earlier Instagram post, so I thought I could try to pretend like I’m her and see if they’ll give me a room key. I snuck in the back door, convinced the front desk women that I was Harry Styles’ sister with a terrible British accent (the only question she asked was who the tour manager was, and at the time it was Paul Higgins so duh), and then I went up the elevator to the booked out floor they had. I was probably pacing in the hallway for about an hour until I got the nerve to use Gemma’s room key, and when I did it was empty. I looked around and I knew it was her room because there was an envelope with her name on it and the special concert passes from that night on the dresser, so I snatched them and bolted.”

cassidyw4f591c64e

7.

Hitching a ride:

“OK so, this wasn’t me but it was still hilarious. When I was in middle school my two best friends won meet and greet tickets off the radio to meet R&B singer Mario. I was honestly unfazed, but going along as support. These two older chicks made sure they got seated right next to where he’d be sitting. Question time came, and we were all pressured into asking something and these two girls asked what hotel he was staying at. He declined to answer, obviously.

When we were leaving, walking along to my friends mom’s car, we saw them both climbing under the car that would take him back to his hotel. I’m not sure if they jumped out when he came out or what. But looking back, I admire that level of commitment.”

sarahh4bff3abdb

8.

Not actually Milk Fic:


buzzfeed.com

“Once after I finished my finals I had about an hour left of class so I wrote a five page Ryden (Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco) proof conspiracy theory. It was all based around the sun and moon theory, in which they used references to the sun and the moon to refer to each other in their songs. I went all out, including every song reference to their relationship and there were pictures and tweets, and every piece of evidence I could find to prove that Ryden was real. In the end I think I put more work into that than the final!”

FlameReidBB

9.

The 1D camp-out:

“I camped outside of One Direction’s concert in Ireland (which I flew to from Florida because there were no concerts close to Florida) and waited for three days on the streets in a foreign country (in October so it was freezing) with signs that I brought from home just so Harry Styles would smile at me.”

annab47318c492

10.

Draco’s biggest fan:

“When I was 11 I was embarrassingly obsessed with Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. I would spam text my friends ‘I love Draco’ over and over again, I got a cardboard cutout, I would tweet Tom Felton constantly to get him to tweet back to me, I photoshopped my face to pictures with him, I even bought a autograph for $100 that may or may not even be authentic. I asked him on Twitter and he replied ‘probably not’.”

MeredithBroadwayDreams

11.

Niall’s spell:

“When I was at a One Direction Concert for their Midnight Memories Tour, I swear Niall Horan waved at me, so I went crazy. I eventually couldn’t breathe and I passed out.”

emmalea217

12.

The epic proposal:


buzzfeed.com

“I was meeting JoJo for the second time, and I figured we were close enough that I was able to ask her to be my fiancé. She remembered who I was even though it had been a year since we met, and she said yes. So I can proudly say I’m engaged to JoJo.”

angele2

13.

A sacrifice for Liam’s sweaty towel:

“When I was 16 I was OBSESSED with One Direction. I flew all the way from Hawaii (where I live) to Miami to see them in concert. About halfway through the concert Liam wiped his face on a towel and then threw it into the audience. I was a few rows from the front and was hysterical when I caught it. But the happiest moment of my teenage life lasted all of .05 seconds because the girl next to me tried to grab it out of my hand! Then, when I wouldn’t let go, she started punching me and then, I kid you not, SHE SAT ON ME. The worst part is security made me give her the towel because they thought she was the one who caught it!”

mckennam48906aee0

14.

The cold wait:

“I waited in line 23 hours for a Panic! At The Disco concert. This may not seem a lot, but I slept on the street and it was freaking November.”

–Beatrice Toscano, Facebook

15.

Panic at the Kinky Boots:

“Very recently my friends and I flew to NYC for four days (we’re from CA) just to see Brendon Urie (you know, Panic! At The Disco) on Broadway in Kinky Boots. Not only did we scream like the fangirls we are during the show, but we realised you can meet the cast after. Once we finally met him, got his autograph, and took an adorable selfie we burst into tears because of excitement. I was so nervous the whole time we were talking to him I got tunnel vision and was dizzy.”

mollym4dcc10725

16.

All Time No:

“The first time I met the All Time Low boys, I gave Alex a giant notebook filled with letters, shitty drawings, interview questions, and my phone number. Oh, and I also cried.”

katys4b00523c4

17.

Stalking Archie:


buzzfeed.com

“My sister and I are obsessed with the show Riverdale and two weeks ago, the four main cast members were in Philadelphia for a Comic Con thing. We couldn’t actually go to the convention but we had some blind optimism that maybe they would do typical Philly sightseeing in their down time. Then KJ Apa (who plays Archie!) posted an Instagram story of himself working out at the Art Museum steps. So my sister and I jumped in the car and drove down to the Art Museum, hoping he would still be there. Luckily for us, he was but we didn’t exactly know how we were going to approach him to ask for a picture. We followed him around, and waited for the perfect moment to ask him for the picture. Finally, we were sitting on a bench and he walked up from behind us and I just yelled ‘YO KJ! Can we bother you for a pic?’ Luckily he was super nice… such a funny day but required next level stalking on our part.”

mk2596

18.

The avid “Claymate”:

“In the early-mid ’00s, I was a massive Clay Aiken fan, or ‘Claymate’, if you will.

Not only did I have all his CDs, merchandise, the memoir he wrote, and each of his TV appearances taped on blank VCR tapes, but fans in the ‘Claynation’ were notorious for recording concerts and giving DVDs and CDs to fellow fans. We called this ‘Clack’, as his music was as addictive as crack. So cringeworthy, right? In December 2006, when I saw him in concert (for like the fifth time), I had agreed to call a fellow fan in Oregon, so that she could hear the show – we called it a ‘cell-cert’, or cellphone concert. He actually SAW me from the stage and called me out!”

Betherick85

19.

Avril’s scrapbook:

“I will be forever be known by anyone who went to middle school with me as the crazy Avril Lavigne fan. Had posters plastered all over my walls, took up skateboarding, the whole thing. At one point when she was engaged to Deryck Whibley from Sum 41 I made her a SCRAPBOOK about their relationship and actually mailed it to her. Never heard anything back, I don’t blame them.”

lauramcdermott

20.

The fence climber:

“I was climbing a fence while it was raining and was pushed down by security because I was trying to reach Ricky Martin at the Latin Grammys red carpet event.”

whysoseriouss

21.

The happiest birthday:


buzzfeed.com

“I ordered a birthday cake for Heejun from KNK, a kpop group. I thought I’d organise a fundraiser to get him a birthday cake to consolidate our growing fandom, Tinkerbells. I raised over $250 and through the help of some translators, I had a cake shop in Seoul send a cake to his label. He had a live stream with his fellow members where he showed off his presents and he complimented and liked my cake. I struggled so hard to get him that cake and I’m glad he liked it.”

Minkiaru

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Carly Rae Jepsen Just Wants To Have Fun — Thank God

Inevitably, there will be a person who won’t care that I was there last Saturday when Carly Rae Jepsen performed her 2015 album Emotion live with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He will think it is somehow less cool, less important than the time he saw LCD Soundsystem’s ostensible goodbye show at Madison Square Garden. This will most likely occur while we are on a date, and he will probably be wearing a Strokes T-shirt he bought on Amazon. This dude sucks, and I would like to take the time now to tell him to go fuck himself.

It is this general need to prove myself, I think, that led me to buy a round-trip ticket to Toronto for a mere 32 hours just to bear witness to Jepsen’s one-night-only appearance at Roy Thomson Hall backed by some of her home country’s finest musicians. Maybe, I thought, a night with Carly Rae Jepsen would make the world feel like less of a horrible place. Maybe everything would be a little less serious for a few hours. At the very least, I knew I would have fun.

To varying degrees of success, recent pop music offerings have attempted to tap into America’s political urgency. It does not always make for the kind of Leave It All on the Dance Floor catharsis that so many of us look for in pop music. The most blatant attempt to create a “woke” pop album came a couple weeks ago with Katy Perry’s Witness.

In an attempt to be palatable to an even wider audience, Perry tried to assert herself as someone who makes “purposeful pop” instead of the Teenage Dream–era bops we all actually like. It was a horrible misfire. “Perry seems like she’s throwing everything at the wall in an album marketing meeting and waiting to see what sticks,” wrote Ira Madison III for Vulture. “Katy Perry’s Witness Has the Inherent Appeal of Spectacular Failure,” said Spin. Though the album debuted at No. 1, Perry’s public persona grates on our national consciousness. She wanted to move forward as an artist and, I guess, a person, so she dropped the artifice of Katy Perry and tried to introduce us to Katheryn Hudson. Suffice it to say, we didn’t like Katheryn.

To be fair, most people don’t like Carly Rae Jepsen. She’s still known as the “Call Me Maybe” singer to a vast swath of the population. Emotion only peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200. It received positive reviews from critics, but gained little traction outside word-of-mouth endorsements. My guess is that if you chose a stranger at random, they would not know that listening to “Making the Most of the Night” at full blast is a scientifically proven way to get over even the most acute malaise. They are missing out.

A motif of Jepsen’s oeuvre is “The Feeling.” “Oh baby / Take me to the feeling / I’ll be your sinner in secret / When the lights go out,” the chorus of “Run Away With Me” goes. Her latest song, which came out last month and is the sonic equivalent of the exact moment when ecstasy hits, is simply titled “Cut to the Feeling.”

“The Feeling” is, roughly, one that resembles love, or maybe just lust, but certainly exuberance. Jepsen’s music, for those of us who have claimed her, is a refreshing offering from a pop star who has abandoned pretense. While Katy Perry insists that we view her as an artiste, Jepsen just wants you to dance with your friends. There is only one slow song on Emotion, the Dev Hynes–produced “All That,” and even then, the chorus demands to be sung at full volume and accompanied by dramatic hand gestures. Jepsen takes having fun very seriously, and as a result Emotion is an album that could be played straight through without clearing the dance floor.

Despite what I just attempted, “The Feeling” is hard to put into words. However, it can be encapsulated in an experience. You will understand “The Feeling” the moment you hear a classically trained saxophonist performing the opening notes to “Run Away With Me.”

This is how the concert opened, and just like that, there was no turning back. All 2,630 of us were ready to experience joy.

With her short blonde hair reminiscent of a mom who decided to “change it up” and a floor-length sequined evening gown, Jepsen looked her age. She is 31 years old, which one might not guess from a song like “Boy Problems,” whose Petra Collins–directed video features a bevy of young women bemoaning the boy (and he is definitely a boy, not a man) who has caused them so much strife.

Constricted by both her attire and the fact that this was an event that imbued a certain kind of decorum, Jepsen stayed in one spot for most of the show. Her minimal movement reminded me of what it’s like to watch a Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler performance from the last 20 years. It felt as though we were all there watching the great comeback tour of an artist we had all spent our adolescence obsessing over, instead of someone performing an album that had debuted almost exactly two years ago.

A Streisand or Midler comparison feels apt if only for the sake of describing the audience that attends a Carly Rae Jepsen concert. It was summed up best by a woman I overheard at the end of the show, who declared the evening “gayer than Pride.”

She wasn’t wrong. The demographic that, based on a rough estimate of concertgoers, makes up the majority of Jepsen’s most rabid fanbase is queer white people ages 25 to 35. At intermission, the group of men next to me debated who was a better live performer, Jepsen or fellow gay icon Robyn. The answer was resoundingly Jepsen, who sounds almost exactly like she does on a recording.

Just before the intermission, Jepsen stopped to tell us that she felt so incredibly happy, it verged on being uncomfortable. “It’s like a painful happy, you know,” she posited. This was not usual concert banter. It’s easy to see through an artist when they say, “This has been the best crowd yet!” But Jepsen, surrounded by only people who had very purposefully chosen to be in her presence, had to be believed. She then launched into her virtually unknown 2008 single “Tug of War,” a Vanessa Carlton–esque ditty that is mostly chorus. The applause was thunderous.

Throughout the show, I could not stop thinking about one particular line in Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp.’” “In naīve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Of course, not all seriousness that fails can be redeemed as Camp. the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naīve.”

To call Jepsen’s concert “the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naīve” amidst a night where seriousness had failed feels almost too neat. And yet, looking back on it, that’s what it was. What was intended to be a night at the orchestra to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday quickly became a thrilling gay dance party helmed by an artist a majority of people consider to be a one-hit wonder. It was two hours of pure bliss, surrounded by people who understood, completely, what we had all come to do.

Saying “I was there” is one of the great prides of a music fan. It’s kind of bullshit, because most of it is just luck anyway. No one who went to Woodstock or, regrettably, Altamont knew that they were going to be part of history. But I like to think that everyone at the Roy Thomson Hall last Saturday night knew what was happening. We were all there. Carly Rae Jepsen was there. And in a world where everything is terrifying — especially if you are a woman, a person of color, queer, or any combination of the three — for a brief two hours, we got to go to The Feeling.

Olivia Craighead is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York.

Owl City Has Finally Answered An Age-Old Question About The Song “Fireflies”

In a Facebook post that’s gone viral, Young said that he was “the recipient of 1,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs for a grand total of 10,000,000 hugs.”

“As the lyrics of the song clearly state, the average layperson would not believe their eyes if 10,000,000 fireflies were to illuminate planet Earth, nor would the average person conclude by natural instinct that 10,000 lightning bugs, acting as a collective group, are capable of embracing a human being 1,000 times without difficulty,” he said.

“By the same token, a gathering of lightning bugs in such vast numbers form a sort of ‘swarm,'” the singer further clarified. “And a swarm can collectively surround a human and deliver a ‘hug’ that a single firefly, acting according to the dictates of his own conscience, simply cannot.”

Young acknowledged that this “may seem inconceivable due to the firefly’s soft-shelled body, which is common among all winged beetles within the Lampyridae insect family,” but that he “can testify to the accuracy of this exchange.”

“I can furthermore add that while each individual hug took place, each firefly participated in the chemical reaction commonly known as bioluminescence in which the enzymes within the firefly, in the presence of oxygen, magnesium ions and ATP, emitted a chemically produced light or ‘glow’ because they were happy to be hugging me,” Young concluded, along with a reminder to stream the song on Apple Music and Spotify.