Crowd Pleaser

by Peter Proko | Dec 12, 2023
Crowd Pleaser


When Lindsey Stirling took to the stage as a contestant on America’s Got Talent back in 2010, she was quick to impress the judges with her unique ability to incorporate challenging choreography while simultaneously playing the violin. Ultimately, she made it as far as the quarterfinal stage before being told that her act simply wasn’t enough to engage audiences over the long-term.

Devastated, but not deterred, the California native used the experience as motivation to fine-tune her craft, and today Stirling is known across the globe for her energetic performances that seamlessly blend her skill as an accomplished violinist with dazzling dance routines. She also regularly entertains tens of millions of her fans on YouTube where she posts clips of her concerts and highly stylized music videos.

Stirling is currently on the road bringing her holiday Snow Waltz tour across the country before heading overseas for an extended run. The tour will make a stop at Caesars in Atlantic City on Dec. 15, and we had the chance to catch up with Stirling to find out more about what fans can expect.

The anticipation of the tour…

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I’m super excited, I love going on tour. We are doing a show that is pretty similar to last year’s show. We were so proud of last year’s show and I spent a year working on it and fine-tuning it and improving upon it. I’m really proud of it and excited.

Falling in love with the violin…
My parents love classical music and were always playing it at home. As a young child, I gravitated toward it and asked for violin lessons.

The inspiration to push boundaries…
Honestly, I was so regimented in classical music for so long, I got burnt out. Not that classical music is boring, but I’m a creative person and it was exiting to break out of that and think what do I want to play. … Stepping out of playing what is on a sheet of paper and being creative with it really brought me to life and made me so enthralled with violin. It opened up a cool, new passion and added a lot more layers than just worrying about playing something perfectly.

The America’s Got Talent experience…
America’s Got Talent was a cool jumping-off point. More than anything, it taught me about grit and that sometimes things don’t go the way you want. That situation turned out to be so embarrassing, I didn’t know if I could step on a stage again. But what grew out of me was the sense that am I going to believe what someone says about me or am I going to believe in myself and make my next opportunity happen. Getting up after you fall is what determines if you make it and the most persistent and perseverant eventually rise to the top.

Adding choreography to the mix…
It’s a big part of it, especially now. When I first started I didn’t know how to dance, I was jumping around and skipping, but it’s really turned into much more of an art form. I’ve worked with it for 15 years, and now I’m pushing the envelope and I’ve learned some aerial [routines]. I’m really proud of the aerial stuff; I do a hoop routine, some trapeze work. It’s really elevated the show, no pun intended, but it’s a spectacle that people don’t expect, which makes it really fun.

When I stared trying to do it, it felt unnatural. Trying to think of the dance moves while playing in tune felt impossible. [But] I got better and better and faster and faster, and I’ve learned to combine those two muscle memories. It’s still very difficult and a challenge, but it’s fun.

The bond with her fans…
It’s the little things. I just saw a girl dressed up like me for Halloween. She had her costume and her violin and it made me a little bit emotional. A kid somewhere across the world decided they wanted to be me when they could be anything. Those are the moments you realize you connect with people in a real way.

New music on the way…
I’m finishing up a new album. I’ve worked on it for three years and it comes out in the spring of next year. I’m really excited about it.

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Published and copyrighted in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 20, Issue 8 (November 2023)

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Author: Peter Proko


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