A classically trained violinist who writes dubstep-inspired dance music, Lindsey Stirling is a genre unto herself. Equal parts dancer, musician, and filmmaker, the 28-year-old Arizona native first surfaced as a contestant on America's Got Talent in 2010. She made it to the quarterfinals, but was eliminated after the judges deemed her unmarketable. Instead of wallowing, Stirling turned her attentions to YouTube, where her unique performance style quickly found an audience.
In the five years since Piers Morgan told her she was "not good enough" on national television, Stirling has amassed over a billion YouTube views, reached the upper echelon of Billboard's albums chart, and sold out shows around the globe.
Recently, the multitalented star stopped by the BuzzFeed offices in New York to reveal some #truefacts about playing the violin.
1. Violin hickeys are real and they are embarrassing.
2. Long nails are out of the question.
3. But your gnarly hands are a source of pride.
"Violinists' hands aren't the prettiest, because of our nails and what our hands have to go through."
4. Rosin has a magical ability to end up everywhere, even when you're trying to be careful.
5. You either love or hate the sound of new strings — there is no in between.
"I actually hate new strings. New strings are like... [cringes]."
6. That moment when you put the shoulder rest on backwards.
7. One hand is significantly more dexterous than the other.
8. You have to protect your instrument from presumptuous friends and family.
9. Dropping rosin and watching it shatter.
10. That terrifying moment when your hands slip and dropping your violin seems possible.
"As a dancing violinist, there have been a couple of moments where I'm like, oops! This is an expensive mistake!"
11. Two words: orchestra face.
"It's really hard to smile when you play. As a performer, if I ever find myself focusing it's like, oh no — orchestra face! It's not attractive at all, so I have to focus on smiling."
12. The pain of saying goodbye to an old instrument.
Lindsey Stirling's album Shatter Me is available on iTunes now.