Mark Salling may seem like an overnight success story: Last year, no one knew who he was, and now, the whole world knows him as Puck, the resident faux-hawked bad boy on the phenomenally successful TV show "Glee." But before Mark got the call to audition for that role of a lifetime, he was just another starving L.A. artist, teaching guitar lessons to make ends meet and on the verge of moving back in with his parents after spending seven years in Hollywood without a break. He literally only had $300 in his bank account.
"I decided to go full force with music, and after years of struggling--and it is hard to crack into the music business in Los Angeles if you don't already have the following; you can play the Roxy or the Viper Room till you're blue in the face, but you're not going to make a lot of money--I was kind of spinning my wheels. And as a last resort before I had to move back home with my parents in Dallas, I was like, 'You know what? I'm in L.A., let's see if I can get some exposure doing acting, maybe.'"
No maybes about it: After securing an agent and going on auditions with a seriously doctored resumé, he was soon cast as Puck, the perfect part that allowed him to showcase his dark side (he claims to be "24 percent Puck" in real life) and still focus on his first love: music.
But as much as he loves performing on "Glee," Mark's personal musical tastes are a little rougher and rockier--he actually dreams of an all-Alice In Chains, all-Nine Inch Nails, or '90s grunge-themed "Glee" episode, and would love to duet with Amy Winehouse. This is where his solo music comes in. After releasing an album under the band name Jericho in 2008, now he's putting out his first album as Mark Salling, Pipe Dreams, and it's a far cry from the peppy schoolboy pop he regularly sings on TV.
"I would say my sound is kind of like pop melodies over jazz chord changes with a rock feel," Mark explains, while his solo songs' lyrics explore somber subject matter ranging from bitter breakups to Alzheimer's disease. "It's going to be really tricky to balance the two worlds, but I'm hoping on any break or hiatus [from 'Glee'], I will be able to go and play music, as that is the one thing I want to do," he reveals.
Mark Salling has already topped the charts many times with his "Glee" castmates...now will he be able to do so as a musician in his own right? Check out three of his performances from the Yahoo! Music studio, and decide if he was wise to never stop believin' in his musical pipe dream.