Pritchard’s stay with the Presley clan was the beginning of what some would call fabulous luck. She auditioned and landed a role in “Spring Awakening,” in which Michele had a starring role. The pair became friends, but Pritchard, when offered a chance to renew her contract, decided to leave for the promise of a record contract. She had already secured a publishing deal, she said, and soon was in talks with J Records.
Although a representative for J Records said Pritchard never had an official deal and was never on the roster, Pritchard said she was working toward recording an album. She was interested in writing smoky songs that mixed a bit of soul and folk and pop, she said, but the record label wanted her to record songs written by others that would conform to mainstream pop radio.
“It was going in a much more R&B direction than she was comfortable with and I don’t think it was ever quite convincing … not to anyone,” said producer-songwriter Eg White, chief producer and collaborator on “Wasted in Jackson.”
J Records and Pritchard ended their relationship, and Pritchard landed on Island Records. She decided to head to London to sketch out her music, with White and others, but before she was about to leave, she got a tantalizing opportunity to audition for “Glee.” She already knew about the show: Michele was already connected to the project, with the Berry role basically being tailored to her.
“I did not want to audition because it was totally her role,” she said.
But producers were still auditioning for the part, and sought out Pritchard, who auditioned once _ but declined when asked to continue in the process.
“I just thought, the only thing that I want to make my full-time commitment to is my music career,” she said. “When that happened, it was when I was taking all of my meetings with record labels, and I just thought, I’ve got this opportunity, and if I don’t take it, I’m an idiot, and I’m not sacrificing anymore. I’m doing what I want and I love.”
The irony is that “Glee” cast members have become TV and pop stars. Cast albums have sold millions, and songs from the show appear regularly on Billboard charts and have earned Grammy nominations.
But that’s not the success that Pritchard wants.
“I’ve never looked back on the situation and thought, `I wish I would have,’” she said, “because I get to do what I love every single day.”