A star of the hotly anticipated series Glee shares her rules for living.
Glee, a new series about a high school glee club that features loads of music, laughs and heart, premieres on Fox Tuesday, May 19, then returns for a full run in the fall. Don’t miss it—it’s something special and unexpected from the creator of Nip/Tuck, Ryan Murphy.
One of the many reasons to watch is the inimitable Jane Lynch, a mainstay of Christopher Guest’s improvisational films (she’s the lesbian dog trainer in Best in Show), who plays the insanely competitive coach of the school’s cheerleading squad. The 48-year-old comic actress, who is openly gay, talked to Brooke Hauser about some of her rules for living.
Do the footwork
“I have a friend who says, ‘Do the footwork so something can land in your lap.’ Especially in the beginning when I was young and hungry, I looked at every audition as an opportunity for someone to say: ‘I discovered her.’ I went in with a full characterization, and whether it was a good scene or a bad scene, I made it work. I prided myself on that. People were always grateful, whether I got the job or not.”
Learn to listen
“The rules of improv are very good rules to live by—it’s the art of allowing. In improv, you’re not always trying to jump in with your line to show who your character is. You really have to sit back and trust that if you just let it evolve on its own, it’s going to be something. But when you’re pushing it to make your mark, it usually ends up falling apart. It’s just like society: You have to let everybody have their say, and then you get your say.”
Be yourself, and be proud
“I don’t lead with my sexuality. It’s not the first thing out of my mouth when I meet somebody. But I certainly don’t hide it. I’m reaping the benefits of the work done by the people before me like Ellen and Rosie and Melissa, and even way before that. I’ve got a much easier path, and if I’ve been discriminated against because of it, it’s been behind my back.”
Live your dream
“When I was 39, I said, ‘I won’t be 40 and do my laundry in a laundromat anymore.’ I scrounged up a 10% payment, I bought a house, I painted the walls and I had my first birthday party since I was a kid when I was 40. I remember sitting on the porch of my house and feeling this sense of, ‘Oh my gosh, this is mine.’ And I had this thought: ‘I can be the woman I was meant to be in this house.’ And I have been.”
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