Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Writing with Jane Lynch...

Jane Lynch is an incomparable comedic actress. She has been responsible for some of the funniest adlibs in improv stage troupes as well as Christopher Guest films, as well as for delivering some of the funniest one-liners and dead-pan delivery of small screen comedies. When you think of the Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress, you think of just that: acting. But any comedic actor worth their salt stays fresh by writing material, too. And soon you will be able to read some of Lynch's best work when Voice, a division of Hyperion, publishes her memoir in September 2011.

Lynch's memoir, "Happy Accidents", focuses on Lynch's career from her time at Second City to all of her Guest movies and later Judd Apatow projects. While there are certainly some humorous stories from her time at work and her natural light-hearted sense of humor, there are some deeper moments of reflection, too. Lynch looks inside herself, unfearing and unflinching, like any good memoir author in order to ponder the hows and the whys of some of her past behavior. She turns a candid lens on how sobriety-- and embracing her sexuality-- helped make her the strong, confident, powerful and happy woman she is today.

"If I could go back in time and have a conversation with my eighteen year-old self, the first thing I’d say is, ‘Lose the perm'," Lynch only half-joked about the lessons she learned from looking back on her life in this book.

"Second, I would say, ‘Relax. Really-- just relax. Don’t sweat it.’ For a long time, I was anxious and fearful that the parade would pass me by, and that someone or something outside myself had all the answers. Having finally reached a happy place...I want to share my story with others, to let them know things aren’t as bad as they fear.”

Maybe she reached this happy place by accident, as the title implies. Maybe she reached it through divine intervention or because it was always her chosen path. Normally I am a little bit bitter when an actor suddenly decides to become an author, especially because no matter who they are, they have an immediate audience for their book that is much bigger than mine, no matter how much blood, sweat, tears, and embarrassment I poured into every page. But in Lynch's case, I believe she has a unique story to tell and a more than interesting perspective in which to do so.

"Basically it kind of came together because I've been giving speeches at a lot of gay galas-- well, not even just gay galas-- but I started jotting things down, and I would show them to friends, and one friend who is a writer looked at it and said 'There's a book in there.' So I thought maybe there was a book in there!" Lynch explained.

"I grew up with everything handed to me-- not necessarily acting wise, but I had a great family...and I still chose to suffer time and again. The mental component to that is very interesting, and I've come to believe it really is a choice. Even today, I'd still choose to suffer the angst over [having things come too easily]," Lynch echoed a sentiment I have believed for a long time-- and about myself, too.

"Here's a little tidbit," she previewed from the book she shared is still a work in progress, "Let your life flow. Trust that you're on your own path. Stay true to yourself and show up. Showing up is ninety percent of it!"

She is not another Snooki, folks; if and when Lynch lands on the best seller list it will be deserved-- because she is a true artist-- not simply due to hype!

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