California State University East Bay

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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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“Glee” Star Shares “Happy Accidents” at Berkeley

Actress Jane Lynch talks about her new memoir “Happy Accidents” at Cal Berkeley.

Actress Jane Lynch, known for her portrayal of cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on the hit Fox series “Glee,” appeared at the UC Berkeley Men and Women’s Chorale as part of the campus’ second annual Fall Free for All on September 25.

Lynch’s presentation included a reflection on her recently released memoir “Happy Accidents,” a performance of songs previously covered by “Glee” to fans, and a talk on her life and how she got to where she is now.

“I believe everybody has ‘happy accidents,’” Lynch said, saying that the thing in front of you at any moment is what should be entirely focused on.

Her book follows her personal story from a Chicago adolescent with dreams of becoming an actress to where she is now, a successful and popular performer.

One memory Lynch reflected on during her presentation was of when she dropped out of her high school’s production of “The Ugly Duckling” due to being unable to make a connection with her character.

Immediately, she felt the side effects from dropping out and desperately wanted  to  be a part of it, even if it meant signing up for the stage crew.  Lynch recalled as this being the last time she said “no” to anything.

In her book, Lynch also struggled with her sexuality while growing up, and while being on her school’s choir became a positive outlet for her to deal with the stress, she had also turned to drinking as a form of relief.

Nevertheless, Lynch stated how she believes her life took care of her as she eventually overcame her struggles with both her sexuality and alcoholism and was able to go forth and pursue her career as an actress.

She also discussed the casting for “Glee” as a “happy accident,” as she was already committed to another television series when she agreed to guest star as the cheerleading coach in the pilot episode of the new show created by her friend Ryan Murphy.

The series she was originally committed to was eventually dropped, and by the fifth episode of “Glee,” Lynch became a part of the main cast.

Even writing the memoir was kind of a “happy accident” for her.

When the publishing company Hyperion Voice asked her to write a book, they gave her four months to do so.  While she procrastinated during the first month, her wife, psychologist Dr. Lara Embry, helped her by co-writing and editing the book with her.

Her presentation was in such high demand that people stood out in the rain in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center just to get a wristband to attend the event.

When asked what Lynch learned about herself when writing the book during the Q&A session, she addressed in a humorous fashion how having a psychologist as a wife was both great and “a pain in the ass.”  She expanded her answer further by explaining how looking over these “happy accidents” in her life made her realize that her life takes care of herself and, as quoted from a book she was once read, she “suffered over her suffering.”

Looking back on her life now, Lynch recalled how if she was given the chance to speak with her 20-year-old self, she would have told her to just relax and that life is going to get really good.

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California State University East Bay
“Glee” Star Shares “Happy Accidents” at Berkeley