When Jane Lynch was cast in a male role in her high school play, she quit after the first rehearsal.
“I was face to face with my destiny and it scared me to death,” she told an audience at .
Realizing that she missed out because of her fear, the 51-year-old comedic actress vowed to say yes to everything after that.
She said “yes” to being cast as the mean, track-suit wearing Sue Sylvester in the popular Fox TV show Glee. She said “yes” to hosting the 2011 Emmys earlier this month. And she said “yes” to speaking at in San Rafael, Calif. on Sunday.
“I say yes to everything except porno,” she laughed. “I haven’t been asked to do porno.”
Fans flocked to the auditorium to hear Lynch answer questions and introduce Happy Accidents–her new memoir that chronicles her successes and tribulations as an actress as she struggles with alcoholism and accepting her own sexuality.
“I always thought the party was going on some where else instead of where I was,” she said.
But that changed. At the age of 31, Lynch gave up drinking and came out as a lesbian to her parents. And through a series of happy accidents, she was cast in hit comedies like Best In Show, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the TV show Glee.
Glee has gained a huge following since the pilot first premiered in 2009. Three seasons later, the show has spawned several sound tracks and a fan base who calls themselves gleeks.
Lynch told the audience that she was not surprised that the show about a group of teenage misfits joining together in song has been a hit. She remembers her own high school years where she, like one of the Glee kids, “found refuge” in a small sequestered choir room in Dolton, Ill. There, everyone from the jock to the class nerd came together with music, she said.
“I know the power of kids coming together and embracing their differences,” Lynch told the audience, although now she plays the hilarious and bitter destroyer of the Glee club in the series.
She’s not sure what the future of the show holds, but she jokingly imagines Sue becoming a congresswoman, after successfully obliterating the joys of her singing and dancing costars. And as victory confetti falls, she looks into the camera sings Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is.”
Until then, Lynch will continue saying “yes” to everything. Except porno.
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