Interview With Lauren Potter–"Becky Jackson" on Glee **GenXMoms Exclusive**

The moms love Glee. The 80’s tunes are a throwback to our own high school days, the actors are fabulous, the storyline is addicting, and who doesn’t think it’s awesome to just burst out in song every once in a while? I know I do.

But one thing we’re particularly excited about is Glee’s portrayal of a number of different kinds of students. And I’ll admit it–my favorite character on the series is Becky Jackson, Cheerio and Sue Sylvester’s personal assistant. It’s so refreshing to me to see a character with Down syndrome portrayed not just positively, but as though the disability didn’t exist at all. Which is exactly how it should be.

I was thrilled to get an opportunity to interview Lauren Potter, the young woman who plays Becky, and here’s our chance to let you get to know Lauren a little better.

So Lauren, tell us a little bit about yourself–favorite movies, books, music?

I love everything Disney! Right now I’m reading the “Pretty Little Liars” series and they are so good! I like the show too. My favorite music of course is all the music from Glee, but I also like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, and I love the guys from Big Time Rush…I met them at Paramount while I was filming and they are sooo nice!

So tell the truth–is working on Glee as much fun as it looks?

Oh my gosh, it is so much fun. It is a lot of work too, but I love the cast and crew and all the producers. It gets pretty crazy sometimes, but it is a blast!

Sue Sylvester is one tough cookie but through the character of Becky Jackson, we get to see her softer side. Is actress Jane Lynch really like Sue Sylvester?

No way! She is so nice in person. She is really nice to talk to and she helps me a lot on set!

One of my favorite episodes was the Christmas episode with the Glee version of the Grinch. I was so thrilled to see Becky Jackson featured. Tell us about that episode.

I loved that episode. I had a huge crush on the director, he is really cute! It took a long time to film that episode but it was really fun, and I loved watching it when it was finished

Can you give us a hint of what’s in store for Becky and Glee?

I really never know, but I hope a lot more episodes!

What other projects are you working on?

I just got home from New York City. I was on CNN and ABC News. My Mom and I did a PSA to stop Bullying of kids with special needs and we went there to talk about it. It is through www.abilitypath.org I also did an interview with People Magazine with my Mom so we can stop bullying.

You’ve been a real inspiration and role model for many young people with disabilities. What advice do you have to give to others who have dreams as big as yours?

To never stop dreaming, no matter what the dream is. I feel so lucky and honored to be acting, but kids with disabilities need to know that they can do anything that they put their mind to! Just “don’t stop believin”!

And here’s the moving Public Service Announcement of Lauren and her mom, Robin, as they work to “disable” bullying.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The first full lunar eclipse on a winter solstice since the 17th century, and Southern California, the place of eternal sunshine, is in the middle of an unending rainstorm.  Hopefully some of you were able to enjoy it.

I am looking forward to the big royal wedding. Hopefully, this marriage actually lasts more than a few years . . .

The Big Cheese is rather obsessed with The Grinch.  She’s really afraid he’s going to steal her toys on Christmas.  She asks us several times a day if we’re “really sure the Grinch isn’t real.” She loves the movies, the book, and stuffed Grinches, and she is a huge fan of the song. But some part of her just can’t give up on the fact that the Grinch might steal her Christmas presents.

My little bro is getting married in June, and The Big Cheese is gearing up to be the flower girl.  I am taking her dress shopping this week, and I am so excited to see her try on the “princess” dresses and tiaras.  She’s going to be gorgeous!

It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays, but I want to take a second to make a little public service announcement.  Remember that the extra time off right now is a chance to spend time together as a family, doing things you don’t normally do.  Take a morning and head to Chuck E. Cheese, and leave your cell phones in the car.  Go to a theme park or museum you’ve been meaning to hit and just haven’t gotten around to it.  Also, call up friends you don’t see very often and make a point to get together. 

I tried Kraft’s new Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese tonight.  It requires that you make a cheese sauce, add crumb topping, and throw in some shredded cheese.  Dear Hubby and I thought it was some of the best mac and cheese we’ve actually ever had, but the kids weren’t such big fans.  Bugster really didn’t like the visible herbs on her pasta, and The Big Cheese also wasn’t a fan of the green stuff.  I personally thought it was scrumptious!

OK, Gleeks. What do you think about Sam?  I just don’t think he’s hot enough to be with Quinn, and I really think he’s pretty mousy.  His voice is just O.K.  I just can’t jump on the Sam train.  What am I missing?

Totally scarred The Bugster.  We visited Santa over Thanksgiving weekend, and I went up to him with the girls.  The Big Cheese wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the whole thing, but she was O.K. since I was up there, too.  The Bugster started screaming and asking for Daddy, but we stuck it out.  The Santa picture is priceless, with her bawling at the top of her lungs.  Now, whenever Santa is mentioned, seen, or even comes in to her thoughts, The Bugster says, “No Santa bup.” (Bup = Bugster-speak for sit.)  We have assured her repeatedly that she doesn’t have to sit on his lap at all this, but I don’t think she believes us.  Dear Hubby is convinced she’ll forget by next Christmas.  I’m not so sure . . .

Oh, and I need to tell you about my Christmas present to myself, because I think you, our readers, will actually appreciate it, unlike some of my “friends.”  I bought a ticket to see the New Kids on The Block in concert in July.  They’re performing with The Backstreet Boys, but NKOTB is all I really care about.  I have wanted to see them since I was about 12, so I am having a lot of trouble containing my excitement!

Have you heard our new tagline?  Gen X Moms Blog: For when you don’t get carded anymore

I Want My Dang TV!

I like TV. Quite a bit. But, if you had asked me a month ago if I could completely give TV up for several weeks, I would have stated unequivocally that, yes, I could live without it. Then, on Election Day, my beautiful, beloved, magnificent 42-inch plasma TV died. This TV was 2 years and 6 days old, and it would not turn on. And, yes, we are a one TV house. (If you read the Scrivener’s post about her recent power steering problems, you’re going to think we all are having major issues with our stuff right now.) 

To jump ahead for a second, as I type this, I am currently watching Conan on a borrowed 13-inch TV/VCR combo. 

Yes, that means my TV is still broken. The warranty is expired, but the company has offered to pay for our parts. There is still a huge labor cost we have to pay, but at least they are willing to help us. Or, so we thought. We have spent what feels like hours on the phone with their customer service representatives, and we just cannot get the same answer twice. There is some fax they have to send to the authorized repair shop to actually authorize the repair. They told us this simple fax will take 2 business days to be sent. They also told us that when they receive faxes, it takes 2 business days to log their receipt in to the system. I’m sorry, but are there that many of their televisions out there that have turned to complete crap and won’t work that it takes 2 days to get through the fax queue?

It turns out that our power board is fried, but there is no guarantee that this is the only part that is bad. They can’t troubleshoot the other circuit boards in our TV until the power board is functional. They are telling us that the earliest the power board will be in is tomorrow, although, realistically, we’re looking at closer to Thanksgiving – unless the part is on backorder. If it’s on backorder, it could be weeks. Then, once that part comes in and gets replaced, we’ll see if the TV is operational. If not, we have to wait some more.

Not having a working TV has turned me in to an absolute grouch. I suppose that has something to do with the fact that I missed two weeks of Glee and the premiere of Conan. I do have a laptop with DVD capabilities, and I have a fast enough internet connection that I can watch TV shows on Hulu. But, it’s just not the same. 

We have contemplated buying another TV, but there’s a reason we are a one TV house.  We had a TV in our bedroom for a while and never used it.  And, our girls are way too young to have a TV in their room.  All of this means we’d have a spare TV literally sitting in a box somewhere growing technologically obsolete. We are grateful that a friend loaned us a TV over the weekend (Yay for friends who own multiple TVs!), and we are just going to hope that our dear TV manufacturer decides to get their act together and fix our plasma before we usher in 2011. Please?

We Remember: Kids Incorporated

Stacy Ferguson AKA Fergie

by Kaia-Gurl

Long before there was Glee, there was a little show called Kids Incorporated. If you never saw it, this show was ahead of its time. It featured a (mostly) talented group of young singers and dancers performing 80’s hits. The only other show doing anything like this was Disney’s New Mouseketeers featuring Britney, Christina and Justin. My folks never would spring for cable, though, so that show passed me by. Jennifer Love Hewitt was a Kids Inc regular. Mario Lopez from Saved By the Bell was a dancer. And then there was Stacy Ferguson. AKA Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas. I never made the connection until I read about it. She was such a cute, fresh-faced kid with a big voice. If any of them were going to make it big, it would be her. Check her out.

Eventually even the Disney people picked up on the cool vibe of the show and bought the rights to it. Sorry to say, the show then went to the Disney channel, never to be seen by yours truly again. Boo!

 

We are no longer posting on this site, however, you can find me on my new blog: www.jedismama.com

Rambling Thoughts IV

Toy Story 3

Andy is all grown up now. What becomes of his toys?

I cried during Toy Story 3. I tried to hide it but the sniffling gave me away. It surprised me that I would react that way over animated characters but I could relate to saying good-bye to childhood. Keep up the good work, Pixar people, it was worth the wait. If only you didn’t have to hit me over the head with your relentless merchandising in every store we enter, every magazine I read, every web site I visit and, of course, in commercials on television. My 4-year-old has become one of many self-appointed ambassadors for your products. I get it, you want my money!  So far we’ve refrained from everything but Buzz Lightyear shampoo and some character fruit chews. We’ve got a birthday coming up in a couple of months, though. No doubt Toy Story stuff will be on the list.

Rocky accidentally headbutted me. Again. This time it felt like my nose was on fire. Last time my lip. I know my kid doesn’t mean to use his noggin as a weapon but it hurts just the same. Nobody warned me about this part of having a boy. Perhaps my child is just more of a spaz than others? If so, my nephews inherited the same gene.

Thank you, Eloise. The adventures of a little girl who lives in New York’s Plaza hotel with no parental supervision (seriously, where are the parents?) have given me a two week reprieve from all things Star Wars. Sure, she has atrocious manners that he could potentially try to adopt but at least she’s not chopping anyone’s arms off.

Got my kid listening to the Glee soundtrack and singing along with me. At least the kid appropriate songs. He’s never heard of Journey or the Beatles. To him it’s all Glee music. I should correct that perception but last time I tried he just got argumentative. “No, the Glee people sing it, Mommy!” For now we are having fun doing the gleeified Safety Dance.

We just discovered books on cd (available from the library) and it turns out Rocky loves being read to by a stranger doing voices on a disc. Frees up a little time for me to do some reading of my own! Yes!

Here’s a question. If money and time (and babysitting, if applicable) weren’t an issue, where would you like to be right now? I think I’d be at a spa retreat in Napa Valley. Or the fjords in Norway. Ahh. Okay, that was a nice mental break.

HappyRTT! Click the image to find more randomness at the Unmom’s blog.
 

The Librarian

Gen X Glee

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

The Moms agree that there have to be some serious Gen Xers behind the scenes of Glee, and this week’s episode (May 18th) was proof positive if ever proof was needed. And if you need proof, I am here to provide it for you. Because I took notes.

Yeah, I actually took notes.

Shut up.

As a reminder, Generation X is defined as the generation of people born between 1965 and 1980. If you think you might be a Gen X Mom, go ahead and take our “Are You a Gen X Mom?” quiz and see how you do. Of course a 15-year span for a “generation” includes a wide variety of people, but essentially, Gen Xers came of age in the 80s. It was a decade of great fashion, great hair, great movies, and great music. And something that great deserves to be celebrated by Glee.

Doogie Howser--blogging since 1989

This week’s episode could not possibly fail with a guest star like Neil Patrick Harris as school board member Bryan Ryan. What Gen Xer doesn’t think fondly of our favorite pint-sized doctor? NPH has gone on to do some awesome work since then, but we Gen Xers don’t forget our roots. He’ll always be part-Doogie to us.

And Dr. Horrible to many others. I’m sure the Dr. Horrible fans didn’t miss the scene with NPH in the “home ec” classroom that looked suspiciously like a chem lab.

Joss Whedon was this week’s director, which asks the chicken and the egg question–did Neil Patrick Harris bring in Joss Whedon, or did Joss Whedon bring in NPH? Either way, Joss is right on the cusp of Gen X himself, and his father was a writer for that 80s classic, Golden Girls, so he’s well-versed in the art form of the 80s.

At any rate, Gen Xers geared up for a Gleeful 80s episode were not disappointed. The flashback of Bryan Ryan and Mr. Shue in high school with mullets, braces, and Bill Cosby-esque sweaters was delightful, not to mention when they shared a beer at the bar and belted out a fabulous duo of “Piano Man.” What Gen Xer doesn’t love the smooth stylings of 70s and 80s superstar Billy Joel?

Tell me you didn’t cringe and laugh at the same time when Bryan pulled out jeans jackets with rhinestones and declared them to be “Rad!” The cringing was because I used to own a jeans jacket–no, mine didn’t have rhinestones, but it was Guess brand. And nobody dressed the 80s like Guess jeans.

June 15th--mark your calendars

Incidentally, I’ve always felt a special kinship with Neil Patrick Harris because he and I share the same birthday, right down to the year. Yes, apparently June 15, 1973 was a magical day for the world, as both I and NPH were brought into it. I was a bit dismayed at Glee when Mr. Shue mentioned “Sectionals 1992,” since I know for a fact that unless he was held back a year, Neil Patrick Harris graduated with the class of 1991. And nobody held Doogie Howser back in school, but I’ll let that slide because I like Glee so much.

As usual, the Glee musical numbers were amazing. The highlight for Gen Xers was definitely Artie’s rendition of the Safety Dance. Sure it was the one song that didn’t feature the week’s theme of “dreams,” but it definitely fit the week’s theme of “totally effin’ radical to the max!”

And speak of awesome to the max–Dream On? Words cannot describe the epic moment of that number.

Moving to Rachel’s corner, musical theater in the 80s were defined by three mega-hits. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (1982) and Phantom of the Opera (1986) and right there in the middle of the decade, 1985, Les Miserables. And it was right there from the libretto of Les Mis where we heard the haunting and deeply emotional “I Dreamed A Dream” (I cried. And cried.). In addition to being a touching moment, it was also a classic Gen X moment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, keep an eye out for upcoming songs from Cats and Phantom. The Scriv called it first here on Gen X Moms.

Jesse, meet Westley

And any tribute to the 80s would be remiss without mentioning the best movie of all time, ever: The Princess Bride. Yes, I can quote the whole movie. Can’t you? Now as soon as Jesse St. James popped up on screen I’ve been saying, “He looks just like Cary Elwes!” Mr. Elwes, of course, played Westley in the Princess Bride. Although Train Guy keeps looking at me skeptically every time I say it, there is an uncanny resemblence between Westley and Jesse St. James. It’s not just in the face, but in the mannerisms as well. Seriously–watch your copy of The Princess Bride (OMG BLU-RAY!!!) and tell me you don’t see the similarity.

And maybe this one’s a stretch, but check out the scene in the library where Rachel is making the argument for Patti LuPone being her mother. She shows a flyer with Patti performing with Mandy Pantinkin. You probably best know Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya.

You killed his father. Prepare to die.

Inigo Montoya wants YOU to become a Gleek

Yes folks, Glee has got Generation X written all over it. Watch for it!

The Scrivener

Gen X Moms Love Glee

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

Yes, we admit it. We Gen X Mamas are Gleeks! Here are just some of the reasons why we “just can’t get enough” (hoping the cast sings this one in the future) of Glee.

Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester

  1. The Glee soundtrack includes many of our favorite songs from the 80’s, starting with the show’s signature hit Don’t Stop Believin’. Kudos to the rad Glee cast and creators for making these tunes hip again. Like Dancing With Myself, Jump, True Colors, Jessie’s Girl, Total Eclipse of the Heart, Madonna classics and so many more. We can’t wait to hear the next round of songs.  The new album promises us the Safety Dance. If your friends don’t dance, they are no friends of ours!
  2. Glee isn’t afraid to tackle the big issues: teenage homosexuality, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, and how to make Hammer pants look good.
  3. Will Schuester proves that a Gen Xer can be hip, cool, and hot! Also that some older white guys can rap.
  4. We appreciate good writing, especially the wicked tongue the Glee team have bestowed upon shameless Sue Sylvester. She’ll say anything to get her way. One favorite quote, “I like minorities so much I want to move to California to be one!”
  5. Kurt Hummel’s bold fashion statements and Rachel’s clueless ones. Kurt’s assessment, “Rachel manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time.”
  6. Emma is so endearing, even with her OCD being so over the top. It makes all of our craziness as moms seem normal!  Plus our counselors were never so stylish.
  7. We love any show that glamorizes being the outcast. Let’s face it. Most of us were in this category.
  8. Rachel Berry’s quest to be a star despite her flawed personality. She’s so annoying yet so vital to the success of the club. “Damn her talent!”
  9. No shortage of awesome guest stars. Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Patrick Harris – the list goes on.
  10. Brittany’s dumb blonde one-liners; they keep us laughing throughout the week! We moms can always use the humor. Hey, did you know dolphins are gay sharks?

Brittany from GleeThe Gen X Mom Bloggers

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