November 2018 Writer \/\/ Janelle Morrison\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 Photography \/\/ ICM Partners Photography \/\/ Brian Bowen Smith and Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts Best known as ruthless cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox\u2019s \u201cGlee,\u201d actress Jane Lynch brings her comedic skills and musical prowess to the stage in this hilarious and poignant show inspired by classic Christmas albums of the 1950s and \u201860s. Joining her are longtime friend and actress Kate Flannery (Meredith on NBC\u2019s \u201cThe Office\u201d); singer-producer Tim Davis who served as vocal arranger for all six seasons of \u201cGlee\u201d; and a jazz combo, the Tony Guerrero Quintet. All of them collaborated on the 2016 album version of \u201cA Swingin\u2019 Little Christmas,\u201d which features 10 classic carols and five nostalgia-inspired original songs penned by Guerrero. Don\u2019t miss Jane Lynch: A Swingin\u2019 Little Christmas at The Palladium Saturday, December 1 at 8 p.m. Visit thecenterpresents.org for more information. As you are originally from our neighboring state of Illinois, do you have any connections to Indiana, or have you performed in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas prior to this upcoming performance? I\u2019m from Dolton, just a few minutes from Hammond, Indiana. We would go to Indiana to buy our fireworks, and my parents bought cheap cigarettes without tax from Indiana for years. A lot of my friends from high school now live in Indiana, so I\u2019ve been visiting them there. Three of my nieces and nephews went to IU, so I am familiar with Bloomington and Indianapolis. I think I\u2019ve performed in Indianapolis with another show. Early in your career, you immersed yourself in the Chicago theatre and improv comedy scene and worked with groups such as the Second City Touring Company. Working with a predominantly male group, did you ever feel that it was more challenging for you as a female actress\/comedian, or was it more of an even playing field from your perspective? I\u2019ve worked with companies and with people where women were equal all the time. All my Chicago comedy groups that were under the direction of Jill Soloway \u2013 who was one of our big ralliers \u2013 we were all equal. She would get us all together to do shows and produce them, and we were all equal. We were gay, we were straight, we were men, we were women, but we were all equal. I know that from the outside looking in, it\u2019s a horribly sexist industry. But you know you\u2019ve got women like Sarah Silverman who is not only wonderful but speaks loudly and carries a big stick for other women in comedy. It\u2019s currently difficult for women, and it can be kind of brutal sometimes, but I think we\u2019re on the brink of a huge change now. Having worked with some of Hollywood\u2019s best talent, too many to name, tell us about working with iconic names such as Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O\u2019Hara, all of whom you have worked with on a few projects such as a personal favorite of mine, \u201cFor Your Consideration,\u201d where you played an entertainment reporter. I was a little intimidated at first. Both Jennifer Coolidge and I went into this group together in \u201cBest in Show,\u201d and we were both a little nervous. And we walked out together going \u201cGod, I love these people.\u201d It was a terrific experience. What makes them so great is that they are so ordinary. They really are. They\u2019ve got great senses of humor, and they\u2019re really funny, but they\u2019re family people. They\u2019re not fussy people. All they care about is writing\/telling the funniest joke, and that is what I love about doing those movies with Chris , Eugene and Catherine . They are really just ordinary people who happen to have an extraordinary talent. What did you learn from working with this group in particular? It\u2019s like hanging out with your best friends and making jokes. They\u2019re always about being part of an ensemble, which I love too. I never wanted to be out there alone, and they\u2019re all about being in a group and the best joke wins. They\u2019re there to support each other and are about teamwork, and that\u2019s what I learned. Folks from around here are very proud to call Ryan Murphy a Hoosier native. A renowned talent in his own right, how did Murphy impact the development of your character, Sue Sylvester, on \u201cGlee\u201d? He\u2019s an extreme guy, and Sue Sylvester, in a large part, was inspired by Ryan. Ryan is also a great giggler all at the same time. He giggles at himself. He giggles at other people, and so Sue Sylvester was an extreme version of him. He taught me how to do the \u201cSue Sylvester\u201d walk. He said, \u201cThis is how you walk into a room, and this is how you leave.\u201d He said, \u201cTurn on your heel and nose always a little bit up as if you are smelling something rather foul.\u201d If Murphy offered you another role in another one of his projects, would you take him up on it? He\u2019s just a delicious person to be around, and he loves to laugh and to be entertained. He loves artists and actors and has great respect for them, especially women who thought that they were done with their careers like Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. They thought that they might be wrapping it up, and he was like, \u201cNo, you\u2019re not, lady. You\u2019re coming over here, and you\u2019re going to do a role that\u2019s going to win you a couple more awards before it\u2019s all said and done.\u201d So, absolutely, I would do anything with Ryan, but I would love to do something dark . Shortly after the 2011 release of your published memoir, \u201cHappy Accidents,\u201d you said during an interview that setting goals was a waste of one\u2019s energy. Will you elaborate on that further? I think it is a waste of energy to set goals because of our own power, we\u2019re not doing anything. Life has a way of taking care of us. Life has a way of pointing us in certain directions. If you\u2019re looking for your next move, look at what is right in front of you. Sometimes people feel lost and don\u2019t know where to go yet, but if you open your eyes and open your heart, you\u2019re going to be sent somewhere. Just let life present to you what is going to be presented. Everybody just needs to relax, don\u2019t worry about it and be nice to each other. \u00a0What inspired you to create \u201cA Swingin\u2019 Little Christmas\u201d album? I\u2019m from a family that loves music. I sing, and my brother plays the piano in an R.E.M. cover band, but we grew up loving music, and Christmas music was a big part of our holiday. Most of that music was made in the late \u201850s\/early \u201860s, and it turns out that my good friend, Kate Flannery, who I\u2019ve known forever and have been singing on and off with for decades, loves that era as well. We hooked up with the Tony Guerrero Quintet. These guys are out of Orange County and do late \u201850s and early \u201860s jazz. They dress in black suits with pocket squares, skinny ties, shiny black shoes, and they just look f****ing great. The whole album, which is arranged by Tony, has that vibe, and you\u2019ll get that from our show as well. What is your best advice or New Year\u2019s resolution for all of us as we head into 2019? We\u2019ve got to get out of our own corners. Everybody is in their own corner. We need to come into the middle again. Stop trying to stand your ground and own each other. It\u2019s divisive, and it just doesn\u2019t help any of us.