Tuesday, January 13, 2015
A Life of Glee
by Jim Denver from NBC King 5:
BELLEVUE, Wash. - Lauren Potter is living a Glee-ful life.
The 24-year-old actress plays the role of Becky Jackson, a sassy cheerleader with Down Syndrome, on the long-running hit show that takes high school drama and puts it to music.
Potter said, "I wanted to be a cheerleader since high school but, sadly, I didn't make the team."
Cheer squad ambitions are one of the only things that the upbeat actress and her edgy character have in common.
"Well, to tell you the truth," Potter said, "Becky's a 'bee-otch.' Lauren is not."
But Becky and Lauren are both breaking new ground.
"Down Syndrome is kind of hard sometimes," said Potter.
As a child, Potter was mistreated at times by other kids. It's an experience she carries with her and uses as a force for good, speaking out with the help of friends like co-star Jane Lynch, who appears with Potter in an anti-bullying public service announcement.
"We have to end bullying once and for all," Potter said. "Enough is enough."
Potter travels the world, sharing that message, and her story of reaching for the stars. She recently made a stop in Bellevue to speak at an event organized by Parent Map. The admiration between the star and her fans is mutual.
Potter said, "They're beautiful, they're unique, they're whatever they are. They can live their dreams whatever those dreams are."
Glee has given Lauren Potter a voice, and made her Hollywood dreams come true. But she and her television family have also faced intense heartache.
"We lost our dear friend, our family. And his name is Cory Monteith," Potter said.
When the Glee star died in Vancouver from a drug overdose, Potter struggled to cope with the loss.
"How cool would it be if we never lose a friend to drugs?" she said.
It was one sad life lesson in a life otherwise filled with glee.
"There were some people who told me I'd never be able to do it," Potter told her Bellevue audience. "So I only paid attention to those who told me that I could."