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Conversation with Lynn Chen

Discover this Upcoming Actress of Many Talents
In this in-depth interview with this hard-working NYC-based actress

Page 4 of 8

 

FILM AND TELEVISION WORK

 
Lynn Chen
 

US ASIANS: Which film/television part was the hardest one to obtain?

LYNN CHEN: “Law and Order: SVU” was a pretty difficult audition because I had to cry for every single scene. I would have to walk in and be charming for the casting director and producers and then start sniffling a second later.

US ASIANS: Tell us about your experience(s) and details on being on NBC’s Saturday Night Live?

LYNN CHEN: My manager at the time told me about that job, because they specifically needed an Asian girl for the role. I didn’t know much about what it entailed before I accepted, because I had to start rehearsing that same day.

US ASIANS: On the “Law and Order” series, what were the differences and similarities between directors (Juan Campanella/Constantine “Gus” Makris)?

LYNN CHEN: When I worked with Constantine Makris, that was my very first time on a set ever. So I was trying to play like I knew what I was doing, even though I didn’t, and I was terrified of the director, even though he was such a nice guy.

By the time I worked with Juan Campanella I had done a couple of films so I was more comfortable being in front of the camera and shooting from different angles. I remember he had the whole crew leave between takes so that I could take time to build up my tears, which was very helpful.

US ASIANS: How was your experience (as a principal) on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show?

 
 

LYNN CHEN: We shot the promo for “The Daily Show” outdoors, and it was pretty cold so I had to pretend I was warm and toasty while freezing my bottom off. I had to repeat lines that they fed me, and felt pretty stupid when I couldn’t remember a line I had heard just a few seconds before. It was fun, though. I remember the crafts service was really excellent on that set.

US ASIANS: Were you a comedian on “Saturday Night Live” and could you share some of your experiences on being part of a top-rated show that was taped live?

LYNN CHEN: I was a featured extra on the show, so I had no lines to mess up on live television. The skit I was in almost got cut last minute, which would have been frustrating after sitting there for 12 hours.

US ASIANS: Were you a comedian on “Saturday Night Live” and could you share some of your experiences on being part of a top-rated show that was taped live?

LYNN CHEN: I was a featured extra on the show, so I had no lines to mess up on live television. The skit I was in almost got cut last minute, which would have been frustrating after sitting there for 12 hours.

 

LIFE IN THE THEATER

US ASIANS: Since you’ve mentioned that playing “Ngana” in South Pacific was your favorite role, could you share the reason(s) behind your choice - was it because it was your first role? In addition, do you remember who played the other child part in South Pacific?

LYNN CHEN: Ngana” was my favorite because I was a little kid then, and I had cast and crew members spoiling me on and off stage. Peter Yarin and Robin Ria played my brother in the show. Allegra Forste played the same role as me, and we switched on and off every night. She and I are still friends - though she is not acting at this time.

US ASIANS: Could you describe the great thrill of performing as a child at Lincoln Center and at NY State Theater?

LYNN CHEN: I liked whenever the schools would come to see a matinee, because I was being watched by kids my own age, and they weren’t afraid of letting you know what they really thought. If they loved you, they would hoot and holler and if they hated you they’d laugh at you or boo.

Luckily, I don’t personally remember hearing much of the latter.

US ASIANS: Could you share what each role listed below added to your training as an actress:
 
Lynn Chen in the production of
"You're Not Alone."
 

LYNN CHEN: Each production has helped me become very comfortable performing in front of an audience even when I’m not 100% on a part; I rarely get stage fright anymore.

NiteStar has been particularly great for me because I really trust the other actors in the company and never feel like something will happen that will completely throw the show off. (Editor Note: She is currently NiteStar's Musical Director and an "Actor Mentor." This is in recognition of her participation with NiteStar for the past three years.)

HER LIFE AS A "GYPSY" (DANCER)

US ASIANS: Do you remember much of your experience of performing alongside Rudolf Nuruyev at the Metropolitan Opera House at the age of 5?

LYNN CHEN: My debut involved walking on stage, watching Nuruyev do his thing, and then walking off. I remember he was really sweaty.

US ASIANS: Are you still dancing, at the present time?

LYNN CHEN: Not professionally. I like to take dance classes sometimes and have been known to boogie down on occasion.

 
 
Click HERE to continue
   
 
Read about Lynn's views on other subjects by clicking on the subjects listed below
 
  Part 1: Background Information (Family and Personal)
  Part 2: Training as an Actress and a Singer, YPOK2 and Linklater
  Part 3: Eric Lin's "Fortune," Priorities, Entertainment Role Models, Contact Info, Print and Commercial Work
  Part 4: Film and Television Work, Her Dance Career and Theater Life
  Part 5: Past Theater Roles, Industrial Films, Actor Role Models and Father's "Kunqu Society"
  Part 6: Fav Films & Directors, Life on "All My Children" and Ivan Shaw
  Part 7: Her views on diversity and the status of "Asian American Cinema"
  Part 8: Fav Asian Pacific American directors and films - along with her overall aspirations

 

 

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