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Lauren Potter

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Lauren Elizabeth Potter
Lauren at the 2014 College Television Awards
Gender: Female
Age: 24
Born: May 10, 1990
Character: Becky Jackson
Occupation: Actress
Activist
White House Advisor
Years Active: 2007-Present

Lauren Elizabeth Potter, born May 10, 1990, is a 24-year-old American film and television actress. Potter is most known for her portrayal of Becky Jackson, the Cheerios co-captain on the hit TV show Glee.

Potter is also a strong activist for individuals with developmental disabilities and has travelled around the United States to speak out against bullying. She is connected to such organizations such as The Down Syndrome Association and the American Association of People with Disabilities and is currently a board member for International Best Buddies.[1] She currently resides in Laguna Beach.

Personal Life

Lauren Potter as a child at her very first dance recital

Potter was born in Inland Empire, California and grew up in Riverside, California. She began taking dance classes with “typical” kids at the age of 2 years old and soon after became interested in acting. She blogged to Huffington Post in 2012 that she had dreamed of being on stage from the age of four years old, when she received her first standing ovation. She studied drama at Polytechnic High School in Riverside, California, where she graduated in 2009.[1]

LaurenP-BBI2

Like other children with disabilities, Potter was bullied by her peers growing up and even as an adult, still experiences hurtful name calling: "Recently, I've had girls behind my back say 'ret*rd' and that is so hurtful. That is why I support the 'Spread the Word to End the Word' campaign."[2]

In November 2013, Potter called out the cosmetic company Sephora (which partners with the department store JcPenny) for supplying a lipstick by Kat Von D called "Celebutard". On November 5, Lauren tweeted: "Really, @Sephora, 'Celbutard?' Not cool!" After Lauren's tweet and much backlash from Sephora and JcPenney customers, the lipstick color was pulled from Sephora shelves and they issued this apology: Thank you for bringing this manner to our attention. We are deeply sorry that the name of this lipstick has caused offence and we will be ceasing the sale of this shade from our stores and online.[3]

In February 2014, Potter was honored in Houston Texas with the Sammy Award for her advocacy work for people with disabilities by The River- Theatre Under the Stars, an organization that offers affordable arts education for people with disabilities. The Sammy Award is named for the organization's founder's daughter Samantha who was denied access to dance classes due to her disability. "Kids with disabiltities want to do the same stuff typical kids do," Potter told Broadway World.com in February, "They [The River] teach kids to dream big and I'm all for that!"[4]


Career

Lauren appeared in the film Mr. Blue Sky at the age of 16 as the young Andrea Little. The film depicts an unconventional love triangle between three childhood friends - two girls, one born with Down syndrome - and one boy, who all grow up fighting who they are inside and how they are perceived by society as a whole. The title is derived from a little girl's hope and love through the sun (Mr. Blue Sky). The film was released in 2007.[5]  

Lauren on Glee Set 3-2013

In 2009 Lauren received a phone call from Down syndrome in Arts & Media (Formally Hearts and Halos), an in-house talent agency of The Down syndrome Association regarding a potential role on Glee. Lauren auditioned and landed the part of Becky Jackson. She has said of her audition: “I auditioned for Becky, and Robert Ulrich was pretending to be Sue Sylvester, and he was really mean. But I made it through. They chose me, and I was jumping up and down, laughing and crying at the same time”.[6][7] She appeared in Glee’s first season in the episode “Wheels” and continues to guest star in the series until the present day.

In 2012, Potter also appeared as Jenny in Leader of the Pack, a web-based comedy series about a black girl who sets out to save the planet and falls for a fun-loving white boy with Down syndrome who’s blind to the love of the girl next door, (Lauren’s character, Jenny). She has expressed an interest in acting on other TV shows, especially on Disney or Nickelodeon.[8]

During the summer of 2014, Lauren announced that she is working on a short film called Guest Room by Cicatrice Pictures in which she stars as a young woman who struggles with her identity, her relationship, and her potential as a mother on the day of an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend. It is currently being filmed in LA and is being produced by Lauren and Emily Best of Seed & Spark.[9]


Potter is very involved with advocating for individuals with disabilities, including Down syndrome. Potter is on the board of directors for International Best Buddies, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She has also teamed up in the past with Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver in a campaign that was designed to engage policy makers, parents, and educators to stop bullying that individuals with disabilities are often faced with. In November 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Potter to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, where Potter advises the White House on issues important to that population such as community integration, employment, and education.[1] She also appeared alongside with Jane Lynch for a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for the campaign "Spread the Word to End the Word," which aims to end the use of the “R word”.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Mr. Blue Sky Young Andra Little
2009 Glee Becky Jackson 2009–present
2012 Leader of the Pack Jenny Web comedy series, 3 episodes
2013 Streamy Awards Presenter
2013 Hero Dog Awards Presenter
2014 Guest Room main character (unnamed) Short film, in production summer 2014

Trivia

  • Unlike her character Becky, Lauren tried out for her high school’s cheerleading squad, but did not make the team.
  • Potter received the 2012 Harold Russell Award  at the Media Access Awards, which honors individuals in the entertainment and broadcast industries for promoting the awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and the accurate depiction of characters with disabilities. Lauren's award was presented to her by fellow Glee cast mate Jane Lynch.
  • On June 1, 2013, at Hyannis Port, Lauren’s team challenged football player Tom Brady’s team in a Best
    Lauren at 2013 BBcompeition
    Buddies Challenge, a five-star, one of a kind cycling event that ended on the beach in Cape Cod. Lauren came in third place with teammate Carl Lewis.
  • Her favorite episode of Glee is The Rocky Horror Glee Show.
  • Potter starred in her first film at the age of 16, Mr. Blue Sky.
  • She is 4 ft 9in, making her one of the shortest of the Glee cast.
  • Her Glee crushes are  Matthew Morrison, Chord Overstreet, Mark Salling and John Stamos(Per an E! News interview in 2011).
  • While giving a speech at the Best Buddies International Conference just a week after Cory Monteith’s death, Lauren paid tribute to her co-star, saying “Right now I want to pray for my best friend and co-worker, who played as Finn Hudson on Glee. We had a lot of fun together and he was nice and charming. He’s my inspiration."
  • She beat out 13 other actresses for the role of Becky Jackson  
    Lauren at 2013 Oscars after party
    .
  • Like her character Becky, Lauren is an excellent poker player (according to her Twitter in which friends jokingly refer to her as a "card shark".) Lauren recently attended a charity poker event for her organization, Best Buddies.
  • She has a dog, a Wheaten Terrier, named Marley.
  • Her favourite book is Twilight.
  • Lauren has lived in California all her life and saw falling snow for the first time when visiting Minneapolis in February 2013 for the ARC Gala. (Per her Twitter)
  • Lauren loves to dance and took dance classes as a child. She will sometimes attend dance rehearsals with the Glee cast and learn the routines for fun.
  • Lauren loves boy bands and is a big fan of both N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys. She has met Lance Bass. Lauren also loves Big Time Rush.
  • Her favourite Glee song cover is Don't Stop Believin'.
  • She considers Jane Lynch the funniest cast member.
  • Lauren is a member of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and has campaigned with both Special Olympics and AbilityPath.org against bullying and  
    Lauren speaks out on bullying
    ending the use of the "R-word". (As per Lauren's Facebook).
  • Is a fan of the television shows Veronica Mars, Pretty Little Liars, and Homeland. Lauren has met a few of the Homeland cast members.
  • Her favourite color is red.
  • She enjoys going to see plays at Pantages Theater in LA and went to see Jekyll and Hyde and The Wizard of Oz recently.
  • Her favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone.
  • Lauren's zodiac sign is Taurus along with fellow Glee cast members Harry Shum, Jenna Ushkowitz, Dianna Agron, and Lindsay Pearce. She also shares the same birthday (May 10) with Charice, who played Sunshine Corazon.
  • She is close to cast members Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Josh Sussman, Dot- Marie Jones, and Chris Colfer.
  • She loves Starbucks, especially iced coffee.
  • Her favorite episode of Glee's fifth season so far is The Quarterback.                                  
    Normal LP 002~5
  • Like her character Becky, Lauren considers herself a "Gaga" rather than a "Katy", though she does like both artists.
  • Favorite food is pizza with pepperoni and sausage and buffalo wings.
  • Current favorite movie is Teen Beach Movie.
  • Lauren's favorite costumes worn for Glee so far were the ones from Previously Unaired Christmas.
  • Favorite brand of clothing is Modcloth, an online store that specializes in vintage and indie inspired clothing and accessories.
  • Christmas is Lauren's favorite holiday.
  • Her ideal breakfast is bacon, eggs, and toast.
  • She has said her fans are her inspiration.
  • Darren is one of the cast members who can always pick her up when she's feeling down.
  • Dogs are her favorite animal.
  • In celebration of Glee's 100th episode, Lauren tweeted that she would follow 100 fans if they tweeted their favorite Becky line from the show with the hashtag #ilovebecky. In some areas, #ilovebecky was a trending topic on twitter.

Gallery

  • Lauren at the Struck By Lightening Movie Premiere
  • Lauren at an August 2013 Best Buddies International Best Buddies charity poker event
  • Lauren at a Best Buddies challenge 2013
  • Lauren speaks at the July 2013 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference
  • Lauren and teammate Carl Lewis at a June 2013 the Best Buddies Challenge
  • Lauren at a Best Buddies International poker event with Maria Shriver August 2013
  • Lauren at the 2013 Golden Globes
  • Lauren with Demi Lovato
  • Lauren attends a fundraiser in 2011
  • Lauren participates in "End the R-word" campaign
  • Lauren and friends attend Hollywood 2012 Christmas Parade
  • Lauren with Jane Lynch at the 2013 Golden Globes
  • Lauren at the 2013 Rose Parade
  • Lauren at a 2013 Oscars after party.
  • Lauren attending a screening of Chris Colfer's film, Struck By Lightening
  • Lauren with singer Lance Bass 2013
  • Lauren challenges football player Tom Brady to Best Buddies challenge
  • Lauren hanging out on the Glee set.
  • Lauren with Food Network chef, Guy Fieri at a 2013 International Best Buddies event.
  • Lauren with actor Verne Troyer at a 2013 Best Buddies event.
  • Lauren and Cory on Glee set.
  • Lauren visits Glee fan at MassGeneral hospital.
  • Lauren with Cory and her brother Blake, sister Lindsie.
  • Lauren at the July 2013 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference
  • Lauren at the July 2013 Best Buddies International Conference
  • Lauren on the Glee set.
  • Lauren lunches with a friend.
  • Lauren at the Prism Awards in April 2013
  • Lauren strikes a pose
  • Lauren at the Best Buddies poker charity event August 2013
  • Lauren at the Fox Fall Eco-Casino event 9-9-2013
  • Lauren at the Fox Fall Eco-Casino charity event 9/09/2013
  • Lauren spins the wheel for charity at the Fall Fox Eco-Casino night.
  • Lauren at the Pantages Theatre for opening night of The Wizard of Oz 9-18-2013
  • Lauren attends the opening night of The Wizard of Ozat Pantages Theater in LA. 9-18-2013
  • Lauren on the Glee set with Darren Criss. 9-23-2013.
  • Lauren at the 2013 Hero Dog Awards sponsored by the American Humane Association
  • Lauren at the Hero Dog Awards sponsored by the American Humane Association.
  • Lauren at a 2013 Emmy Nomination party.
  • Lauren at a Best Buddies International celebration 2013.
  • Lauren's photoshoot with EW 2012.
  • Lauren at the Tony Hawk Save the Skate Parks party 10-05-2013.
  • Lauren at the 2013 Reach for the Stars event honoring actor Joe Mantegna 10-02-2013.
  • Lauren at the Reach for the Stars event 10-02-2013 honoring actor Joe Mantegna.
  • Lauren attends the 2013 Reach for the Stars event honoring actor Joe Mantegna.
  • Lauren wears purple in support of spirit day 2013, standing against bullying and in support of LGBT youth.
  • Lauren and Naya pose with Katie Couric
  • Lauren and Mark on Glee set.
  • Lauren gives a thumbs up.
  • Lauren on set of Leader of the Pack.
  • Lauren with NeNe and Dot Jones.
  • Lauren with Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte.
  • Lauren with Trisha Rae Stahl.
  • Lauren and Nancy O'Dell.
  • Lauren Potter on her 1st birthday.
  • Lauren attends the Media Access Awards on October 17, 2013.
  • Lauren poses on the red carpet at the Media Access Awards on October 17, 2013.
  • Lauren and Iqbal Theba.
  • Lauren as a child gearing up for her very first dance recital.
  • Glee actress Lauren Potter prepares to speak to the House of Representatives about Bullying of children with special needs.
  • Lauren prepares to speak to the United States House of Representatives about her story of being bullied in high school because of her Down syndrome.
  • Lauren speaks out on bullying to the United States House of Representatives, March 2011.
  • Lauren tells her story to the United States House of Representatives of how she was bullied in high school because of her disabilitity.
  • Lauren speaks out on bullying to the United States House of Representatives.
  • Lauren, Chris, Alex, and Brook Lipton cheer for Amber at Dancing with the Stars. 11-25-2013.
  • Lauren with co-actors Robin Trocki (Jean) and Jordyn Orr (Robin)
  • Lauren tries out a little ice skating with Ariel. 12/2013.
  • Lauren celebrates the holidays with friends 12-2013 (2).jpg Lauren has a holiday dinner with friends Verne Troyer, Erik Valdez, and Erik Rivera December 2013
  • Lauren with Scandal actor Guillermo Diaz
  • Lauren at a 2014 Golden Globes after party
  • Lauren arrives at Fox's 2014 Globes after party
  • Lauren at the 2014 Fox Golden Globes after party
  • Lauren tweeted: "Guys, who's the real Becky Jackson? I can't tell!
  • Lauren with her cousin Mary and Tad Hamilton at the 2014 Golden Globes.
  • Jenna and Lauren attend EW's 2014 SAG Award nominees party.
  • Lauren with friend and Homeland star Jackson Pace at the 2014 EW SAG Awards Nominee party.
  • BTS 1-21-2014
  • Lauren speaks at University of Iowa and meets fans 1/31/2014
  • Jane presents Lauren the 2012 Media Access Award
  • Lauren with mother Robin Sinkhorn, celebrating a birthday
  • Behind the scenes of episode, New Directions
  • Lauren on Good Day Chicago 2/19/2014
  • Lauren on Fox News Houston 2/21/2014
  • Lauren on Fox News Houston 2/21/2014
  • Lauren on Fox News Houston 2/21/2014
  • Behind the scenes S1
  • Lauren with Best Buddies Chicago board members 2-18-2014
  • Lauren signs autographs...And fans after a speaking engagement at DePaul University in Chicago 03-05-2014
  • Lauren's speaking engagement at DePaul University in Chicago on March 5, 2014
  • Lauren enjoys dinner and meeting kitchen staff at Catablu in Fort Wayne, Indiana 3-2014.
  • Lauren poses for a selfie while visiting the Fort Wayne chapter of the Down syndrome Association. 3-2014
  • Lauren at the 2014 Kid's Choice Awards
  • Lauren at the 2014 Kids Choice Awards
  • Lauren and Lea filming Opening Night
  • Lauren at the 35th College Television Awards 4/23/14
  • Lauren and Drake Bell at the 2014 Kids Choice Awards
  • Lauren traveling for various speaking engagements Spring 2014
  • Lauren picks up a university tee shirt after her speech.
  • Lauren attends the 2014 Anna's Angels Gala
  • 2014 Anna's Angels Gala
  • 2014 Anna's Angels Gala
  • 2014 Anna's Angels Gala
  • 2014 Anna's Angels Gala
  • Lauren films a "Eliminate the R-word" Public Service Announcement in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Lauren films an "eliminate the R-word " PSA for the Down Syndrome Association in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Lauren at the June 2014 Best Buddies Hyannis Challenge.
  • Lauren at the April 2014 College Television Awards
  • Lauren as the Grand Marshall and host for the New Horizons 5K June 2014
  • Lauren as the Grand Marshall and host for the New Horizons 5K
  • Lauren as the Grand Marshall and host of the New Horizons 5K Run/Walk
  • Lauren as the Grand Marshall for the June 2014 New Horizons 5K Run/Walk
  • Lauren on the Hallmark Channel show, Home and Family June 2014
  • Lauren with Home and Family hosts on the Hallmark Channel, June 2014
  • Lauren on Home and Family on the Hallmark Channel, June 2014
  • Lauren speaks out on bullying at Fort Hayes University, Spring 2014
  • Lauren is sworn in for the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Riverside, California
  • Lauren co-presents awards at the 2014 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference
  • Lauren co-presents awards at the 2014 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference
  • Lauren co-presents awards at the 2014 Best Buddies Leadership Conference
  • Lauren co-presents awards at the 2014 Best Buddies Leadership Conference
  • Lauren co-presents awards at the 2014 Best Buddies International Leadership Conference

Quotes

Cory was always so nice to me. I have so many good memories. I hope my Glee family is ok, I love them all.”

—Lauren Potter, Regarding Cory Monteith’s death and Glee cast via her Twitter


Lauren-Cory

All the cast is so nice and fun to work with. It’s fun to hang out with them on set. It feels like a big family when we are working together.

—Lauren Potter, In a 2010 Glee exclusive fan interview


I think it is great. A bunch of people have written to me to tell me how happy they are that I am on the show. I want them to see me as I really am, just a regular girl. The fans have been so great to me.”

—Lauren Potter, Regarding how Lauren feels characters with Down syndrome have been portrayed on Glee


Like so many kids with disabilities, I have been bullied. Kids in elementary school would make me eat sand and those same boys would walk behind me, teasing me. Finally, I had enough, and I told them ‘GROW UP’.

—Lauren Potter, To People Magazine in 2011


I want to encourage kids to speak up, tell their stories. That is the only way people will know what we have to go through. Believe in yourself. Someone once told me that being different isn’t bad-different is just different!”

—Lauren Potter, To People Magazine in 2011


Some people told me that I wouldn’t be able to do it, so I only paid attention to the people who told me that I could. Turns out, following this one dream lead me to discover even more dreams.

—Lauren Potter, To Huffington Post in March 2012


Blamandbecky

Being an actor isn’t just fun and games. It is very hard work with very long hours. In one of the scenes [for film Mr. Blue Sky] I had to wear flannel pyjamas for hours when it was 90 degrees in August. But, I knew this was the job for me! I was in heaven!”

—Lauren Potter, To Huffington Post in March 2012


It has shifted, but not enough! I love working on Glee and hope that there are more and more parts for me and other actors with Down syndrome in television and movies so I can keep working for a long, long time. Actors with Down syndrome are just like any other actor, they want to follow their dream to act and have great roles; not just roles that are written for people with Down syndrome, but parts that are written for any man or woman. Parts that can be played by a good actor that just also happens to have Down syndrome.

—Lauren Potter, Regarding the availability of roles for people with disabilities in Hollywood in an interview to Fox News, November 2012


I felt that they trusted me as an actress. I was scared at first but now I feel comfortable.

—Lauren Potter, To Huffington Post April 2013 regarding her controversial role in the Glee Season 4 episode Shooting Star


I just love Jane Lynch, but in the show Sue’s kind of mean. I don’t like her that way. [laughs] But I really love her in real life she is one of the nicest and most awesome women I have ever met.

—Lauren Potter, To Huffington Post April 2013 regarding Jane Lynch and the character Sue Sylvester


Lauren and Chris at Struck By Lightening Premire

Not really a fan. When it comes to football, I eat buffalo wings.

—Lauren Potter, Regarding how she feels about football


Robert Ulrich told me the producers wanted someone who was cute and also a little bit spunky. And I knew it had to be a girl with a dream, and who wasn't afraid to reach for the stars! The audition was pretty fun. I had to jump rope. But they wanted me to do it really badly: So of course, I did it really badly! We had a great time.

—Lauren Potter, Regarding her audition for Glee at the 2013 ARC Gala


A lot of you want to know about kissing Darren Criss. My mother always taught me a lady never kisses and tells.

—Lauren Potter, Via Twitter regarding Glee's Feud episode


To never fear anything.

—Lauren Potter, When asked what her biggest lesson is that she has learned doing Glee

Videos

Mr Blue Sky Movie Trailer01:51

Mr Blue Sky Movie Trailer

Glee star Lauren Potter (Becky Jackson) Leader of the Pack OfficialTrailer01:25

Glee star Lauren Potter (Becky Jackson) Leader of the Pack OfficialTrailer

Be the One starring GLEE's Lauren Potter04:06

Be the One starring GLEE's Lauren Potter

"NOT Acceptable" - "R-Word" PSA , starring Glee's Jane Lynch & Lauren Potter (UltimateGleeks)00:31

"NOT Acceptable" - "R-Word" PSA , starring Glee's Jane Lynch & Lauren Potter (UltimateGleeks)

Lauren Potter at the 17th Prism Awards Red Carpet @TheLaurenPotter03:07

Lauren Potter at the 17th Prism Awards Red Carpet @TheLaurenPotter

Arc Gala 2013 - Lauren Potter11:56

Arc Gala 2013 - Lauren Potter

Lauren Potter At Reach for the Stars ActorsforAutism @TheLaurenPotter02:24

Lauren Potter At Reach for the Stars ActorsforAutism @TheLaurenPotter

Glee's Lauren Potter talks w Eric Blair about The Tony Hawk Foundation 2013-102:44

Glee's Lauren Potter talks w Eric Blair about The Tony Hawk Foundation 2013-1

Best Buddies International - 60 Second PSA (2013)-201:02

Best Buddies International - 60 Second PSA (2013)-2

External links

Lauren Potter C/O Osbrink Talent Agency 4343 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 [1] March 2012.
  2. [2] February 2011.
  3. [3] November 2013.
  4. [4]
  5. [5] 2007.
  6. [6]
  7. [7] April 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 [8] December 2013.
  9. [9]
.

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