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Allison Lynch: I dream of flying


Allison has performed on nearly all of Calgary’s major stages as an actor, singer, sound-designer, sound composer or musical director. She was an artist in the Theatre Junction resident company from 2007-2008. Selected credits include Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well that Ends Well, Goodnight Desdemona, Good-morning Juliet, The Shakespeare Company; Dear Johnny Deere, One Man Two Guvnors, A Christmas Carol, Theatre Calgary; Waiting for the Parade, The Red Priest, Ash Rizin ,The Penelopiad, ATP; Double Indemnity, In the Heat of the Night, Sweeney Todd, Vertigo; Closer, GZT/H&M; Ring of Fire, Rainbow Stage; A Worthy Opponent, Lunchbox; The Piper, Downstage; Thy Neighbor’s Wife, Essay, Urban Curvz; Twisted, Maria Rasputin Presents, Forte; The Soul Collector, Vigilante, Catalyst/ Persephone/ The Grand, NAC. Allison has three Betty Mitchell Awards for acting, and numerous Betty and Jessie nominations for composing and musical direction. She performed with the Malaysian symphony in 2015, and her original score for Margaret Atwood’s, The Penelopiad was performed in productions at Montreal’s Cegep John Abbott College and The Arts Club in Vancouver. Allison sings with The Allison Lynch Quartet, as well as her rapture pop band, Cutest Kitten Ever. Her first solo jazz album, Skin & Flame, is set for release this spring.

What will you show us at The Dream Factory?

Growing up with two jazz musician parents who were classically trained first, I learned a lot about the fusing of two (or more) musical genres, and what exciting new things can arise from that. I’m excited by soundscapes that can transport a listener to another time or place. Sounds that can make you smell and taste and feel things. I don’t want to tell you what I’ll be showing you at The Dream Factory. Once you get the headphones on, you can decide for yourself where the sounds are going to take you.

If you had a dream for the Calgary Arts scene, what would it be?

My dream for that Calgary Arts Scene is that it will continue to flourish and develop by supporting local artists. It’s important to reach out across our nation and the world for art and artists to collaborate with, in order to maintain and develop community and understanding, but there are so many incredible artists living and working in our city, who make it vibrant and unique to our little part of the world.

Do you have a recurring dream?

All throughout junior high and high school I had a recurring dream about my future wedding day. I’d get in the limo with my Dad, head to the church, walk in the doors and see my groom standing at the altar. His face was always blurred. Suddenly I’d turn to my Dad and say, “I can’t,” and he’d say, “Alright. Let’s go.” Then we’d turn around, jump in the limo and drive off. Luckily my actual wedding day didn’t turn out like that.

What did you last dream about?

My last dream was a flying dream! Those are always my favourite. It was cold, but not too cold, and I was flying over top of wispy clouds, high above the Rockies. Nothing better.

Name 5 things or people you are inspired by.

  1. My dad, Frank Lynch.  Besides saving me from walking down the isle in recurring dreams, he has done so much for me. He taught me so much about music, but more importantly, about listening. Making music is one thing, but listening is also a skill. He also taught me about practice, and how hard you need to work for your craft. I spent my entire childhood all the way up until moving out of my parent’s house falling asleep to Chopin, Liszt, Mozart because my dad would be practicing the piano until 4 am at least. On my first sleepover when I was 6 years old at my friend’s house, I remember saying, “Why isn’t your dad practicing the piano?”
  2. Ella Fitzgerald has always inspired me, ever since I heard her performance of “How High the Moon” where she scats her face off and brings down the house. Her skill at improvisation just cannot be matched by any other singer.
  3.  Shakespeare is unbelievably inspiring. Before I really began to study and mine the words for the sake of performing them, I didn’t like Shakespeare at all. Truthfully, I was completely intimidated by it and didn’t understand it upon a first read. But there is so much depth and beauty in there, and exploring it and really working to comprehend the language helped me discover the musicality and genius of it.
  4. Nina Simone. She battled mental illness, discrimination and cancer. She was both a prodigy pianist and the voice of the civil rights movement. She used her art to voice her outrage and her love and her fears and dreams. I believe artists have a social responsibility and she was a powerful example of someone who didn’t shy away from the hard topics.
  5.  Hilary Clinton. Fearless woman. THIS close to taking the presidency. ‘Nuff said.

Do you dream in colour or black and white?

Always in COLOUR.

You can catch Allison Lynch at The Dream Factory on April 22nd. Don’t have your tickets yet? Get them here: http://grandyycprod.wpengine.com/la-nuit-sauvage/