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Five Minutes with ... Cyndi Lauper

From Story Act 2, 2017

2 min read

We spend 5 minutes with songwriter, performer, author, activist and provocateur Cyndi Lauper.

For more than three decades, Cyndi Lauper has been moving us… to dance, to cry, to cheer, to change our minds.

She’s a songwriter, performer, author, activist and provocateur. In 1983, her debut declared She’s So Unusual and her work across musical genres, art forms and social issues has never left us in doubt. When Cyndi won a Tony Award for her score for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, she was the first woman to ever win solo in that category.

As an artist you seem fearless in pursuit of growth and exploration. What does scare you? 
I actually don't think I was ever scared of anything until I became a mom. My son is 19 years old now but I still worry about him all the time.

You've written and recorded pop, jazz, blues, country and more. How was writing for a Broadway musical different?
With Broadway, there are no rules, which took me a long time to fully appreciate. With most genres, you’re writing based on that genre, but with Broadway, you’re writing for the character and not to fit any particular sound. That was really freeing when I first started working on the score for Kinky Boots.

Has the advocacy work of the True Colours Fund changed the new U.S. administration? 
It is a very challenging and uncertain environment we are trying to navigate, but we are working with our partners and our friends in our Congress to do what we can to help the 1.6 million homeless youth in America, 40% of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Just today, we got really good news that Congress increased funding for a couple of crucial programs that impact youth experiencing homelessness. And, last week we celebrated our third annual #40toNoneDay to raise awareness about LGBT youth homelessness and reached tens of millions of people online. We got to celebrate the wins when we have them and be prepared for the many challenges that are likely to come. No matter what struggles we may face, we will not give up and we will do what we need to ensure that homeless youth, especially those that are most vulnerable, like LGBT youth, are protected and supported.

Most useful thing your mother taught you?
It’s kind of her mantra – you can't change the past but you can change the present and the future.

Image Credit: Jenny Anderson

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