Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Heidi Lynch Is Helping To Change Our World

Posted on

It will get easier as you get older, and people won’t cast you as much because you won’t be as “hot” but your talent will grow as your nerves get smaller. And your artistry will always have more real value than your face.

As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heidi Lynch.

Heidi Lynch is an award-winning actor/writer and producer. She is currently nominated for multiple 2023 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Lead Performance in a Web Program or Series for her role as Molly in the highly acclaimed show Avocado Toast the Series season two. Heidi is a co-creator/co-producer on both seasons of the outTV web series which is available to stream now on Amazon Prime.

Heidi has been an advocate for the endometriosis community since being diagnosed in 2020. She had never heard the word “endometriosis” until a doctor explained to her that she needed surgery. Since then, she has run 110km in the month of march and raised $1,010 for the Endometriosis Network Canada. The proudest part of her endometriosis outreach journey was writing, producing, and starring in Avocado Toast the Series season two where she created representation and awareness through the storyline.

Thank you so much for joining us on this interview series. Can you share with us the backstory that led you to this career path?

Acting — I just always did it. Producing/Writing — I had a voice and something to say which led to Avocado Toast the Series (season one and two) on Amazon Prime. I absolutely fell into producing and now I thrive while doing it. I love putting teams together and getting projects financed. It is the most enjoying and thrilling puzzle in the world.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh gosh — so many. I think generally just trying to be someone I wasn’t. Not knowing who to be when I would walk into the audition room. No one in my family has done this. I made all the cliche mistakes. Bringing a prop into the room, tripping, just generally wearing too much makeup. A lot of those personal things get better with age. I care a bit less now. Not about the audition — just about what people think. I know how to breathe and be myself now.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

CUE THE BLUSHING. Well, I would say… don’t wait. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you a job. As long as you have a voice and something to say — go for it. Write yourself a part. Find your collaborators. It will take you a lot of trial and error to find the real people — who get you, and who truly show up.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Jefferson Mappin. He is a great actor — was in Clint Eastwood movies and Canada’s biggest theatre festivals. I was in a play with Jefferson years ago. He was my first Executive Producer. He decided to financially back my first project. He did that out of friendship, mentorship, and because we made him laugh with a joke about a camel toe.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you’re working on right now?

I am just on a path to normalize the normal. Queer characters, complex female characters, differences being non-issues as a part of bigger stories. Including mothers and women over the age of 50 behind the camera. There are so many vital perspectives on the world that get shut out of our industry because of barriers. I try to hire and collect people and work with them on how to balance it all and make it accessible.

I’m also helping with a campaign for endometriosis awareness month. Photographer Georgie Wileman is launching her documentary This is Endometriosis along with Everyman cinemas.

Can you share with us a story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

I was diagnosed in 2020, I had never heard of it, or that it affects 1 in 10 people born with a uterus.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

I have had so many strangers private message me about Avocado Toast the series (Season 2) and endometriosis. I have had friends who pushed for a diagnosis because of what I shared. I think my favourite moment was when my niece got her period — I got a message from her mom saying that she is going to choose her language around periods a bit more sensitively because of what I went through. It’s been normal so long to accept the pain of periods, and to tell younger people to suck it up — or get used to it. But we need to have more complex language so that people aren’t suffering with a disease in silence.

Are there three things or are there things that individuals, society, or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Fund research to understand the disease. Donate to The Endometriosis Canada. Watch Avocado Toast the series (Season 2) and share it!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”

  1. Be yourself.
  2. It will get easier as you get older, and people won’t cast you as much because you won’t be as “hot” but your talent will grow as your nerves get smaller. And your artistry will always have more real value than your face.
  3. Start now. Don’t wait. Just do it.
  4. Done is better than perfect.
  5. You would be a really great producer. Go learn what they do.

You’re a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Again, BLUSH. My choice for this is hilarious because I am most likely infertile, but better childcare. Mothers STILL get the shaft and I don’t understand it. If we want women in the workforce (and we need them especially in FILM/TV) how have we not figured out childcare accessibility and support for working mothers.

Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote? And can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

“It’s all made up” or “everyone is making it up as they go along” This is a lesson or message my wife and I say to one another all the time. This entire system we all participate in is made up. In the moments where it all becomes so important, so crucial, so stressful, it is vital to take a breath and remember — your life — you REAL life is so much more important. Imagine yourself floating in water — staring at trees or stars, connect to real nature. It will be ok.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Amy Schumer. She put a lot of my thoughts and feelings on screen. She talks about everything without holding back. She combines true artistry and vulnerability with humour and the ridiculous. She is also an endowarrior. I see her creating opportunities for lots of people who deserve a platform, not just herself.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Heidi Lynch Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.