Finding An Identity After A Tragedy
By Chris Evans
Talking with Janette Lynott felt like talking to an old friend. Though I’d had limited interactions with her prior to our interview, I felt completely comfortable asking her the questions I’d prepared for her, and even continuing with follow-up questions—as personal as some of them might have been.
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania—only an hour or two outside the city, Lynott lived there until she was about 13, at which point she started moving around a bit. “I’ve gone to five different schools. It’s hard but it gets easier after doing it two or three times. It makes it easy to adapt,” Lynott said.
When asked about when she decided she wanted to come to New York City and why, she said she always knew she wanted to come to the city. “I knew I wanted to come to New York my entire life. Hut going to NYU was too expensive.” She said she thought about going to Pace University, but by chance ended up taking a look at Marymount. “I came out to the city to look at Pace, missed the first orientation and had time to kill until the next one. While I was waiting I checked out Marymount.”
And it seems she’s happy with her choice. “I love the teachers and the close environment. If you were the type of person to act pompous and stick your nose up in the air here then you alienate yourself. I went to a high school that was very isolated but I liked it anyway,” Lynott said.
When asked about a particular course she enjoyed she said, “I would have to say it would be this writing class I took with a brilliant woman named Esther Weiner. It was called the Popular Outsider. I liked it because I think I was the only one in class who really understood her and we related on a good student-teacher level. She was really underappreciated in that class.” When it came to deciding on a major, Lynott decided to go with Communications because it covered a lot of ground. “It was the most broad,” she said.
Lynott has big dreams for herself when she graduates—she says she wants to attend law school—though she doesn’t know where yet. Right now she works at an immigration law firm while attending school, and hopes to be a practicing lawyer later on. “I’d like to maybe get into communication law,” she said.
In spite of all the moving around she’s done, Lynott has managed to remain quite close with her brothers and sisters. She has a twin brother, a stepbrother who’s six months older, and two younger sisters. Even when they weren’t all living together, at some point they still went to the same school.
But it hasn’t been all smiles for Lynott. Right before she moved to New York, one of her best friends drove drunk and killed a person. It was a low point in her life but she said it ultimately lead to personal growth. “I had to figure out who I wanted to be.”
Being a career woman in training, Lynott says she’d love to see a female president. “I think it’s a great idea. I was a huge Bill Clinton supporter and I think he’d be [Hillary’s] right hand man. The economy was great. He kept shit on lockdown,” she said laughing.
Years later, Lynott still remembers one of her most embarrassing moments. When she was nine or ten years old and excited about getting into a swimming pool, she ripped off all her clothes and ran out to the pool naked—with her bathing suit in her hand. Despite demands from school and a full time job, Lynott still has time for the movies. She loves the cult classic Boondock Saints, and the recent Samuel L. Jackson flick Black Snake Moan. Lynott says her favorite actor is Ray Liotta.
“For some reason when I see him on screen I can’t take my eyes off him.” Her favorite Liotta film? Good Fellas. "I love that movie.” When asked who would play her in a biopic about her life, she apprehensively replied “Angelina Jolie. Who she used to be—prior to Brad Pitt. Really crazy, spastic, free-spirit.” I told her she has the lips for it.