Kevin McHale is an artist we appreciate for his many talents and for being one of the voices that have stood up for those who have been underrepresented for ages.
He has been on iconic TV shows like The Office or Glee; this year, he is part of a new show named American Horror Stories that comes from the worldwide famous world of AHS but, as you are about to see, when you talk to Kevin McHale it becomes irresistible for you not to admire his sympathy and get struck by the shimmer of his kindness.
Thus, I invite you to get inspired by some gentleness as you read this conversation we had with our much-loved Kevin McHale.
Beyond lucky and grateful
VT: Despite been working for a long time, 2009 is a milestone in your career. Thus, many times you have been asked about being part of Glee and how that TV show changed your life, but I would like to ask you how does it feel to know you were part of a groundbreaking show that changed the lives of thousands who did not feel represented until they saw Artie Abrams on TV?
KM: The impact Glee had and continues to have will never not be incredibly inspiring to me. I feel beyond lucky and grateful to have been a part of a show like that.
Kids are still finding it, which is amazing. I also think it’s a really good reminder of how far we’ve come, socially, in a fairly short amount of time. We got to act out storylines that were not normally seen on network TV and to be able to see what shows are out now; it’s night and day.
I feel proud to have been on a show that was a sort of “bridge” into normalizing those storylines and characters.
VT: In 2020, we saw a new aspect of your virtues as you and Justin Thorne were the directors of the music video for Ok, All Right of David Archuleta. How was that experience? How did all that happen?
KM: Justin Thorne and I are creative partners in life at this point. He had previously directed a video for David and asked for some ideas for the next one, “Ok, All Right.” So, I came up with something, pitched it to David, and he liked it.
I never had any intention of directing, but Justin pushed me to do it with him, which I’m thankful for.
David is also the nicest person on the face of the planet, and I grew up being a massive fan of his, so it was very surreal. I’ve gotten to direct a few more music videos since then, and I’ve really found a love for it.
VT: This year, you are back working with Ryan Murphy; therefore, what can you tell us about American Horror Stories?
KM: Horror Stories is going to be a lot of fun. Every episode is a completely different story and a completely different cast, but they all exist within the AHS world.
The episode I’m in takes place during Christmas, and it’s absolutely insane and hilarious and gory. I was just so excited to get to do something horror-related, and I got to do it with an incredible cast.
The best part of all is that some of the crew members also worked on Glee, and it was just so nice to get to see and work with them again.
VT: Music also has been one of your passions; thus, what would you like to share with us about the recently released Happy with Nothing and your collaboration with Bronze Avery?
KM: Bronze is so nice and talented and hot. Go stream his music!
I was honored he asked me to jump on Happy with Nothing. He’s so easy-going, and so am I; so, it just made for the calmest collaboration ever. I love that song.
He acts, he sings, he dances, he cares, he loves
VT: Would you like to remind people to love pets, adopt and take care of shelter animals?
KM: There are so many incredible pets in shelters that need homes. So if you’re able, please look into adoption! I’ve had my dog for 10 years, and she’s the most beautiful thing to exist, and she was 1 day from being killed, so I’m so happy the adoption place rescued her!
I think people forget it’s an option. So, just keep it in mind!
VT: Let us talk about some social topics. You have been standing up and raising your voice for causes like Black Lives Matter, equal rights for every person, and many others. Why do you consider it important to use your platforms to show people they are not alone and let us know that you are concern about the things that are going on in the world?
KM: I think it’s our collective responsibility, as a community to stand up for these issues.
I happen to have a good number of followers on social media, so maybe what I say or post can be seen by more people, and if it is, then great.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I do not know a lot. All I know is my experience in life, and therefore, my view is extremely limited. I think we owe it to each other to expand our knowledge and have conversations that make us uncomfortable and that challenge each other.
We can only grow and fight for everyone if we are actually listening and willing to reflect on our roles in society.
I’m learning, I hope to always want to learn, and I hope those around me feel the same way, so I try to share those things when it feels right to, on social media. But a lot of that learning and growing happens in real life, in-person conversations, and then I take what I learn with me to help in any way I can.
VT: I want to be very respectful with this question because this might be sensitive; but, let me ask you about your friendship with our beloved Naya Rivera and your commitment to keeping her loving memory going on. What would you like to say about her legacy? And, if anyone is interested, how can we contribute?
KM: Reading people’s stories about meeting her or watching her, or being her friend has been an incredible way to share her greatness.
Whether you knew her or you were a fan, she left an everlasting impression, one that we can all strive to leave. She cared deeply for her family and friends and work, she loved to work, and she loved to equally have fun after the work is done. So, I think keeping those things in mind and applying them to our own lives is the best way to keep her legacy thriving.
Live at 100% because that’s what she did and would want us to do.
You are in control
VT: What do you do to stay sane and preserve your mental health?
KM: I talk to my friends, my boyfriend, my family, my online friends. I think the worst thing to do is to hold in how you’re feeling, good or bad.
I have an incredibly supportive group around me, we have no filter, and we always respect one another. It takes exceptional communication to build the type of relationships we all have, and I think that’s what keeps me healthy.
If you can talk and not be judged, you’re going to be ok.
VT: Which message do you have for those teenagers who might be facing difficult times, social pressure, or identity issues?
KM: It can take time to find your people. But you have to trust that they’re out there and will love you unconditionally.
When things are hard, it can feel incredibly isolating, but there’s a world out there that has been through what you’re going through, or at the very least, a world in which you will be heard and accepted for exactly who you are.
You also have to remember that this is your race to run, nobody else’s, so you get to decide how fast or slow you run it; you’re in control.
The way of love
American Horror Stories has finally arrived, and we know you have been expecting this show, so let us watch it and enjoy that Ryan Murphy and his team have enriched the AHS universe, and what a way to do it now that Kevin McHale is on it.
Finally, let me tell you that I wrote this article listening to his version of Britney Spears’ Stronger, the one for Glee, and could not help to think about the power media has to impact the lives of many for good; but, even better, I thought about the bigger power that lays in people like Kevin McHale, who devotes his life on be honest about who he is while advocating for a more plural world in which acceptance is the immense flag that makes us come together as a big family that learned that being judgmental will not take us anywhere and love has no boundaries.
Let us follow his example; let us choose the way of love.