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"Unconditional support and love, that's what 'friendship' means to me," says the beautiful and multi-talented Jennifer McGill who counts many of the superstars of her generation amongst her closest circle of friends. "Friendship comes from TRUST between friends," explains the former Mousketeer in this exclusive CyberSpacers.com interview. "If you can trust your friend, it feels safe to love and support them unconditionally.
"The best qualities of a 'true friend' are that there are no insecurities or paranoia about the time we spend apart. A 'true friend' is someone who does not abuse my emotions, and someone who wants to be around me for who I am, not who they want me to be."
Starting as a pre-teen on "The New Mickey Mouse Club" ('89-'96), Jenn tells how it was not such a simple task to literally grow up in front of millions on TV. "I was full of emotion and personal change while also having to deal with working full time and having my work be seen on television. So there was definitely a specific pressure that is very hard to explain to people who did not go through the same experience.
"It was important to be good-looking, talented, 'cool' and respected, just like in any kid's school world, except my school world only had about 20 kids in it at a time."
Lindsey Alley and Jenn have known each other for over 13 years. The two were the only girl Mouseketeers to have been on MMC from the pilot episode until the last scene was shot in Season 7. Like Jenn, Lindsey also earned her graduate degree, and is pursuing a career in theater in New York.
"Lindsey is one of those friends who always has a hug and a kind word, always has some good advice or an ear to listen," Jenn says of her friendship with Lindsey. "I truly love Lindz as family. And not because of anything she ever did for me. It's because of all the laughs and smiles she gives to everyone, everywhere she goes. She is 'real'.
"Just before I left New York two years ago, Lindsey arrived there. Possibly for the first time in my life, I had the chance to give her advice instead of the other way around. I tried to calm her fears about auditioning in the 'Big Bad Apple' and gave her some pointers about sheet music and Broadway audition taboos. I was so happy to get those few moments with her after being apart for so long. I truly believe that every Mouseketeer would agree, 'You can't not love Lindz!'"
Another ex-Mousketeer, Tasha Danner and Jenn enjoy "just being great friends." Tasha put show business on hold for awhile in order to travel and study in Australia, India, and the South Pacific. "We were very close because we had a lot of fun together," says Jenn of her friendship with Tasha. "We could put any professional competition aside and just be girls. We loved to play video games at my house and make up songs together.
"There was a time when both of us had been dumped romantically, so we made up a song called, 'Kissin' Dissin' Man'. Every time we'd start feeling down about being dumped, one of us would start singing the song and we'd instantly start giggling," Jenn recalls. "Part of being a good friend is pulling one another out of the emotional slumps we get into.
"Mylin was like a big sister to me," says Jenn, referring to singer, dancer, actress, ex-Mousketeer, and friend, Mylin Brooks. "She used to drive me to work every day. One night, I was home alone and I thought someone was breaking in because of some creepy sounds I had heard," she recalls. "So I called Mylin at home and her father came over to check out the house for me. It turned out to be a false alarm. But it's good to know there are friends you can call when you really could be in danger."
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