It seems that everywhere you turn these days, new actors are emerging in the world of entertainment. All too often, young people have ambitions to enter this world of glitz and glamor, but they don’t understand the amount of work that goes into such a venture. Thankfully, this is not the true in the case of Lauren A. Campbell, an aspiring, young actress who possesses talent, brains, and determination. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Lauren about her foray into the world of acting, including her varied experiences and accomplishments.
I always wanted to become an actress–even from the age of about three or four. I was very shy, and so at the age of four, I started taking dance lessons. This is kind of what helped me grow into my own, so to speak. While I was still very shy and very afraid, I wanted to try acting. I graduated from high school, and I went on just dancing and working. My dance teacher finally asked me, “What do you want to do?” Well, there was only one thing I was truly passionate about–becoming an actor. So I went on to study dancing, singing, and acting at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, B.C.
What was the next step in your dream of becoming an actress?
Well, I returned to Vancouver, and I studied under various teachers. The majority of my background has been in theater, and I did mainly background and small parts in various productions. But I have also done some work as a producer, director, and choreographer. But two productions that gave me a lot of recognition were Never You Mind and No Exit. No Exit is a psychological thriller, but Never You Mind was something really different. It is about eight strippers in the 1980’s, and it was inspired by a real-life court case where a person was handed down a lesser sentence because the sexual assault case involved a woman from a “particular class of women.” This show deals with women’s rights and is truly an empowering show, and we got to go on tour to some amazing venues, and it was a wonderful experience.
I also got to be a part of Danny & the Deep Blue Sea, which co-starred my friend, Nigel Vonas, and was written by one of the greatest playwrights of our time, John Patrick Shanley. The SMP Theatrical Society produced the play, and I won Best Female Actor for my portrayal of Roberta. This is the production that really stands out for me. The journey it took me on was the most memorable acting experience of my life, from the moment I was cast until the curtain came down. The lead role of Roberta is considered one of the most challenging in contemporary theatre. My preparation for this character took me to some very dark places, but I am so thankful that I went there, because it enabled me to give what I consider the strongest performance of my career. I have always believed that when I feel there is nobody else in the theater during a performance, other than those I am on stage with, I am truly connected to a character and a story. This was one of those unique moments in my career that I will never forget. The only two people in that theater were myself and “Danny”, from the moment the curtain rose until the lights went black.
So tell us about your journey from theater actress to film/television.
Well, I decided I needed an agent. I auditioned with five scenes for Darren Boidman, and I took him on in May of last year, and he gave me really good feedback. When I decided to go with Darren as my agent, we had a lengthy and very important discussion regarding where we wanted my film and TV career to go. We set various goals and target dates on when we wanted to achieve those goals, and set high standards for the size of the role and the importance of the role to the story. Our anticipation was that we could begin booking these principal, supporting, guest starring and lead roles within a year. The results came much quicker than anticipated. I have always been confident in my strength as an actor, and knew it would be a matter of convincing networks, studios and producers of my ability to tackle the meatier roles. Darren and I both now believe we are well on the way to doing that. I am being seen for principal roles on the big network series being filmed here and have been auditioning regularly for feature films. I am definitely headed in the right direction and at a fast pace. And it just so happens that in September of last year (after four months), I got a role in an indie film, and the film is now in post-production. It is a dark comedy called Vancouver Rhapsody.
My agent, Darren, is very blunt and never sugar coats anything. He cares so much for his clients, and he works very hard and continues to push whether it is for theater, television, or film. Darren is in talks with a production company, Reel Escape Films Inc., regarding a supporting role in the feature film Terminal Love. It is an American film that delves into the current hot topic of assisted suicide. I had my third callback for the movie recently, and they are interested in casting me. I am eager to begin developing such a deep and meaningful character with so many layers. The film is currently in preproduction, and they are anticipating beginning the shoot in late 2017.
I actually help out a great organization called Project Limelight, a free performance program for kids in the Vancouver area. I work with actor/choreographer Joel Sturrock . The purpose is to shine the light on arts for youth and cheer each other on. It helps bring some of those shy kids out of their shell and express themselves. I love having the opportunity to give back to youth like this.
What is your advice to young people especially who wish to enter the acting profession?
You have to realize that acting is a very selfish career. You have to make a lot of sacrifices, and you have to be willing to audition and put yourself out there a lot. I think it is very important for other actors in the profession to give back to youth and get more people involved in theater. It’s the only way we can ensure that there will be a good pool of actors in the business. When it comes to the craft of acting, I think learning on stage is often the best way to do it. I encourage young people to try it out. Improvisation is key in this business as well. If something happens on stage, just go with it. Enjoy the audience, and if you get off, get back on track. Give theater a try.
Lauren is one with a sunny disposition who is well aware of the fact that talent and beauty will only get her so far in this incredibly competitive profession. Undaunted, Lauren has counted the cost of pursuing her dreams, and there is no doubt that she endowed with the heart, prowess, and mettle to accomplish those dreams. She is “paying her dues,” as they say, and making alarmingly quick strides in the process. Though the work is arduous, it is so rewarding. And one thing she has not forgotten is to give back to the community–something that is often neglected by so many in the business, as well as the community as a whole. The fact that she has not forgotten her roots and has remained focused on the task at hand are signs that this woman is on the right path to the eventual fulfillment of all of her goals. Here’s to seeing Lauren’s name in lights in the not-too-distant future. As she makes that onerous climb, be sure to follow her along the way, lest you miss any of her news or happenings.