Oh, man, guys, the past week and has been a doozy. The LA teacher’s strike had us with kids home, picketing in the pouring rain (worth it), and my husband out of the country for work. Between figuring out how to plan childcare, taking in other kids, finding activities to keep them occupied, making sure they actually read books and learned something, running a business…I’m feeling behind. But PRAISE THE LORD they are back in school today and I can feel slightly more productive. And thankfully I started Marie-Kondo-ing my house the week before because while my brain might have felt like a scattered mess, at least my drawers weren’t. Woohoo! It’s seriously life changing. I also didn’t have the head-space to take on the photo project I wanted to start last week, but it’ll happen.
For today’s interview, we’ve got the gorgeous and incredibly talented and brave Lauren Molina. Back when I first started getting to know her (we were young 20-somethings living in New York), she was auditioning for Sweeny Todd on Broadway and needed to know how to play the Cello. So…she LEARNED to play the Cello and not only auditioned, but booked the role. After that, she killed it in Rock of Ages on Broadway. These days, she’s half of the amazing duo The Skivvies (Nick Cearly is the other - and he is the biggest sweetheart with the voice and smile of an angel). (https://www.theskivviesnyc.com/) They strip it all down - from their clothes to the music…and they have brought in some of Broadway’s most recognized stars to strip down and perform with them (yes, even Lin Manuel Miranda).
When I knew I was going to shoot Lauren and Nick for The Skivvies, I kept trying to figure out what to do for the shoot. We met up at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen (they were fully clothed at the bar), and I told them my plan. I said something like, “Guys…the plan is…we don’t have a plan. We’re going to just feel out how things go, and be spontaneous, and see what we can create.” They were like, “GAME!” So we did a tequila shot, they took off their clothes, and we hit the streets. We caused such a ruckus in Times Square that The Naked Cowboy’s handler tracked us down because he wanted to be a part of the shoot. And, as you can see (you can see more of the shoot HERE), the three of them gave the tourists something to write home about. Now onto Lauren…enjoy!
JACKIE: What was your very first job?
LAUREN: I was a babysitter.
JACKIE: What do you do within the first 10 minutes of waking up? Do you have a ritual/routine?
LAUREN: I check my phone. I know it’s bad, but I scroll thru news, emails, Facebook, Instagram, and inevitably I wake up to texts from my best friend and bandmate Nick Cearley. I use my phone to open my eyes and read what is happening.
JACKIE: What’s one lesson this past year has taught you?
LAUREN: Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t censor yourself if you want to try something new.
JACKIE: When you feel creatively drained or up against a wall, what’s something you do to break through it?
LAUREN: Fortunately I have a best friend and collaborator who challenges me everyday to think of new ideas, and concepts for arrangements of songs. We have a band that is constantly putting out new material so when my theatrical career is frustrating I can work on my own thing and that gives me power and fulfillment with my art.
JACKIE: What’s your favorite thing for dinner?
LAUREN: Fish Tacos
JACKIE: If you could give advice to yourself 10 years ago, what would you say?
LAUREN: It’s ok to be alone. Don’t allow yourself to be in relationship that is toxic. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
JACKIE: What would you try for NOW if you knew you couldn’t fail?
LAUREN: Drop everything and move to LA to make a tv show with The Skivvies.
JACKIE: How did you start doing what you’re doing right now as a career?
LAUREN: I moved to New York City in 2003, started auditioning for theatre. I landed a tour, a couple off-Broadway shows, then made my Broadway debut in “Sweeney Todd” in 2005.
JACKIE: When do you feel the most YOU?
LAUREN: When I’m wearing no makeup, comfy clothes, making music with my friends, laughing, and trying to outdo each other with puns.
JACKIE: If you had a completely open day with no obligations, how would you spend it?
LAUREN: I’d sleep in, then go to an amazing brunch, if it’s nice out take a walk in the park, see a Broadway show I’m dying to see and splurge on nice seats.
JACKIE: Self-care – do you practice it? If so, what are your favorite ways to take care of yourself from the inside out?
LAUREN: I don’t do enough self care, but when I do it involves yoga, massage, and a lot of moisturizing.
JACKIE: Dream travel destination: what is it, why, and have you been??!
LAUREN: I’m dying to go to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Australia. I want to immerse myself in the majestic natural beauty.
JACKIE: Lastly – can you tell me what you are working on currently?
LAUREN: The Skivvies are my constant project. Insta: @theskivviesnyc. Our next shows are Valentine’s weekend 2019 in Portland and then March 11 in NYC at Joe’s Pub. I’ll be in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park playing Lucy in April-May 2019. I’m a co-conceiver of this first ever actor-instrumental production.