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"Getting to Know You" with Lauren Belt

WESTMINSTER, CA - Returning for her second production with the Rose Center Theater, Lauren Belt is a classically trained violinist who has studied Musical Theatre under Thomas Shelton at South Coast Repertory. Returning to the Rose, Lauren will play Mrs. Corry, the childhood friend of George Banks and mysterious woman who runs the "Talking Shop" where people can buy conversations and gingerbread.

Excerpts from our talk:

Was there anything specific that attracted you to pursue life as a performer? Having played the violin since I was 7 years old, I’ve always had a passion for the arts. I love the feeling of walking onto a stage, the warm lights beaming down, and the brief moment of silence before the applause starts after finishing a symphony. After attending multiple musical theater performances throughout my life, I confirmed my passion for musical theater and signed up for musical theater classes. Whether I am playing the violin or singing on stage, sharing a story through art and music is what truly attracted me to being a performer.

What motivates you as a performer? The audience’s experience is what motivates me the most as performer. If I can get at least one audience member to feel the emotion I was striving for or create a memorable moment for them, that’s the most rewarding feeling for me as a performer.

Has there been an accomplishment as an actor that you're particularly fond of? In the Rose Center Theater’s production of Cinderella, I was asked to play my violin. Getting to combine all of my passions (acting, singing, and playing the violin) in a single show was such a memorable experience!

Do you think training is important for those who want to pursue a career as a performer?

There is always room for improvement, whether it’s strengthening a skill you already have or working on an area of improvement. Consistently being involved in acting/vocal/dance classes, or if the opportunity for classes isn’t available, getting involved in local performances and learning from your fellow performers is a great way to train as a performer.

How do you prepare for an audition? Any good luck rituals? Once I’ve figured out my audition song, I put a lot of emphasis on my delivery. I work on how I want to express a story with a beginning, middle, and end in under a minute. As far as good luck rituals, while driving over to an audition, I always listen to “Win” by ATEEZ. It never fails to get me hyped and ready to put on a great performance! My #1 audition tip: Enjoy yourself! If you have a good time while auditioning, your performance will be more authentic.

If an audition doesn't go your way, how do you handle rejection? If I know I did my best, there’s no sense in dwelling on the rejection. If there is something I could improve on, I make sure to learn from it and apply it in the future.

Do you have a dream role you'd love to play or show you'd love to be in? My dream role is Sibella Hallward from A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. I’ve always enjoyed her vocal style. I find her “wanting to have her cake and eat it too” mentality delightfully entertaining! Although one could say she’s a little self-absorbed, I believe her inherent charm is a trait I could enhance to win over both Monty Navarro and the audience.

What is your process like in preparing for a role? For any role (lead, supporting, or ensemble), I am portraying a character who has their own story. Whether their story is light-hearted and fun, or profound and serious, I start by putting myself in their position. Then the mannerisms, expressions, and persona form themselves, making memorizing lines, and lyric delivery, even easier.

What is the most fun role you’ve ever played? Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins has been a joy to play! Performing such an iconic song while also having the creative freedom to express her eccentricity is an experience I’ll never forget!

Do you have a favorite actor or performer? Donald O’Connor is my favorite performer. Anyone who watches one of his performances would tell you he is giving 110%, but still looks like he his having the time of his life! He worked hard for his talent and success, but still seems to know that there’s room for improvement, always learning from his co-stars to give the audience the best performance he could. Our shared love for music is best said in this quote from Donald, “It’s so wonderful…if your whole day is rotten, once they start the music, it seems to melt away.”

Is there a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of? K-Pop is my go-to music selection! Along with their music, I enjoy watching K-Pop groups’ music videos and live performances. You can clearly see the time and dedication these groups put into their memorable performances and I appreciate their desire to make their performances an experience.

Any advice to actors or aspiring performers? Mary Poppins says it best, “Anything can happen if you let it.” If there’s a show you’ve always wanted to be in, or a part you’ve dreamed of playing, just go for it! Register for classes, audition at local theaters, attend performances. Any continuous exposure to the arts will help you towards achieving your aspirations as a performer. Passion is the most important trait; if you have that, you’ll make sure you work towards checking the remaining boxes.

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