"Getting to Know You" with Lauren Gravitt, our Jane Banks in Mary Poppins!
WESTMINSTER, CA - "My greatest accomplishment so far has been filming a new TV series called, Cypher premiering this year, 2020" was what twelve and a half year old Lauren had to say when asked what she considers her biggest win as a performer. From La Mirada, Ca Lauren is an experienced performer having worked in T.V., commercials, films, and musicals. More impressive however is that in addition to her work as an actor, this seventh grader gets straight A's in all her classes!
First appearing on the Rose Center stage at the age of seven, in the title role of Oliver, in the RCT Musical Theater Production of Oliver, Lauren has been a regular fixture on the RCT stage having also appeared as Zulu in A Wonderful Life, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. In addition to performing, Lauren's other love is soccer, of which she currently plays for the CDA Slammers FC Whittier. We are so excited Lauren has returned to the Rose Center, this time as Jane Banks in Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins!
Excerpts from our chat:
When did you start performing?
Since I was little I've loved to perform! When I was two I used to sing and dance for my family, and when I was three I started singing in my church choir. Ever since then, I have loved being up on the stage performing for people or in front of a camera filming.
How do you prepare for an audition?
Whether it’s for a commercial, T.V., film, or musical theater audition, I always make sure I’m prepared with my sides and music before I arrive. I always practice running lines with my mom or grandma so that I feel confident.
Any tips for auditioning?
I would say always be yourself no matter what and even if you ever feel nervous on the inside just don’t let anyone see that on the outside.
What is the most frustrating part of being a performer?
For me it's trying to find a balance to do all the things that I enjoy! I just wish there were more hours in the day and just more time to do all that I love.
How do you handle rejection?
I really don’t have a problem with that because I know when I go in for any audition I always give 100%. I just may not have been the right match for the part.
What motivates you as a performer?
I love working and performing so every opportunity I get just makes me more excited and motivated to do more.
Do you have a dream role you'd like to play?
My dream role would be to someday play Maria in The Sound of Music. It is one of my favorite movies and musicals. Maria is sweet, fun, feisty, and must show many emotions. I feel I am very similar to her and can portray her many emotions.
What is your process like in preparing for a role?
I study and memorize my lines/sides and I really think about the character and who I need to become.
How important do you think training is as a performer?
I definitely think training is important. If you are a singer, voice training is very important to make sure your technique is solid. It’s also a good idea to take acting classes when you can so you feel fresh and ready to nail each audition.
What is the one role you've really enjoyed playing?
My favorite role has been Flounder in The Little Mermaid. I have been able to play Flounder twice in two different productions and it is such a fun role to play. I loved the really cool costumes and fun makeup, and I loved wearing heelys and skating across the stage.
What is the toughest role you’ve ever had to play?
The toughest role for me was probably when I did Oliver at seven years old. To learn so many lines, songs, and dances was tough. Sometimes I wouldn’t even get out of rehearsals or shows until late, and then had to up be early for school the next day. But I had so much fun doing it!
Do you have a favorite actor or performer?
My favorite performer is Taylor Swift! I love her singing and her acting and just love everything about her! I can’t wait to see her in concert someday!
What is a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of?
I was on America’s Got Talent with my choir the "Voices of Hope Children’s Choir." We got the golden buzzer and made it all the way to the semi-finals on season 13. It was a blast!
Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers?
Just do your best, have fun, and go for it! Enjoy every moment!
See Lauren as Jane Banks in the Rose Center Theater's production of
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins!
Playing February 21 - March 8