interview with lauren reeder

Person to Love Hard: Lauren Reeder

interview with lauren reeder

photo: caitlin custer

Lauren Reeder is a hysterical actress, a brilliant writer, a constant creator, a love-er of cats with silly hats, a seriously good gift-giver, and one of my closest friends.

She’s a do-er.  Someone who sees what she wants, and goes after it.

She’s an inspiration.

She loves hard.admin-ajax

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admin-ajax (2)What do you love hard?

I love…

Storytelling.

I love friends, I love romance, and I love making stories.

 

admin-ajax (2)Where are you in your life right now?  Walk me through where you started and what brought you to this point.

My brain went immediately to the entertainment industry, because I didn’t start off thinking I would be involved in it.

I always knew I liked to tell stories and make my friends laugh, but I never knew that I was any good at it or could use that skill in any way.

I think it started when I auditioned for a musical my junior year of high school.  That fueled my creative side with singing and performing, and from that point on I never stopped.

At the end of college I needed to decide if I was going to do film and TV or if I was going to do theater.  

I was really confused for awhile, but I think what it comes down to is that I really like the storytelling involved and the freedom involved in film and tv. 

The kind of organic, “you can figure it out as you go” aspect.  Whereas in theater everything is so planned.

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As for writing,

I never considered myself a writer.

Ever.

It was the desperation of not being able to act that fueled it.

So now I do all of it…just so I can act.

 

admin-ajax (2) Were there any significant obstacles, people, or choices you made along the way that helped shape this journey?  What had the biggest influence?

I had a mentor in college who told me I was funny.

That was the first person at the school who said,

“you’re not an ingénue, you’re funny…you should do that.”

The teachers at school had kept trying to get me to do that (be an ingénue) and it just didn’t fit.

So I think my biggest influence has been studying Madeline Kahn and falling in love with her broadway show.   (I did that as my thesis)

She did theater and then she was a movie star and there was something about the way she could sing soprano and gorgeous opera and then also be really funny in a Mel Brookes movie…she just did everything that I want to do.

She was really the reason I started to do comedy, and my mentor…Gary.

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After that I think Living with Models has shaped my career because I now know what I want to do.

Before, I was just at the whim of whoever thought I was castable, or more often than not- NOT castable, and now I realize I have control over things so it feels powerful now.

Creating has given me power.

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I’ll add one more thing.

That my favorite part of creating is being able to give other people the opportunity to act.

Because I know how hard it is to want to do that and to not have the opportunity.  So it gives me the greatest joy to be able to cast my friends and people who maybe don’t get the opportunity.

That, I think, is at the very top for me.

Second to wanting to feel powerful and feed my soul is wanting to give other people the opportunity to have fun and create with me.

 

admin-ajax (2)Where do you live now and where would you choose to live if you could live anywhere in the world?

I live in Sherman oaks, CA.

I used to hate LA and would have preferred to live anywhere else, but now, I would absolutely only live here.

Because the kind of people that I both hate and ADORE live here.

So despite the bad parts of LA, the people that get me the most and that I admire and respect are making their lives here.

This is where all the things that I view as important are happening so I don’t think I’d ever really want to leave.

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In terms of living in a Pinterest board location…

Probably by the beach.

Santa Monica or Venice or somewhere right outside of LA like Ventura, close enough to be here but maybe a little bit calmer.

A little space, I don’t need a lot of room.

As long as my cat is there.

 

admin-ajax (2)Is there a place you’ve lived or visited that was particularly special or inspiring?

Oh yeah, on my family trip to Europe when I was in college we went to Lucerne, Switzerland.

That place is my favorite place I’ve ever been just because of the calm energy.

We were traveling through Europe in 10 days and going to all these places so fast and then we got off the train in Lucerne and it was just…

The cold, fresh air…

The view of the alps and Lake Lucerne…

The quaintness of the town…

It was the first time I’ve ever traveled somewhere without a touristy reason behind it.

Just existing in this beautiful, calm, serene location.

I’ve never had the same feeling again.

It was the best.

 

admin-ajax (2)What makes you feel like you can fly?

Singing

…and billy holiday music.

 

admin-ajax (2)Fueling creativity, especially in LA, is so hard…where do you get your drive to create?

I’ve always been a driven person, innately, whether it was sports or writing or producing.

I feel like I have an inerrant… almost like a guy with a whip behind me, like I’m a horse or something.  There’s something that happens to me when I feel stagnant, I can’t live in that space for too long before I almost get kicked in the butt by something.  I don’t really know what it is that makes me want to do it.

I get excited about an idea and then the creative thoughts kind of come from there.

Feeling stagnant is almost like a weird death.

It feels like if you’re stagnant, you’re not living, so…when I get kicked out of that with a creative thought, I wanna just go with that because it makes me feel so much better to be active and creating.

So I think it must just be out of desperation not to die.

Not to die of boredom.

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Also there’s a weird fear I have of not wanting to be ordinary.

And even though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with ordinary things or ordinary people, I have a weird drive to live a life that is exciting…it’s …it might be ego but I think it’s more like…a dream?

A dreamer type vibe?

(romance?)

ROMANCE!

It really comes back down to that.  I want my life to be romantic.

I have one shot, why not go for the gold?  Ya know?

 

admin-ajax (2)Do you have any advice for other people on how to stay creative?

Don’t get to comfortable.

Challenge yourself.

If you think you have something to offer in an area don’t wait until it feels like the right time just do it.

I think it’s a way of thinking too.  Some people just exist in that creative space and they notice things around them and they notice people.  And then there are other people who have a cycle in there head of the things they need to do and the places they need to be–they go to work they come home–and if they enjoy that headspace, maybe they don’t need to be creative.

I usually connect better with people who like to notice the world, and the beauty in the world.

So I feel like if people feel like they want to do that, they should do it now…just all the time.

Just do it all the time, do different things.

 

admin-ajax (2)How do you feel like your creativity manifests itself?

I think I manifest my creativity in so many different ways, which is why I was so confused as to what I should be marketing myself as.

I think I like to explode my creativity into whichever realm someone will pay attention to.

Whether it’s singing or writing or acting or producing, I just want to share it.

So however someone will listen, I’ll take it!

 

admin-ajax (2) What do you do to feed your soul, to fill yourself up when you feel depleted?

I love eating really delicious bread.

And I love really good whiskey.

Those two things make me so happy.

Those are my feeding comforts.

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When it comes to my soul, I guess….I guess it’s, the thing I like the most is being around…I’m just gonna say it again…

Romance.

If I can find a way to have some romance in every day, that will feed my soul.

If I feel like someone loves me whether or not it’s in a romantic nature or in a friend way, that will keep me going.

All I need is like a good friend around or some good conversation.

Connection, that’s what it is, connection.

Romance and connection, they feed my soul.

 

admin-ajax (2) Whats the hardest part of self care?

Asking for help.

Because sometimes I need permission to self care.

I need people to force me to do it, which is bad.

Also, someone who lives with an anxious brain, it’s hard to slow down long enough to to realize you need it.

So that’s hard, because I am driven and then it’s hard to give myself that time.

 

admin-ajax (2)Is there anything that you’ve done that has helped you move toward a better sense of self care?

Yoga.

And processing my thoughts in a more forgiving manner, learning how to cope with guilt and being more forgiving.

Self-forgiving.

Because I can punish myself a little too much for whatever it is… everything.

Forgiving myself, I think that’s what I’ve gotten better at doing.

Just letting yourself be a human and know you make mistakes and that’s OK.

 

admin-ajax (2) What is it about solitude that is important or nurturing to you?

I’ve never really identified what it is I like about solitude…

I think that it’s the quiet.

Not having to think about what I’m doing or how I’m coming across.

Just getting to be me and do the things I wanna do just for a little while.

 

admin-ajax (2)How do you give back?

I think the thing I try to give most is time.

I’ll do whatever a friend needs me to do, I don’t think I have anything in particular that I do, but if someone needs my time, I’ll give that freely.

I’ll make it happen.

And I try to be a good listener.

 

admin-ajax (2)What is love to you ?  How do you feel love and how do you show it?

I think love is tunnel vision for one person and forever.

How I show love is time and listening.

How I feel loved is the same.

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Thank you, Lauren.

For your time, for always listening, for your creativity and passion, and for believing in me and giving me the project that will forever be the most special of my life.

I’m so lucky to be your friend.

 

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For more Lauren, check out her website and her web-series, Living With Models

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