Lauren Nicole Chapman

@Laurennicolechapman

EP 136: Lauren Nicole Chapman (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 136.

[00:00:06] All right. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Lauren, Nicole Chapman, are you ready for this Lauren? 

[00:00:15] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:00:15] Yes, let’s do it.

[00:00:17] Dane Reis: [00:00:17] All right. Lauren is a Michigan native and attended Interlochen arts Academy. Graduating with a theater concentration. She then went on to receive her BFA in musical theater from Emerson college in Boston, shortly after Lauren moved to New York city, where she began working professionally in theater, she has performed in both the Broadway and touring companies of the Tony award winning musical.

[00:00:41] Kinky boots. And just recently, Lauren was seen in frozen on Broadway as a standby for princess Ana when not on Broadway. Lauren performs at renowned New York city concert venues, such as 54 below. And Joe’s pub teaches theater masterclasses in the city. And as part of several new musicals in their early stages of development.

[00:01:03] Lauren. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:18]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:01:18] Yes. Well, um, as you, as you pointed out, I, I grew up in Michigan and the suburbs of Michigan. Um, I grew up dancing first, um, and then sort of added singing and acting as, as we do in, in middle school and high school and quickly sort of started to realize that that was sort of the path I wanted to take, um, as professional and, um, I moved to the city in 2013 after graduating from Emerson, with a BFA.

[00:01:41] And hit the ground running started auditioning right away. And, um, you know, I’ve done some really incredible, incredible, lucky to, to be a part of summit. So many of these amazing projects here in the city, um, I’m currently in New York city. I was gone for the majority of quarantine and I’ve been back for about a month and it has just been beautiful to be back.

[00:02:00] And the magic is indeed still here in New York.

[00:02:04]Dane Reis: [00:02:04] Beautiful. That’s great to hear.

[00:02:07] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:02:07] Yes, it is. It is. It’s still buzzing. The city is still buzzing with energy, so that’s really good to see.

[00:02:12]Dane Reis: [00:02:12] , great. And let’s move on to our first section here. And Lauren, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:02:24] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:02:24] Oh, my gosh, this is one that has been really playing into what’s going on right now in our world. But my favorite quote is it’s a simple one, but it’s let go of the things that you cannot control. and so of course that really plays into what we’re experiencing right now in the world. Um, but especially in theater as well.

[00:02:44]Um, so I L I love that one.

[00:02:46]Dane Reis: [00:02:46] yeah, that is such a good quote. And that, that quote or something similar to it continues to come up in the different. Interviews that we’ve had on this show. And I think that’s so important. And that’s what I love about this podcast as well, is that it is really, truly highlighting those fundamental things that people that are having outrageously successful careers like yourself are having.

[00:03:10] And it keeps coming up time and time again. that’s how you know that it’s such a true thing. And that’s something to pay attention to you.

[00:03:16] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:03:16] absolutely. It’s something that’s come up in my life time and time again. Um, especially when it comes to auditions and certain roles that I’ve been up for. Um, I’ve sort of learned that this is it’s become a cumulative experience, um, in terms of auditioning and, and being a part of this theater business.

[00:03:34]Um, it’s, it’s. It’s extremely important to continue to do good work and understand the things that you can control and the things that you cannot

[00:03:43]Dane Reis: [00:03:43] Yeah, for sure. Thank you for that. And let’s get into this next section here in Lauren. Of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this entertainment industry. Can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence.

[00:04:04] And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah. There’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.

[00:04:24] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.  So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:04:37]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:04:37] You know, it’s sort of sort of an overarching theme for me, um, rather than one specific obstacle. Um, and that has been sort of the comparison. Right. I mean, there are so many people, um, in the city auditioning and you start to see those same people, um, you know, act at the same auditions that you’re at. And I have found the biggest obstacle and the biggest detriment to, you know, uh, doing good work is that comparison.

[00:05:00]Um, you know, you are running your own race and at the end of the day, You’re competing against yourself. So I think it’s something that I continuously remind myself that, um, the comparison is, is, is actually a detriment to, to the audition that I’m maybe going in for. And just overarching to, to remind myself , I’m on my own path.

[00:05:19] And you know, the roles that I get to play are because of who I am. Um, and not because of who anyone else is. So that’s sort of the overarching obstacle and challenge that I am sort of working on. Um, and. The best thing about that is, is once you sort of get, can get past that, you know, you see the same people at auditions and you start to go, Oh my gosh, they so deserve that role.

[00:05:42] I’m so happy for them. You know, they’ve worked so hard and they were so right for that. So there’s like this amazing,  triumphant celebration that happens too. Once you’re able to get past all that comparison.

[00:05:54]Dane Reis: [00:05:54] your running your own race, you are competing against yourself, and that is such a better mindset to have than comparison, because then it also circles back to your quote that you just said about, you can only control, you know, What you can control. Right? Don’t worry about the other stuff because it’s just you and then expanding on that.

[00:06:14] Okay. To the gratitude part of it for other people. You’re so right, because you start seeing the differences right. Between you and other people. As you get to be familiar with people, you audition with people and you see their strengths as well. 

[00:06:27] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:06:27] And 

[00:06:27] as I mentioned to you, no, it is. I’m learning more and more. It’s a cumulative experience, right? It may not be that specific show, that specific audition I may have done. Great. But I may have not, there may have been something that was wrong, but it doesn’t mean that I controlled the things I could control.

[00:06:44] I was prep prepared as much as I could be. And who’s to say that that wouldn’t fuel into the next thought engine and help me get the next job. So I think that that also kind of plays into what you were saying there.

[00:06:55] Dane Reis: [00:06:55] Yeah, 100%, 100%. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your. Spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realize, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:07:19] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:07:19] Okay. Well, I have like a specific story and then I have your second part of the question. I also have a little anecdote, but basically, you know, a little insight into who I am as a human being. But, uh, I attended interlocking, uh, arts arts camp for several summers before I ended up going to the Academy and I was studying vocal performance.

[00:07:37] So I was working on opera and choir and all of these classical pieces and a friend of mine said, you know, I’m thinking of applying to the Academy. Um, do you want to come with me to the admissions office? I said, Oh, sure. I’ll walk you there. And he was looking into applying for the vocal, um,  uh, section of the Academy.

[00:07:53] And I, you know, I was sort of sort of inquiring as to like what other programs they offered and. He S you know, they asked, Oh, are you wanting to apply for vocal performance? And I said, no, you know what? I think I’m going to apply for theater, for acting. And my friend kind of looked at me like, Oh, okay. And next thing I knew I was going home in a couple of days to Michigan, to my parents.

[00:08:15] I showed up with an entire application, filled out, ready to go an audition scheduled for them to drive me four hours back to interlock in the following week in order to audition for the acting program. So just indicative of  my drive and my sort of, you know, I’m going to do it personality. Um, my parents were.

[00:08:33] Super stunned. Because at that point I was almost three weeks out from going into my senior year at my public school. So they were sort of, you know, taken aback, but that was just sort of that moment where I just sort of was like, no, I’m going to do this for a living. And, uh, you know, that drive has sort of stuck with me throughout, um, just that, that I’m going to do it.

[00:08:52] Attitude. Um, if I don’t know how to do it, I’m going to figure out how to do it, you know? Um, and then for, in terms of what I need to be doing as a, as an entertainer, you know, throughout my  short career, I’ve learned that I love making people laugh. Um, whatever that means. So, uh, I’m still figuring that out, but what I need to be doing as an entertainer and it fuels my soul just as much as I hope it feels other people’s souls to make them laugh.

[00:09:13]Dane Reis: [00:09:13] , that’s so good. And.  let’s piggyback on that question and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? That moment

[00:09:35]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:09:35] Oh, my gosh. Well, essentially, you know, I had moved to the city and I was not in the actor’s equity union yet. Um, I, and I was getting up almost every morning at 4:35 AM, um, to line up and sign up and hope. That I might get seen. Um, and one of these particular mornings, I S a friend of mine, Caitlyn will, Ledo signed me up on the non-equity list for the kinky boots, EPA.

[00:10:00]Um, I got there around 6:00 AM. You know, we sat, we waited, we waited, it looked like they were not going to have time to see us. So we said, okay, well, you know that we have a plan B, you know, we’ll go do this other audition if they don’t have time. Well, All of a sudden, they go, we have time to see, like, I think it was five people.

[00:10:16] So myself, Caitlin and, you know, a couple other people. Um, and they said, but we only have time for eight bars. And at this point we were, we were, we were already in line, you know, with our 16 bars ready to go, um, for kinky boots and. So I think I truly cut it in the middle of a word, um, because I just, I didn’t want, I wanted to, you know, adhere to the rules of eight bars.

[00:10:38]Um, I think I truly cut it in the middle of a phrase. Like it was a very awkward eight bars and I sang call me, can’t you call me anyways. Um, and I sort of did it, you know, Lauren S. If you’ve seen kinky boots, um, she’s a little bit quirky and a little bit fun. Uh, but I sang eight bars and I left and like many auditions at that time did not expect.

[00:11:02] I’ll call back, did not expect to hear anything. It was a numbers game, right? It was just getting out there, you know, hoping that someone would recognize me, maybe like that cumulative, cumulative experience. Like I said, I’m hoping that they would start to say, Oh, I know that girl, she might be right for this show.

[00:11:18]And so a few months later I get an email in my inbox. I did not have an agent. Uh, saying we would like you to come back in for a call back for the kinky boots tour. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. You know, I haven’t had many callbacks having just moved here and, um, um, yeah, it was a really big moment.

[00:11:36] And so I, I went in and within about 24 hours, it went from being a callback for the tour to an immediate replacement on Broadway.

[00:11:45]Dane Reis: [00:11:45] Whoa.

[00:11:46] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:11:46] So I went in, I did it. Um, if they call me back, they said, we’d like to, we’d like to call you back in to have a workup session. Um, and then at this point I was communicating directly with Telsey and company because I, again did not have an agent, um, And so finally, essentially, you know, within a few days I went in for my, what was my final call back?

[00:12:06] And they said, okay, this is for both the tour and Broadway. We’re not sure. And I was like, okay. And we taped for Jerry Mitchell and I left and I was probably the calmest I’ve ever been, which is interesting note. And I, the next day was taking a day off from auditioning. Um, I was sleeping in and I missed a call from Telsey and company.

[00:12:32]Uh, I furiously woke up and, and called them back and they said, um, how do you feel about making your Broadway debut in kinky boots?

[00:12:40] Dane Reis: [00:12:40] Oh,

[00:12:42] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:12:42] think I blacked out to be honest. Um, you know, and again, I had mentioned that I was, I was in for the tour as well. So there was a moment of like, wait, which did he say?

[00:12:49] Did he say tour? It doesn’t matter. I’m just so thrilled. I’m so, you know, so, you know, Oh, there, you know, you know, it just, my life changed, you know, it just was like within just such a short amount of time. Um, and it was just this magical experience. Um, and I tell people this story too, because. You know, when you’re starting out and auditioning and going, yeah.

[00:13:08] EPA is sometimes you get bogged down and you’re like, is it working? Is it really coming across? And like, The, the fact of the matter is, is, is like right time, right place, right. right. Show, good work. And it does happen. So it was just like the most magical. And I think I called Caitlin, uh, who was with me that day on the audition.

[00:13:28] And I called her and I was like, what? Oh, I do. I, I, I’m just so excited. And she was like, just let’s come over. And, you know, we had champagne and we kind of just sat there and celebrated and we were just in awe and it was just. Oh, it was just like the most special moment.

[00:13:42] Dane Reis: [00:13:42] Oh, I love that story. And I love that you did it without an agent. You did it going to the EPA. And that’s so encouraging for anyone aspiring to make a professional career in New York in this industry, you know, it does happen. It’s, it’s a real thing. You don’t have to be set up with the top agent  or manager or whatever.

[00:14:03] You can do it yourself and you can hustle it and make it work.

[00:14:06] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:14:06] Yes.

[00:14:07]Dane Reis: [00:14:07] , so good. Also really like how you said you went to that room and need the filming that. You said, I think he was the most calm I’ve ever been

[00:14:15] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:14:15] Yeah. I haven’t really been able to pinpoint why that was, but maybe it was because it felt like a good fit. And I knew that I had done good work and I had been prepped just as like, again, those things that we can control. Um, I was prepped just as well as I could be in that moment. Um, so I knew anything else that came from that was out of my control, you know?

[00:14:38] Um, and so I don’t know there was this calmness that came over me. I felt the same way when I booked my second Broadway show. And so I’m like, okay, there’s something to that, you know, you know, we’ve got to hone in on whatever that is to, to get to that point.

[00:14:52] Dane Reis: [00:14:52] Yeah. Again, those two things. Well, first off, I think focusing on what you can control leads to feeling calm and that calm is what time and time again has come up in interviews saying, this is when I booked the shell is because I just went in there and gave him me 

[00:15:12] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:15:12] absolutely. 

[00:15:13] Dane Reis: [00:15:13] Oh, 

[00:15:14]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:15:14] And I was lucky in the sense too, because I was reading for the role of Lauren and I pinpointed like parts of her personality and parts of her quirks that like were very similar to my own, which was great because it allowed me to really, truly be myself and bring myself to the character, which was a really, really like wonderful feeling.

[00:15:35]Dane Reis: [00:15:35] Oh, that’s so great. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:15:55]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:15:55] You know what, um, I had the most incredible experience with frozen on Broadway and we closed just a few months ago. Um, and I always said, I wanted to see a Broadway show through from beginning to end. We didn’t know the end of course would be a national pandemic. However I did, I did, I did just that, you know, I did see it from beginning to end, um, in the original company.

[00:16:16]So. Just sort of having a moment of recalibration and relishing in that for a moment and, and understanding, you know, that experience and, and wrapping my head around, like how, how great that was. Um, And, you know, what I’m looking forward to. I think the beautiful thing that has come out of this time is so much creativity and people trying to connect in different ways.

[00:16:35]Right. Um, and so I’m really looking forward. To what that means for our industry, um, for the artistry as well. Like just how many new projects are going to come out of this time. And also I think getting back into the theater, I mean, I just think about that first night back for the shows that are going to open and how there is nothing like the connection that you receive through live theater and how we are all craving that so much right now.

[00:17:03]Um, so I’m, I just think. Theater is when it is safe to do so is going to come back bigger and better than ever. And, we will not take for granted, uh, you know, the type of connection that you receive being in a live theater.

[00:17:17]Dane Reis: [00:17:17] Yes. Thank you for your insight on that. That’s fantastic. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. I am going to ask a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? All right. First question. What does the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:17:54] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:17:54] Let the rejection fuel you compete against yourself. Not others.

[00:17:58]Dane Reis: [00:17:58] Hmm, so good. Really bringing it full circle from this entire interview. So far third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:18:14]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:18:14] a couple of things I’m learning to take time for yourself. And to sit with that, the more, you know, you know, yourself, the better your work will be, and also, uh, investigating other parts of the industry that maybe doesn’t have to do with acting specifically. Um, I took a writing for the sit-com class, so, um, doing those types of things.

[00:18:31]Dane Reis: [00:18:31] . I think taking time for yourself is so important.  well, I think we’re  really blindsided in the beginning of this pandemic. And we’re like, now we don’t know what to do with ourselves, but as this has carried on a lot of us have realized that we have needed to kind of reconnect and reset a little bit.

[00:18:48]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:18:48] The more grounded we can be. Um, obviously this is such a time of uncertainty, but then again, so is working in the theater, right? It’s it’s not always certain. So I think the more that I’m getting to know myself, I think the more grounded and the better, my preparation in my work will be when it comes time to, um, you know, start auditioning again.

[00:19:08] Dane Reis: [00:19:08] Yes, I agree. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:19:23] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:19:23] Okay. I have three, I think, three answers to this technology. I would say my microphone. I have used it many times during this pandemic. Um, I would say I’m reading. You are a badass by Jen Sincero, which was gifted to me by the gorgeous patting urine. Um, I just think. To be a human, to be a human and in the theater, this is a must read.

[00:19:49]Um, and also I am listening to armchair expert with Dax Shepard.

[00:19:53]Dane Reis: [00:19:53] Yeah, that is such a great podcast.

[00:19:56] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:19:56] Oh, so great. Yeah. So it’s been really nice. I’ve, I’ve just discovered podcasts during this time and that’s been amazing. So yeah.

[00:20:04] Dane Reis: [00:20:04] And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:20:21]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:20:21] Wow. Um, something that I’ve collected along the way that I think I’ve done and will hopefully continue to do. Um, it’s a sort of another quote, but everything you do along your journey attributes to where you are going. Right. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s being a good person. Um, it’s being a well rounded person.

[00:20:40]I think that. A lot of times we can take failed auditions quite personally. Um, and also there’s a tendency to put your worth in the job in the show. Right. And I think it all comes back to this, this statement of everything you do along your journey attributes, to where you’re going. Um, I’ve time and time again, luckily been, been hired by similar people that I’ve worked with several times now because we like working together and we’ll, we’re well rounded human beings.

[00:21:09] It’s not just about who I am as a performer. Right. It’s who I am as a grounded individual. Um, so that’s something that I strive to do. Um, it’s something that I will hope to. Continue to do. Um, but, uh, yeah, it’s knowledge that I’ve, you know, my music director used to say, metaphorically speaking, I want to hire somebody that at the end of the day, I can have a beer with, 

[00:21:31] Dane Reis: [00:21:31] Yeah. 

[00:21:32] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:21:32] that.

[00:21:32]Right. It doesn’t have to be a beer, it can be whatever, but you’re spending a lot of time with these people. So it’s, it’s being the best version of yourself so that you can. Work with the same people over and over again, , you know, your reputation matters. Um, so everything you do along your journey attributes to where you’re going,

[00:21:48]Dane Reis: [00:21:48] Yeah. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with everyone.

[00:21:58]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:21:58] Oh my God, this is, this is okay. It can sound so simple, but it’s just be you. Um, I teach a lot of feeder masterclasses to young, to young adults. And I say that and they go, well, what does it mean to just be me? Right? And I say, you need to figure out what you do well, and use that again. People want to work with well-rounded humans who know their strengths, right?

[00:22:19] My strengths are probably different than that. Person’s strengths over there or that person. So it’s just be, you it’s truly figuring out what you do best and doing exactly that.

[00:22:29]Dane Reis: [00:22:29] Yes, so good. And to wrap up this interview, Lauren, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:22:44]Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:22:44] I am on Instagram at Lauren, Nicole Chapman. And I also have a website, Lauren Nicole Chapman dot com. Um, there’s an email button on there as well would love to hear from you. Um, but I love Instagram. It’s so fun to see everyone’s photos and that’s where I am most of the time. So feel free to reach out

[00:23:02] Dane Reis: [00:23:02] fantastic. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything Lauren just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her and be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, or anyone that you know who is aspiring to create a career in this industry.

[00:23:24] It is an integral part. Of helping them succeed in this business because you booked it has now become the number one largest resource of expertise on this subject in the world. So if you enjoy this podcast, also be sure to hit that subscribe button, Lauren, thank you so much for being here, sharing your journey.

[00:23:43] Amazing insights

[00:23:45] Lauren Nicole Chapman: [00:23:45] Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for having me. This is such a blast.

[00:23:48]