Actor & Entrepreneur: Lulu Lloyd

At RYZ we interview creative and motivated people who are actively pursuing their dreams. Today we interview Lulu Lloyd:

Bio: Lulu Lloyd is a San Diego native and graduate of La Jolla High School and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Most recently she was understudy to the leading character Jenna on the First National Tour of “Waitress.” On Broadway, Lulu was a proud member of the original company in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock.” There she served as Swing and Dance Captain, covering 10 onstage roles and training over 100 actors, nearly 70 of then being children, in their roles over the length of the run. Other National Tour credits include Sloane in the 1st National tour of “Jim Steinman’s: Bat Out of Hell the Musical” and the “School of Rock” 1st National Tour where she served as understudy to Rosalie Mullins. Some other favorite credits include the world premiere of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “Bright Star” at The Old Globe. Off- Broadway she has performed at The York Theatre, Signature Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. Some of her regional credits include Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde (LA Ovation Nomination), Judy in 9 to 5, Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes, Lizzie in Baby, The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ado Annie in Oklahoma! and Louise Seger in Always…Patsy Cline. (BWW Critic’s Pick) Television credits include several national commercials and a featured role in “A Crime to Remember” on the Discovery Channel. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. For a full resume and links to live media please visit www.lululloyd.com

What was your background before you became an entrepreneur?

I have been interested in theatre from a very young age. At 5 I was in my first production of “Wizard of Oz” at the Young Actor’s Workshop in La Jolla and from there I studied locally and performed in Balboa Park while attending La Jolla High School. I took my passion to New York City and made it to Broadway. While I was working on the Broadway Production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” I had the opportunity to be the Dance Captain in addition to being a member of the original cast. My Dance Captain duties included maintaining the choreography of the show and training replacement cast members. I trained over 100 in the three years I worked on that show and nearly 70 of them were children. I also acted as a mentor to the 17 kids in the cast and and developed a serious love for working with children.

Was there any defining moment that led you to pursue your current path?

Working with those kids in “School of Rock” changed it all for me. I started seeking out as many teaching opportunities in New York as I could. When I left the show to star on a National Tour I wept for days. It was the hardest job to leave. I was happy to be leaving to perform a dream role, however and I thought maybe I would gather more insight there as to what I wanted next. I did just that. I realized during that time that while I plan to continue performing, I didn’t want to do it full-time. I missed the kids, I missed the teaching and I knew I had to make a change.

Tell us a little about some of the projects/works that you have created?

For the last two and a half months I have been living in San Diego and developing The Broadway Clubhouse. I will offer after-school theatre, acting and dance classes to children, teens, young adults and eventually adults. I will also offer one-day Masterclasses with Broadway stars who are touring through San Diego. I looked at the Civic Center’s calendar and realized I have at least one friend in every show coming through there and they have all agreed to host a 90 minute masterclass where they teach the students music and choreography from the show they are in and offer a Q&A for the children and parents at the end of the class. Those will start April 4th with two actors from the Broadway Tour of “Frozen”. I think it’s a fun opportunity to be able to learn from the cast member and then when you go and see the show you not only know someone in it, but you know a bit of the music and choreography, too! Finally, I will offer Private Coaching for all ages and a Mentorship program for High School students interested in attending theatre arts college programs. I will work with them to prep for those auditions, research and discuss different schools, put them in touch with people I believe they should be in touch with, be available by phone or email for them when they need anything and act as a mentor for all things business related. If they are considering theatre as a major and/or profession, I would love to help them understand what it’s like: the good and the bad! I hope people will find it exciting to be trained by Broadway professionals and I can’t wait to meet the local kids in the wonderful communities of San Diego.

What projects are you working on now?

The Broadway Clubhouse has become a full-time job to open and I am excited for my first set of classes beginning April 1st. Now I just need some kids! I’ll run classes this spring and fall and during the summer I’ll be performing at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.

Who would you say are the people that have influenced you the most?

My first acting teacher Deirdre Andrews. She is business owner and about to celebrate 50 years of bringing children’s theatre to La Jolla. I am going to work with her this summer by choreographing her 50th anniversary show “The Wizard of Oz”, which just so happened to be my first show with her at age 5. Last week while we had a coffee and caught up on the last 25 years she told me “I am still in love with my work.” She is amazing and she inspires me greatly. I am also influenced by people in my industry that don’t always necessarily have the longest or most robust resumes but they do good, honest work and they are genuine human beings. The world can be hard. Good people inspire and influence me.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced and how do you face new challenges?

My biggest challenge was not having any administrative background. Suddenly I have an LLC, insurance, I’m designing a website, taking meetings with lawyers and CPA’s, obtaining licenses and a business bank account. I have already learned so much. The next challenge was finding an available space to host my classes. I spent four business days calling every dance studio, school, recreation center, church, etc…everything was BOOKED. Finally, I got a phone call on a Saturday afternoon: The Santa Clara Recreation Center (in Mission Beach) is available! I immediately went down there and booked it! Finally, my last challenge is gathering students. I need all the help I can get there in this initial stage and I am hoping that word of mouth will spread beyond that!

What work are you most proud of?

I am extremely proud of myself for making it to Broadway. It was not easy and it took me nearly 7 years of auditioning in New York to finally get my Broadway debut. I am also extremely proud of playing Jenna on the National Tour of the musical “Waitress”. That was my bucket list role. Jenna never leaves the stage, sings in the rafters, has pages and pages of detailed lines, songs, choreography. It is the most challenging role I’ve ever taken on by a mile and I felt I did well. However, having said all that, when a kid comes to me and tells me how well an audition or performance went for them after we’ve worked together I feel prouder than any performance I have ever been a part of. There is nothing better to me than a truly delighted and inspired child.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?

I never imagined being an entrepreneur. I imagined singing and dancing for a living forever. Meeting the kids was totally unexpected and completely changed everything. My advice is to say yes to opportunity even if you don’t know whether you’ll like it or not. Try things, stay open. Don’t get me wrong: please say NO, of course to things you don’t want or need! However, my saying yes to the very unexpected Dance Capitan job led me to leave New York and become a female business owner. I am still pinching myself that that is true and I couldn’t be more sure it is right. I feel this will go down in history for me as being an exceptionally profound chapter.

Where can people go to learn more about your work? 

www.thebroadwayclubhouse.com

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