December Featured Student: LaLa Harrison
We love our students! Each month, we will pick one of our students to feature. Maybe next month it will be you!
What made you decide to start studying acting?
I've always been a film and tv watcher, drawn in by the characters, plot etc. I imagined myself, still do, being those characters before I even realized what acting was and the true art of it. I just always wanted to help people express their range of emotions and give people the confidence they need at times like so many films, shows and characters have done and still do for me.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received about the art or craft of acting?
The best piece of advice I've received is to "Fire the judge", meaning to squash that inner voice that tells you, 'you suck' or 'you can't make it' or 'you're not good enough'. Like most people, we're extremely hard on ourselves, I'm no exception, and I've learned in this business there's enough people who are fixing their mouths to tell you 'no' etc. I want to be the person I can fall back on to reassure, not tear down. Some days I succeed and some days that judge does but I never let it win.
Give an example of a breakthrough you've had.
The first breakthrough I had, cause there have been a few and I hope they never stop, is in my Acting I class I believe. We were doing monologues. I picked this particular one because parts of it spoke to me and mimicked my real life. I thought I was doing well, but my instructor/mentor pushed me and guided me to the closed off emotions I wasn't letting myself feel and showing that I was hiding behind comedy and not really feeling the piece. This is when I heard about the firing of the judge. It was like an out of body experience to remove the chains of doubt and to freely be within a scene, even in front of a huge class and not feel like I embarrassed myself. It's a moment I won't forget no matter how far this life takes me.
What is your dream role?
That's a heavy question lol Of course I want to be in a MCU film and work with certain actors and directors but my dream role would have to be one of my own creations. I write a lot and it would be a dream to put that writing on the big screen and portray the character I created in a world I designed. That's ultimate to me.
What do you have to say to your fellow MAS students?
Firstly, to my OG MAS students, I love you all and I love collaboration! Also, to any new students reading this whether this is what you want as a career, something to pass the time, or if you're on the fence...you won't know until you fire that judge and do it! I can say with certainty that you won't find a more encouraging place to be your most authentic self than at Michigan Actors Studio/Montage Online. I say this as an employee but I started as a nervous, judge ridden student who didn't know what something as simple as a slate was to save her life. The journey I have started and have continued with this studio is one I always prayed for and I couldn't imagine taking that first step into solidifying not only who I am but who I'm meant to be, then within those walls and now these Zoomisphere walls.