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We have seen through the past two decades how women have taken center stage in various industries, one of them being the music industry. Women like Neeta Ragoowansi, President of Women In Music, Roe Gallo, Product Manager, ADA Distribution/Warner Music Group and Christina Kotsamanidis Press Relations for Atlantic Records. Then there are women who serve the independent and up and coming artists hungry for success.
Lau Lapides happens to be an inspiration for women in the industry. She was always involved in performing either dancing, acting in musicals then as an adult in Regional, Repertory, Stock Theatre and TV commercials on camera and voice over’s. Lau her 20’s was accepted into the nation’s top MFA acting program at the University of California. In turn, she was offered a full tuition scholarship. Along with the scholarship came a Teacher Assitantanship for her three year residency. She completed a BA in Acting from Bridgewater State University and MFA from UC, Irvine.
“There I really honed my acting craft and was exposed to the top level of teaching acting to undergraduates and directing projects for colleagues. I also was awarded an ArtsBridge Scholarship to go out into the community and teach high school Improvisation and Acting. It was boot camp for my soul and really solidified that I was making the perfect choice to have a career in the industry.”
Lau took the stage and realized how challenging acting is. She would then follow the same drive into spreading the knowledge of acting to others attempting to go into the industry. Lau became a teacher and held faculty positions at prestigious institutions like Boston University. As she progressed on this road she saw the need to offer her services on a larger scale. Lau would soon open her own company in 2009 based solely on coaching individuals entering the field of acting and singing.
The struggles and obstacles in the business are daily. As a matter of fact as of this writing they are celebrating their 5th year in business. Even though at this time of difficult economic climate the company still manages to get the word out about their top notch services. As a woman in a male dominated business she has come across the worry of being taken seriously or not. She has at times the need to be extra strong to deal with confrontation or negotiation. At the same time according to Lau it the best time to start a unique boutique studio. Her clients are chasing their dreams and she wants to see them achieve their goals.
“Every day is a challenge to show up, put the key in the door and unlock it and walk through. It is the same challenge our clients face, it is a good challenge it helps us understand and empathize.”
Lau has always had an entrepreneur’s spirit since she was a child. She was surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs her father had a thriving business for 50 years and taught her much of what she knows and utilizes today. Her mother was a bit of a rebel in her time. She was a rarity as she decided to attend College in the 1950’s. Her mother had a huge career as a social worker and family therapist guiding the lost and fixing the broken. Lau carries much of her spirit into the workplace.
The idea to start the company was actually 40 years in the making. The idea to start the company was born overnight. Lau even admits that her technical director, Mike Jablon often says to “out clients ” Did you know we are an overnight success? It’s true; we are a 40 year overnight success”.
“Our visions are vast and we are not afraid to dream. We think big and bold or we go home. We see ourselves continually growing as a global entity working with an international client base; we want to continue with to partner with top agents and casting directors in the industry, expand and detail our services in the training/coaching areas as well as production areas. We are slowly moving in the direction aiding more and more in casting projects helping talent manage their careers and developing high level astounding events.”
The company has produced some exceptional students who have moved into doing voice over’s on radio and TV to actors leading Broadway roles. They recently hosted a NY Actor/Voice Over Showcase and at least fourteen of them have been called for agent meetings or immediate auditions.
There are so many success stories that came out of lau lapides company it is too long to list. Examples are people like voice over artist Mike Pollack who has amassed a great track record. Mike could be heard on everything from commercials to popular cartoons. His accomplishments include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as Garbageman, Sonic the Hedgehog video games and Sonic X, as Dr. Eggman and Ella, and Yu-Gi-Oh!GXas Bonaparte. Besides that he has also narrated shows like Pokémonand Marvel Motion comic adaptation of Astonishing X-Men.
Lau is always looking to build on her past success by developing new ideas for her clients. As she embarks on another stellar year she is far from accomplishing all she dreams of. The lau lapides company along with its leader are due for bigger and even brighter things.
by Nick Christophers