When I decided I wanted to bring seven scenes from Waiting at Hayden’s to life so readers could watch all the key moments in the book unfold, one of the first things I did was reach out to Portland based acting coach, Karen Lavoie, to see if she had any students she could put me in touch with.
Five of Karen’s students starred in the video clips found in the story: Rachel Dewees, Crystal Smart, Elijah Price, Meredith Esquivel, Sylvia Gercke, and Karen herself even made an appearance. Not only were her students professional, dynamic, and prepared, they were all confidently themselves, a skill they’ve honed in Karen’s classes.
Rachel and Crystal Wearing VDV The Label in Waiting at Hayden’s
I’d always thought of acting as stepping into another person’s shoes, forgetting yourself, and playing the role of a character, but when I caught up with Karen recently in an interview, I was surprised to find that when students walk through her door she tells them, “No acting please!”
She describes acting as a form of self-expression. “It’s about freeing yourself from the masks and labels that we normally wear,” she told me, something that is particularly relevant and important in our current social media obsessed culture–we’re wearing more masks and being stereotyped more than ever before.
Students sign up for her classes for all sorts of reasons (and you too can sign up with this special offer here). Some are hoping to break into the entertainment industry, others are there to become more confident in public speaking, and others are trying to find themselves. All walk away cultivating a strong sense of self.
In Karen’s classes she helps students express their own creativity through someone else. “I’m helping people own who they truly are, so they can be successful in all walks of life.”
These are life skills that go way beyond the classroom, the stage, and the big screen and my conversation with Karen reminded me why I love to do my own work. Writing through the perspective of other people helps me learn more about life, myself, the world around me, and how I fit into it.
Whether you’re wanting to act or are interested in becoming more aligned with your true self, you can get in touch with Karen here. She offers life coaching in addition to acting services and is passionate about helping everyone live to be her truest self!
Meredith Esquivel (on the left) starring in Waiting at Hayden’s
Sylvia Gercke, also one of Karen’s students, played the role of Mary Pat in Waiting Hayden’s
If you have any additional questions about Karen’s acting classes, leave a comment below!