Lights, camera, action: Alumna stars in short film, wins ONIROS award for best supporting actress
From a chance opportunity to winning an ONIROS award for best supporting actress in “Attendance is Required,” Lauren Faulkner ’15 is making the most of her opportunities out west.
While at a casting studio for another audition, the director of “Attendance is Required” stopped Faulkner on her way out to see if she would do a cold reading.
“I didn’t know anything about the characters or the project,” Faulkner said. “I was going in blind and that was really fun for me. I stepped in and made some choices on the spot. I found out later that evening that I got the role.”
The role was that of Jacy, a waitress at a local restaurant. At the start of the short film, Jacy’s ex, Lonny, is upset at their break up and tells people that Jacy cheated on him. The film reaches its emotional climax during a heated exchange between Jacy and Lonny.
Faulkner enjoyed being able to play a character that the audience was led to initially dislike, saying that the experience “gives you a greater opportunity to voice who you are as a character and tell your whole story.”
“The big argument that ensues between [Jacy] and Lonny allows the audience to see a side of her that we hadn’t witnessed before,” Faulkner said. “I think it was a big twist. I liked turning things around for her and having the audience see her in a different light.”
In that heated scene, Faulkner wanted to come across as “organic and honest” in her portrayal of Jacy.
“In our heated exchange, I wanted to assume the higher status,” Faulkner said. “When that bomb is dropped on me that everyone in this room is under the impression that I cheated on him, it completely changes things for me.”
Radford gave me an excellent skillset. I felt extremely well rounded after having gone through the theater program. The arsenal of skills I learned have made me well-equipped for taking on various roles and new challenges, such as the role in the short film...I am extremely grateful for my Radford education.
After filming and initially viewing the project, Faulkner moved on in her career.
“When the news came that I had been nominated for the award, it was exciting and unexpected,” she said. “Then the news broke that I had won and it was astonishing...I think it is a nice little delicious listing on my resume now. It’s gotten me more traction in my career.”
Acting has always been in Faulkner’s blood. From a young age, she performed in community theater and school performances, which led her to Radford. After graduation, Faulkner moved to Los Angeles.
In March, Faulker was in a play that she said was one of her favorite roles she's played. "Pound Cake," a modern original written and directed by Tai French. In the play, Faulkner portrayed Morgan Hargrove, a "ritzy, stuck up and dramatic New Yorker...who was secretly very kind."
"My castmates were all more established actors who had a lot of different things going on in their careers," Faulkner said. "It was exciting to see how they approached their roles and rehearsal. [The play] was really well received."
Prior to appearing in "Pound Cake," Faulkner was in a communiuty theatre production in October 2017 which incorporated horror elements that won an award at the North Hollywood French Festival for Best Halloween Season Drama.
“I’m really happy with the direction in which I went,” Faulkner said. “I wouldn’t trade the education or the experiences that I had at Radford for anything or any other institute.”
After winning the ONIROS award for best supporting actress, Faulkner was asked to speak at Passion to Profession, a motivational speaking event hosted by CouchBros, a blog site to showcasing up and coming artists, on Aug. 4 at the Skyline Lofts in downtown Los Angeles.
"I’ll be speaking to other young artists about pursuing your ambitions," Faulkner said. "My level of confidence and how aggressively I’ve been pursing my career since then has changed. [Winning the ONIROS award has] given me a lot more confidence. I’m pursing my career more viciously than I had before."