Photography by Bailey Edwards
When you think of the quintessential California girl, actress and producer Kristi Lauren comes to mind. Born in Calabasas and raised in the valley, her love for theatrics started at an early age. It was her mother that recognized her potential and enrolled her in acting lessons.
The rest as they say, is history.
The 28-year-old actress’s outlook on life is wise beyond her years. While she is competitive in the world of acting, she stays grounded by knowing there is enough space for everyone in the business, “It’s an abundant world out there, and you have to be open to the… possibility”.
Kristi has kept busy acting in tv shows Eighty- six, I Hate My Teenage Daughter and Mimosas with Millie and most recently she worked on an independent short film called Don’t Fan the Fames Bitch, a story about a drag queen trying to find a way to celebrate themselves in the social media era. Kristi also produced mega talented artist Caroline Polacheck’s new music video called Billions.
“I used to make up these ridiculous stories growing up – my favorite was telling my first grade teacher I had to wear these 1970’s style costume sunglasses…because I was colorblind”
TO: What was your first breakthroughrole?
KL: I was a series regular on the FOX sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter. My character was Sophie Watson, and my mother Annie was played by Jaime Pressley. I remember watching the show My Name is Earl with my parents, telling them that one day I was going to work with her. I was manifesting and didn’t even know it!
TO: Did you always want to be an actress? Or did you have a defining moment.
My parents knew I was meant to act before I did. I used to make up these ridiculous stories growing up – my favorite was telling my first grade teacher I had to wear these 1970’s style costume sunglasses with tinted pink lenses in class because I was “colorblind.” When my parents enrolled me in improv classes and theater I couldn’t get enough of it. It wasn’t until I got older that it was something I wanted to pursue professionally.
TO: How do you prepare for an audition?
KL: I love to make music playlists for my characters. Music is such an intimate and specific way to get to know a person and I think people’s preferences really say a lot about them. I often surprise myself at how quickly I’m able to connect with a character and observe their likes and dislikes in music and no two playlists are the same, ever. Music also inspires movement in me, so listening to my character’s playlist while I’m going through the motions of my day, separate from studying the scenes, really helps the character become a part of me. This would be useless if I didn’t tirelessly obsess over the text! I am given a script for a reason.
TO: If you could give some sage advice to an up-and-coming actress, what would it be?
KL: Find your community within the industry and stay open minded. Make friends with other artists and create together. I love producing content whether it’s with friends or people who inspire me. It keeps me creative and I never leave a set without learning at least one thing.
TO: Do you think women have more power (on sets) today than they did 5-10 years ago?
KL: Definitely! I’ve been given opportunities to work and have dialogues with countless incredible women in the entertainment industry and it’s so encouraging to see that not only are there more women in places of power, but sometimes, they’re even younger than me. It’s a great reminder that if you want something and are willing to work hard for it, the sky’s the limit. Women are tough and inspiring and there’s nothing sexier than a woman fighting through her story. It excites me that marginalized voices are starting to be heard now more than ever, but I think a lot more space should be made to celebrate these voices.
“Women are tough and inspiring and there’s nothing sexier than a woman fighting through her story.”
TO: It looks like you have a lot of fun playing Lily in the tv show Eighty-Sixed, do you relate to her character in real life?
KL: I relate to her passion and intensity for what she loves but she has no filter when it comes to speaking her mind, as opposed to me who is such an over-thinker, but that’s probably why I love Lily so much. I’m waiting for a revival!
TO: What projects do you have lined up for 2022?
KL: I just recently produced Caroline Polachek’s music video Billions and I’m really proud of how that turned out. I’m currently working on Don’t Fan The Flames B***, a short film about a drag queen dealing with cancel culture, which is going to do the festival circuit. Keep an eye out for me on the new season of TNT’s Animal Kingdom!
TO: You are a native LA girl, what are your favorite spots?
KL: This is a very embarrassing question for me. My absolute favorite LA spot is my house! My home has a ridiculous amount of yard space so I spend countless hours gardening. I wake up every morning and run outside to greet my flowers and can’t wait to meet my brussels sprouts. When I do leave my house I love hunting for vintage at places like The Bearded Beagle or Foxhole. My dad and I would spend as many weekends as we could at the beach when I was little. We would boogie board and look at the tide pools so the Southern California coast will always have a special place in my heart.
“There’s something so special about hearing the wind blow through tree branches and seeing the occasional deer or critter enjoying itís day near you. It’s such a beautiful reminder that our world has so much abundance if you open your eyes to it and leave technology at home.”
TO: How to you keep fit mentally and physically?
KL: The past year has really pushed me to experience the nature in Los Angeles. My boyfriend and I love to go on hikes in Angeles Crest because there are so many paths to choose from that most of the time you’ll never see another soul. There’s something so special about hearing the wind blow through tree branches and seeing the occasional deer or critter enjoying it’s day near you. It’s such a beautiful reminder that our world has so much abundance if you open your eyes to it and leave technology at home.
TO: Favorite beauty product you cannot live without?
I recently was able to try the new collection of makeup from Neen and I am so excited for their release. I’ve already burned through my “Babe Cheek/Lip Tint” so you can bet the second their website is live it will be sold out immediately because I will have bought every container they have available.
Follow Kristi Lauren on Instagram and FB: @kristilauren
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Tara Owens, Beauty Editor and Brand Consultant, began her modeling career at 15 years old and shortly after began a love affair with the beauty industry.