With so many people involved with The Greenhouse from all over the world, we want to shine a spotlight on our various members so you can get to know them and all they’re up to.
The Greenhouse recently sat down with Laurine Price, an actor, writer, producer, and Greenhouse member in Los Angeles. She shared her thoughts about her current projects, inspiration & joy, and her creative process…
GH: How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
LP: I worked full-time as an I.T. project manager, while moonlighting as a musical theater actress. In faith, I switched gears and earned my post-grad degree in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and moved to L.A.
GH: Do you feel like having been in the corporate world has given you the ability to speak that language and the creative language at the same time?
LP: Yeah, definitely. It has helped me to be able to speak the language of (film) production. I know that it takes a team, and the efforts of
every single person. I also know that there’s so many things to think about, plan, and do (laughs)… And then one also knows union rules, which has really come to light, especially of late (with IATSE), but has always been important.
GH: What projects have you worked on that you are most proud of?
LP: Phoenix: lead actor, co-writer, producer. General Hospital: recurring character with pages and pages of dialogue, but she was a delicious character! When you’re doing a soap, this is the character you want to play! (laughing). American Crime Story: Versace: Worked with Ryan Murphy and Edgar Ramirez (actor), playing an opera singer in a famous opera Gianni Versace had costumed. The production values, music, lighting, and artistry were gorgeous… the final product (of these particular scenes) was glorious.
GH: What are you working on now? Is there anything you need to help keep that project moving forward?
LP: Yes! So much! Specifically: I have optioned a book and need to write a spec script for an hour-long pilot (which would be for a limited series). I would love a writing (and producing?) mentor who can share their processes. (What time do you write each day? How do you set deadlines for yourself?) I’m currently working with our investors, but I would love advice on finding distribution for our series Phoenix (indie television series), which is currently being shopped around. I am pitching another TV series that I wrote a pilot and treatment for. We’ve had some interest and would love to understand folks’ processes for finding production houses to pitch and sell to (while attaching myself as an actor).
GH: What is your dream project? And why?
LP: To produce and be a lead actor in a limited series for the book I’ve optioned. This project is special to me because it deals with a mixed-race Asian woman (which is what I am!) traveling the world and earning her place in society.
GH: What inspires you creatively? And why?
LP: Faith, overcoming, creativity, and music. These are all part of my own personal testimony.
In theater shows that I’ve done I was able to see people respond to the emotion, to the journey the character has on stage, and could see them relate and even start to work out things in their own lives. [Theater] was a different way to reach out to a community and help to heal people. I especially loved being in shows where children could come and then I’d get to meet the families at the stage door afterwards. It was really, really rewarding.
GH: What role does joy have in your creative process?
LP: Oh, it’s everything! Well, ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength,’ first of all. It’s when I have a lack of joy, then I don’t have the energy that propels me forward in a project… then it’s usually a slog. And it will also make me question – if I’m not finding some sort of joy in this, what’s the reason I’m doing this? Like, as an actor, if I’m deep diving into a dark character – why am I doing this? Is there a good reason? When I do something that’s going to affect my joy, I have to look at the (intended) outcome and see – what is it? What is the purpose? If there isn’t joy in the process, and if the outcome won’t reach or help somebody heal… then it will actually cause me to say ‘no’ to the project.
GH: And there’s such a difference between joy and happiness. Like you were talking about how you can dig down into a deep, dark character, but you can still find joy in that process. You may not be happy at the end of the day, but it’s such a different thing. And I think we get the two mixed up as artists way too much.
LP: Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a difference between joy and contentment, you know, being at peace. But then, there’s nothing wrong with having that gleeful joy! (laughs) It’s so great… It makes craft services taste better… (laughs)
GH: (laughs) … birds are singing…
LP: (laughs) … yeah, you know the wardrobe doesn’t quite fit, but… ‘Ah, that’s okay! It’s gonna be fine!’ (laughs) Yeah, it makes a difference. It [also] helps you make decisions when you’re producing: What’s going to bring joy to the crew? Because they’re working so hard…
GH: What themes do you like to explore as a creative?
LP: Passing. And overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Aren’t we all, in some sense of the word, “passing” for something in Hollywood (maybe even in life)? …
I would like my work to say, “I see you…” We’re going to make works that say, “I see you, the audience, and you can relate… and be okay… and embrace where you are and heal and walk into who you are…”
GH: Absolutely. There’s a healing that comes with that.
GH: And creating an environment where that healing is a natural part of – it should be a natural part of the creative process, but the way that Hollywood has set it up, it doesn’t happen that often. A lot of times it causes more wounds…
LP: Oh, my gosh, yeah…
GH: … and we need to create that environment where healing is natural.
LP: Totally! If I can add one thing to that thought… You know, when you play these deep, dark roles, they say you should, you know, [go] Method, and you should go back to this time in your life that was so painful and reopen all these wounds and pour that into your work… I saw this amazing Q&A for Arrival, and they were talking to Amy Adams about her process. She shared that like many other people and actors, she had worked through stuff and didn’t want to go back and reopen what she had healed from. Instead, she dove into a character by creating all new memories – their childhood memories, relationship memories…. even discovering what their favorite song was.
So all of those traumatizing things that happened to [Amy] in the film are very real to her in this world that she had created for her character. And then when the project is done, it’s done. (Closes her hands like a book.) And that is such a healthy approach! I’m like, “Oh! That’s wonderful!”
GH: Right, instead of being one of those Method actors where you are diving so deeply into the darkness that you can’t escape. And without naming any names, we’ve seen certain actors do it, and they never get out.
LP: Right! It’s true. You’re putting yourself in a place of hurt and not healing.
GH: What other creative professional would you like to work with?
LP: Writers, producers, actors.
GH: Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life and/or career?
LP: I think taking smart risks and stepping out in faith is necessary. Switching gears from a steady job and great income in I.T. to the entertainment industry was a huge risk. I also struggled with a strange Parkinsonian-type of sickness early in my career, but the Lord told me I would be healed and to go ahead with pursuing my dreams. And here we are!
To apply for a Greenhouse membership, click HERE. A membership gives you access to all sorts of discounts on workshops and creative services, the ability to join the Catalyst Writers Group for free, and all sorts of other benefits—including the opportunity to be highlighted here as well!
The Greenhouse Staff is made up of volunteers who spend their time and talents giving back to the arts & entertainment industry and community. These volunteers love to see creative professionals succeed.