Lauren Gottlieb Q&A
This season, So You Think You Can Dance has a bit of a twist to it. Along with the regular contestants, the show includes a group of All Stars - past contestants who have come back to give tips, advice and support to the new dancers. Lauren Gottlieb is one of the All Stars, and we got to talk to her about the show, her career and life in general!
What projects are you working on right now?
Currently I'm working on SYTYCD Season 7 as one of the All Star dancers. It's pretty much going to take up the whole summer to do the show. I was basically asked back when they decided to switch up the format of the show. This year they've got 11 contestants; there's normally 10, five girls and five guys, but they couldn't decided between two of the boys. So there's the dancers that are competing and then there are 12 All Stars from past seasons. We all fill specific genres, like jazz and hip hop, and we're there to provide help and support to the competitors!
You've also been on GLEE - what was it like being on the set of THAT show?!
Oh, it was so much fun! GLEE's amazing, I was so lucky to be part of the pilot episode of the show, even before it became such a huge hit. Actually, when we were taping the show, after I'd auditioned and got the part, I hadn't ever heard of it. But the producer came onto the set and told us a bit about it, and we could all see it in his eyes and just in the way that he talked that it was going to be the biggest show of the decade. We totally knew that it was real. Basically, my part was as one of the members of the rival crew. But off the set, when everyone was just being themselves, everyone was so cool and down to earth. They're all really real, normal people. So it was really, really great to be a part of something like that.
How did you get the part on GLEE?
I auditioned for it. It was actually a huge audition, and there were ay least 200 people that showed up. Out of those they only picked 20 kids, so I feel really lucky to have been picked. But even though GLEE's really well known for the music, there's tons of dancing on the show and pretty much every show needs new dancers, so there's ongoing opportunity for anyone out there who's got dancing talent and wants to try out for the show.
How did you get started in show biz?
Well, I started dancing at seven. I was a total tomboy so my mom put me in dancing! But after my very first dance recital I just loved that feeling of being on stage. After my recital even my mom could tell that it had really had a big impact on me to be up there dancing in front of people. So, because I grew up in Arizona we would drive to LA so I could take summer classes and ever since then I've pretty much been counting down the years until I could move to LA. I just always knew what I wanted to do and I always had this gut feeling that I was going to do it - I think that's the biggest reason I've been able to come this far.
What advice would you give kids who lover to sing, dance or act and wanna make it to Hollywood?
Growing up I was in a lot of competitions, like dance competitions, and those always had one winner, who was the "best dancer." What I would say to kids is not to get discouraged by things like that. Even if you're not the top winner, you can't let all the downs bring you down, because you never know when it's going to be your time. Besides, it's not always the best dancer that gets the part. Lots of times they're looking for a certain hair color, a certain shape, a certain ethnicity, and you've got that special something they're looking for, then you could be the next "big thing," you know? Everyone ends up finding their path, that's what I believe, so just don't ever give up!
Is it nice being on SYTYCD and not having to compete?
YES! But even though as All Stars you're no longer competing, you still wanna do your best, so there's still some pressure attached to it. But overall it's much more relaxing not having to worry about getting voted off! Plus, it's nice to be on the other side of things for a change. We're kind of around the contestants to help them calm those nerves, because we were in their shoes at one point, after all, so we really know what they're feeling like!
What's your ultimate goal? I want to be an actress, and I'm working really hard toward that. There have definitely been more opportunities lately, but I definitely am looking to be able to combine all different art forms, sort of like on GLEE.
How do you stay connected to your fans?
Mostly through my website, at www.lauren-gottlieb.com. It's so much fun to hear from everyone out there and to write back to them. I'm also on Twitter and Facebook, and one of my favorite things to do is to give as much advice and support as possible to anyone who writes in to me. I'm really big on being open and giving back to my fans, since they're the ones supporting me through all of this.