Kaitlin Lawrence (BFA Musical Theatre ’11), returned to the stage in Gainesville this year as Dorothy Brock in the touring cast of 42nd Street. Here, Lawrence talks about theatre, yoga and following her bliss.
When did you become interested in performing?
KL: I came out of the womb singing. I became more serious in fourth grade when I auditioned for the Pensacola Children’s Chorus. I was with the chorus for nine years, and then, through that I naturally went into drama. Then I was auditioning for colleges and got into UF. One thing just led to another!
Who or what inspires you?
KL: The people who are comfortable in their skin and are not afraid to make mistakes. Those are the people I like to be around. My guilty pleasure is watching videos of some of the best and most comfortable performers like Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Jessie Mueller. They inspire me.
Theatre, television or film?
KL: At this moment, my heart is in theatre, but I hope to dabble in everything. The sky is the limit!
What has been your most memorable moment so far?
KL: One of the most memorable moments I have had thus far is when I did the Gator Chomp during my bow at my performance at the Phillips Center this past year. Another moment is when we opened in Chicago. It was such a beautiful theatre and a seasoned audience. I felt so proud and so lucky to be living my dream.
What are your pre-show rituals?
KL: Yoga of course! A newer ritual is that I like to sit in-house before the half hour call. I like to sit in the audience, watch the crew work their magic and just relax. It’s quiet alone-time that you don’t get on tour often.
What do you hope to one day accomplish? Big dreams or goals?
KL: At this point in my life the only thing I can count on is change. I am trying to stay open to what the universe brings my way. I know I learn the most by doing what scares me, and I want to continue to do that. I want to follow my bliss. If it leads away from the theatre so be it, but hopefully that leads me to Broadway! (laughs)
What was your biggest takeaway from UF?
KL: Never just one way to do anything. The University of Florida offers so many tools and techniques to its students to implement in ways that best serve them and their practice.
What is something people don’t know about you?
KL: In college, I was really struggling with anxiety. One thing that changed my life was a group mediation class through the Counseling and Wellness Center. It literally changed everything about me and made me a better person on and off the stage. I became more grounded and comfortable in my own skin. I would not be where I am today had it not been for that class. I hope students use those resources because places like the Counseling and Wellness Center are really awesome!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
KL: Do not compare yourself to others. Every human being has their own special gift and you have to trust in your gift. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Falling down and rejection is part of being human, but it’s the getting back up and continuing to follow your dreams that makes you successful!
Keep up with the latest from Kaitlin on her website.