We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Shun Lauren. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Shun below.
Shun, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Did you always know you wanted to pursue a creative or artistic career? When did you first know?
I have always loved performing arts! I believe I knew I wanted to pursue a career in acting when I saw childhood actress, Rae’Ven Larrymore Kelly in A Time To Kill and Jurnee Smollett in Eve’s Bayou. At that time, I was twelve years old and told my grandmother that I could do what I saw those kids doing on television. I have always loved becoming another person on stage, even as a kid.
I pursued an artistic career because I always enjoy discovering a part of me that is hidden under the layers of who I am in everyday life. Being able to express a different level of yourself without judgement has always been an exciting part of my journey as an actor.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I am a professional actor. I have been performing since I was eight years old. I was born in Dallas, Texas. My love for the arts has to do with my mom, introducing me to music and movies. I started in the industry singing in talent shows in Port Huron, Michigan. I grew up across from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
My grandmother invested a lot of time and money into me attending acting and modeling school monthly and sometimes going to auditions too. I have to say I was blessed to have a childhood where I was afforded the opportunity of stability but I definitely spent a lot of time practicing singing and rehearsing in my room as a kid and teenager. I loved performing a lot. As I went onto high school, I was very involved in many theater productions and awarded as well for my acting. All of these opportunities have brought me to where I am as a professional actor now in films on Amazon and upcoming series being released.
The journey to becoming a professional actor has definitely not been easy. There are so many challenges that an actor faces when developing a career in the entertainment business. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this business is humility, preparation and faith. When I think about all of the auditions I have done since I was twelve years old and for every NO there was an opened door that prepared for an opportunity with a YES. This business is full of rejection and you have to at some point create a thick skin to make it in this business. Now that is definitely easier said than done but it must be done. It is up to you to put in the work for your dreams. No one is ever going to hand you anything without a price, which is why having control over my career is very important. Yes, I am represented by a wonderful talent agency but I definitely continue to find my own opportunities as well to grow and learn as an actor.
I have wonderful acting coaches and mentors as well as friends who are in the business that I ask questions and constructive criticism that will help along the way. Auditions are a big part of this business so brace yourself!
What I would like the world to know about me is that my life as an actor simply started with faith in myself and believing that God would align my dedication and talent with the universe to allow me to take part in the gift of acting. I have never wanted to be a famous actor but a successful actor who understands the craft and respects the craft.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
There are two rewarding aspects of being an actor for me:
One of the most rewarding aspect of being an actor, would be the point where I am able to apply all my research, personal notes from my director and rehearsals with my cast mates and see how my character unfolds on stage or in a film.
I am always amazed at how God has given me a career, in which I can walk in other people shoes with empathy and becoming less judgmental of each characters story.
The second rewarding aspect of being an actor, would be reading positive reviews about your performance in articles.
Now, not every review written, will pay homage to your hard work in preparation of the character portrayed, but it is great to see your dedication and commitment to tell the story received well on different platforms.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I have been in the business acting for a very long time. I have learned so much about who I am as an individual through my craft. It is very interesting how God and the universe will bring specific projects my way to either teach me something about myself, other individuals or to heal from past and present trauma in my life.
I am currently on this journey of truly understanding self-love and being led by the Spirit. I recently was cast in this powerful production, How To Be Project: Ten plays for Racial Injustice, directed by Morgana Wilborn at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center with a very talented cast of individuals. Two of my roles, calls for me to embody very strong and energetic story tellers, Oba William King and August Wilson. I open and close the show with these powerful stories, Water Fountain, 1967, written by Oba William King, and Hey, Asshat! by Jonathan Norton, which pays homage to talented playwright, August Wilson.
I truly was excited to portray two amazing individuals, who have created a pathway for me to stand on their shoulders, through the arts, as well as the other two productions, Classes by Paula Sanders and A Good Neighborhood by Alle Mims.
But portraying Oba William King and August Wilson really made me feel overwhelmed as an actor.
My director, Morgana Wilborn was a huge blessing in creating a space for me and the rest of the amazing cast to explore and embody the roles we were cast in this production.
Portraying Oba William King and August Wilson, truly made me show up for myself as an actor and in my personal life.
Mr. Oba William King is still living and meeting him in person was an honor but also scary because his story was three pages long!!!!! Now, I am an actor and I have trained and performed with many scripts that include a lot of dialogue, but opening and closing an impactful production like the How To Be Project, was definitely no joke!
I have learned that as an actor to trust myself more and to allow the Spirit to move in me to capture the essence of another person, when telling a story. Sometimes, as an actor, we rely on a lot of research to help guide us but Oba William King’s story was different for me and I had to really push myself as an actor to move out of my comfort zone. The interesting part of this journey, while doing this production, is witnessing how these powerful stories are parallel to my own life.
Walking in your purpose is a blessing and I am so grateful that God gave me the gift of acting to express myself.
Creative expression through art is powerful. To be able to be a vessel through acting and to help others see themselves or question their own perspective is nothing short of amazing.
- Website: www.imdb.me/shunlauren
- Instagram: sdc2013
- Facebook: Shun Lauren
- Linkedin: Shun Lauren
- Twitter: @shunlauren1
- Other: Represented by Pastorini-Bosby Talent Agency: pbtalent.com Management: Sarni J.
Brent Weber Photo Noire