“Why don’t we just wear that?” : A Chat with Lauren Molina

Kevin Ray Johnson

Lauren Molina is an actress, singer, and songwriter who can currently be seen Off-Broadway in Desperate Measures as Bella Rose at New World Stages. Her performance earned her an Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. 

 Joseph Wallace, Lauren Molina, and Justin Rothberg in  Desperate Measures  (Carol Rosegg)

Joseph Wallace, Lauren Molina, and Justin Rothberg in Desperate Measures (Carol Rosegg)

When Lauren was a kid, she wanted to be a veterinarian. However, music has always been a part of her life. “My father is the principal bassist for the Detroit Symphony and my mother is a dance teacher," she said. "So it’s always been in my blood and it’s where my passion has always been."

Lauren’s time with Desperate Measures has been nothing short of amazing. She's been with the show since its first workshops. “It’s a wonderful feeling to get to originate roles and when you are given a long journey with the show, it’s refreshing to have the opportunity to continue digging deeper into the character," she says. 

Anyone who does theatre, has that moment that didn’t go the way it was supposed to go (to say the least). Lauren tells an amazing story of something that happened during a show:

“I had a wardrobe malfunction during a performance once that happened to be getting recorded for archives. So after the show, they asked the audience to stay for me to redo the number with a correctly functioning costume. That was a surprising yet memorable moment.”

 Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley as The Skivvies

Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley as The Skivvies

Lauren's attire would again prove to be a life-altering factor years later. In 2003, she and her best friend, Nick Cearley, created their music group, The Skivvies. The duo has quickly become one of the most popular acts in the area not only due to their vocal stylings but the fact that their wardrobe consists of....well...just their skivvies. 

“One day in 2011 we were creating music in my living room like we always do and I was deciding what to wear because we were putting the song up on YouTube," Lauren says. "I was looking through my closet, deciding what to wear while wearing my bra and Nick said, “why don’t you just wear that?” And I thought, “Hm. We are stripping down the music. What if we stripped down literally and never commented on it." And poof, The Skivvies were born. Every show is very different so it’s always one of a kind. It would be hard to pin point one memorable show because they are just all full of so many highlights. It’s really cool to create this kind of thing with your best friend. It’s like the day job!”

In 2005 Lauren made her Broadway debut in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. This is a show that has stayed near and dear to her heart. She stated that “Sweeney Todd was very special to me because it was my Broadway debut! Creating the role of Johanna in the 2005 John Doyle directed actor musician concept was summed up best from Patti Lupone on the first day when she said “congratulations Lauren! It only goes downhill from here because this is as good as it gets.” 

 Lauren Molina

Lauren Molina

Lauren is a graduate of The University of Michigan and she credits her time there, especially one of her mentors Mark Madama, in leaving a strong impact on her life. “Mark encouraged me to always do my own thing and be myself," she says. "He told me to always make strong choices as an actor. He was always very supportive and it helped me build confidence as an artist. He also said that after an audition, it’s important to shake it off and never dwell. He said get yourself ice cream or go shopping. Take your mind off worrying about something you can’t control. Let stressful things roll off and you will thrive in the business.”

Lauren has some strong solid advice for young performers who want to get into the business. “Don’t try to be like anyone else. Hone what makes you unique. Special skills are more important than you’d ever imagined and uniqueness matters so stay true to yourself.”

To learn more about this very talented actress visit – www.laurenmolina.com

For more about her group The Skivvies visit – www.theskivviesnyc.com

And more Desperate Measure please visit – www.desperatemeasuresmusical.com & Check out the promo video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQz0TjdHPpk