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POP QUIZ – Lara Hayhurst

company078I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Hayhurst in the past and it was such a joy! I’m so happy to have her participate in today’s POP QUIZ! Lara is currently performing as April in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s current production, Company. Some cool things to know about Lara is that she was a Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest participant 10 years ago and is now a New Yorker with a BFA from Pace University. Some favorite credits include Kim in the National Tour of Bye Bye Birdie, Clara in The Light in the Piazza (Carbonell nomination, Best Supporting Actress), Dainty June in Gypsy and Amber in Hairspray (both at Fulton Theater), and Margot in Legally Blonde (Maine State). Locally she has been seen as Elle in Legally Blonde and Maria in The Sound of Music, both with Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
To learn more about Lara, visit her website here. And if you’d like to learn more about Pittsburgh Public Theater, check out their website, follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook. And now on with the quiz.

1. Which would you rather drink for the rest of your natural born life, pop or water?

My husband and I are on a huge water kick right now; so I’m going to be good and say water. However, there are certain healing powers in a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew that cannot be denied.

2. Which television show could you watch over and over and never get bored?

My favorite show of all time is Friday Night Lights, but the girls in my dressing room (Hannah Beth Shankman and Lee Harrington) and I have an act two ritual of watching Sex and the City on our iPads, which has been amazing, and really good research since the three of us play stylish single girls in NYC looking for love. That’s a good one to watch at the gym too; whenever I hop on the treadmill and see they’re doing a marathon on E! I get so excited. 

3. Team Marvel Comics or Team DC Comics?

Team My Little Pony?

4. If you could have any super hero save you, who would it be and why?

My husband has always had a love for Superman, so I’ll go with him.  And if it happened to be Henry Cavill in the suit, I’d be cool with that, too.

5. Which quote is the one you live by: “To thine own self be true”, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.”, or “Draw me like one of your French girls.”

As a HUGE F. Scott Fitzgerald geek (little know Lara fact: I minored in Literature in college, specializing in American Literature of the 1920’s), I have to go with the Gatsby, even though I’m not quite sure if you can repeat the past. You can certainly learn from it and make more informed decisions next time though, Mr. Carraway!

6. Which book best sums up your philosophies on life?

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. This was one of my favorite films growing up, and I when I read the book in college it changed my life.  Word on the street in NYC is they’re turning it into a musical, and if I do not play the Childlike Empress when it comes to Broadway, I will be devastated.

7. If you could bring any fictional person to life and ask him or her a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

8. What is the most attractive quality in the opposite sex?

Kindness, attentiveness, humor, listening skills, culinary skills!

9. What is the least attractive quality in the opposite sex?

Self importance

10. Which would you choose: being a billionaire at a job you hated or making $20,000 doing your life’s passion?

Well, I’m currently doing the latter, and I have to tell you it’s pretty great! I’d be lying if I said not worrying about next month’s rent isn’t stressful, but keeping your heart open and happy by doing what you love radiates back into the world, and that’s priceless.

11. Define what the word “fear” means to you.

My favorite kind of fear is the productive kind; the kind that means you’re growing. You should always be touched with a tiny bit of fear in your pursuits, I think, because living with excitement on the precipice of your fear means you’re growing for the better in whatever career you choose. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t want to poop your pants JUST a little bit, you’re not working hard enough.

12. Define what the word “happiness” means to you.

A calm, confident, content feeling inside yourself that comes when you are loved and loving, giving and getting, in the right proportions.

13. Which is more fulfilling: the moment of creating art, or the moment of sharing it with the world?

Sharing it, for sure. That’s my job as an actor, to tell a story.

14. Which is more difficult: the first rejection from an industry insider or the first negative review from your audience?

I don’t think either are really that important. Rejection is part of our lives every day, and the thing you need to learn is that 9.5 times out of 10 the rejection has nothing to do with your personal abilities. Rejection is usually due to things beyond your control. If you show up prepared, joyful, and do you best, rejection by a critic or casting director is irrelevant, and you should be proud of the work you’ve presented.

15. Is there anyone in your life that you love but are afraid to tell how you feel?

I think we’re all guilty of not expressing our love as freely as we should! The old addage “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it” should be put into practice in reverse. If you have something nice to say, say it quick before the moment passes!

16. Who do you admire most in your professional life?

Well, at present I’m surrounded by a cast, director, and artistic team that I think the WORLD of and am in awe of everyday, but I admire any artist who keeps fighting the good fight and supports themselves doing what they love for a long and healthy career. Fame and fortune aside; if you are making a living and loving your art, that’s a life to be proud of.

17. Who do you admire most in your personal life?

Two women in my life, one an aunt and one a mentor, both lost their husbands recently. They have both continued on with their lives in such a joyful, courageous way that honors the memory of their husbands and celebrates the family and friends they have to support and love them. That is a grace I admire and hope to personify.

18. To be successful in your field, what traits do you think a person needs to have?

Bob Fosse said you need two of the three: luck, talent, and perseverance, in any combination.  I think a positive attitude, amazing friends, and a healthy sense of humor can help, too. 

19. What motivates you most?

Seeing my peers flourish and thrive; it inspires me to be better!

20. What will you be doing next?

Let me grab my crystal ball!  Just kidding- after Company closes on the 23rd I’m here in town doing a few projects until early March, then back home to NYC for the rest of our heavy audition season, and hopefully some exciting announcements for this summer! But let me tell you, Company has filled my tank with enough love and joy to keep me running for a long, long time. I’m forever grateful. 



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