Guest Actor Blog: LAURYN CANTU

I did An Oak Tree just a few weeks into my final semester of conservatory-style Acting training, and it couldn’t have been timed better. Training has pushed me to my limits – it has destroyed and recreated my approach to the craft several times over. I always thought that by my fourth year I would feel completely prepared to go out into the world, but I found that in fact I had never felt further away from what I love to do. I felt like I had acquired every skill I came for, but somehow I lost the only thing I came in with – courage.

Tim changed that for me. The opportunity to do this play was a chance to face my biggest fear. As soon as I signed on, I had a thought that has become all too familiar to me, “What if it’s not good?” And for the first time it really occurred to me what an enormous waste of energy that thought is, and how much it costs me to have it. From that point on, the weirdest thing happened, it wasn’t the nerves that killed me, it was my curiosity in the story. That was the most amazing part for me, really. It was just how that shift of attention drove me, drove the show right into lights down.

I could reiterate everything the other actors on this page have to say about the experience. It’s liberating, beautiful, candid, poignantly written. I can’t get over how lucky I was to try my hand at it, really. Tim was my favorite kind of playmate -energetic and open, generous and committed; his script was my favorite kind of playground – the fun parts and the dangerous parts almost indistinguishable because it moves so fast there is no time to think or fear.
The paycheck I got for An Oak Tree was my first paycheck as a professional actor, and that check seems more a diploma to me than any piece of paper from my school, because it came from a project that gave me the secret ingredient to the completion of my training.

So thank you Tim, Dan, everyone at the Odyssey, it was really the best day of my life, and an experience that I will always carry with me.


LAURYN CANTU performed in An Oak Tree at The Odyssey Theatre on Sunday, January 31st, 2010.

Lauryn Cantu is currently finishing up her fourth year in USC’s BFA Acting Program. Roles at USC include Diana in “Diana of Dobson’s”, Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice”, Alexa in “As Bees in Honey Drown”, Candy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Hecuba in “The Trojan Women 2.0”. Today she is grateful and thrilled to participate in such a wonderfully unique piece of theatre.


One Response to “Guest Actor Blog: LAURYN CANTU”

  1. Nikki on November 18th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Lauryn is an incredibly talented actress who deserves nothing but the best!

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