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Meet Lauren Mayo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Mayo.

Lauren, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It’s funny how finding yourself in adulthood is simply getting back to who you were and what you loved as a child. I always had aspirations to pursue acting and hosting but I took a different route. Other than one theatre class in high school, I didn’t participate in theatre growing up. My mom strongly discouraged it actually. She said I could do whatever I wanted after I graduated college so that’s what I did. I studied journalism, economics and sports media on a full academic scholarship. As a senior in college, I booked a role as a dancer on an MTV show filming in Atlanta. I skipped classes to travel to Atlanta and film. After being on set, I was even more determined to pursue acting. Once I graduated, I got into acting classes and started auditioning while working a full time corporate job. The first audition I had I booked. It was a web series that gained over a million views on YouTube. I continued to study the craft, create content and book projects and plays in Atlanta.

Then, one day I decided to buy a one-way flight to LA. Zero planning went into my extended visit to LA. I left most of my things and my car in Atlanta. I didn’t have any savings, a job lined up or a place to stay. I just went. I wouldn’t advise this route, because it isn’t for everyone but, for me, I knew it was sink or swim and that I would swim. I just knew I needed to be here. Within a month, I booked a play, a Universal Studios commercial, found a sublet and started working in production at NBC on The Voice. Things were actually working out and, amidst the chaos of it all, I felt happier than I had in years. I felt I was walking in my purpose. Within a year, I had representation, bookings under my belt and I was finding my tribe. Currently, I am auditioning and just wrapped a lead role in an indie film. I run my own media and strategy consulting company. I am a freelance writer and I host weekly shows and cover red carpets and events for various outlets. When I moved, I didn’t think I would be interviewing Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock, but I am. It is crazy exciting and I am super grateful for what I have and what is to come.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, but I am extremely blessed for all of the opportunities and lessons this road has given me thus far. I don’t think a completely smooth road is worth traveling… where’s the fun in that? As you can imagine, moving cross country alone with no family, no friends, no place to live, no money, no job or no clue what to do next, can present a series of obstacles, or as I prefer to call them opportunities to learn. However, the biggest challenge would be the mental tolls of pursuing your dreams. It is not like becoming a doctor or a lawyer. There is no defined route to success with specific benchmarks and requirements and the uncertainty can feel daunting at times. Especially when your family and friends cannot relate. The audition process, whether for acting or hosting, is literally like going to a job interview and often not hearing anything back — no feedback or explanations on why it didn’t work out. Coping with months and years of feeling uncertain requires immense resilience and belief in yourself and your gifts. It is essential to know who you are, what you want it and why you want it. For me, it is vital to celebrate the small wins and to remember to be kind to myself. Building a tribe of like minded, positive people as a support system and creating a life outside of your craft are very helpful too. When what you love to do is also your career, it can quickly become all-consuming and not in a mentally healthy way. Finding what balances, you and what fuels you is key. It’s a marathon not a race.

Please tell us about your work.
I am an actress, on-air host, journalist, entrepreneur and fan of kind people with big dreams. I am a lover of all thing’s entertainment, self-care, beauty, business and pop culture. Currently, I host weekly shows on the Black Hollywood Live network and Afterbuzz TV network including a new panel style show, Black Instagram, for which I cover business news. Additionally, I am a freelance red carpet host and I cover red carpet events and premieres for various outlets. When I’m not in front of the camera or on the red carpet, I am collaborating and creating social content with major brands like Universal Music Group, Chick-fil-A, and Band of Coders under my strategy consulting business, Mayo Media Management. I also have a self titled YouTube channel and I am acting in and producing a new web series. In summary, whether telling a story from script, finding the story in a red-carpet interview or helping brands that I believe in tell their stories as an entrepreneur, I am a storyteller.

What were you like growing up? Personality wise, interest wise, etc.
Growing up, I was fearless, resourceful, compassionate, resilient and creative. I was a happy kid and I was surrounded by love. I was passionate about storytelling, reading, writing, history and art. Dance was my first love and will always hold a special place in my heart. My first job and first internship were as a dance teacher. In school, I cheered, played volleyball, ran track and took advanced placement and honors classes. I was super into everything; I was literally voted ‘most involved’. I also was a tomboy and loved to play football. In fact, in fifth grade, I presented a project on how I would create the WNFL, complete with a slideshow presentation of statistics and mock up jerseys — I was committed. My favorite hobbies were writing, creating ‘commercials’ with my family and conducting sit down interviews with out of town relatives during the holidays. I would hold post-game interviews for my uncles and cousins after their old v. young basketball games against each other. I laugh thinking about it now because it’s insane how full circle it is.

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Image Credit:
Mayo Media Group, FelaImages

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