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Loren Kinsella in Interview

Actress Loren Kinsella Emmy® Considered/Award Winning actress and series regular. Born in New Orleans trained at NOCCA and RADA. Loves Film/TV and Theater.

By Jules Lavallee

Share your background. When did you discover your love for acting?

I’m pretty sure I was born with it! I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was put into dance class from the time I could stand and was literally on stage by the age of two. Don’t get me wrong, my mom isn’t a ‘stage mom’ or anything like that, it’s just what you do in New Orleans when you’d like your kid to grow up with grace. That and the fact that my skin is so pale it’s almost transparent kept me from doing a lot of outdoor sports. I suppose you can say my love for performance began at the moment I was on that stage, and since then I have never looked back. My first speaking role on stage was in the First Grade production of Mikey Goes To Space where I booked the coveted one-line role of Long Tail (the mouse) and I still know that line to the day. I was so into my character and wrapped up in the experience that I nearly forgot to say it!

My first on-screen experience came at the tender age of six when I shot a physical fitness commercial. I was a shoe-in for that role because despite being in constant dance classes, I was a pudgy little kid. I was featured quite a bit in that commercial, rather embarrassing now that I think about it. Whatever the case, that was it, I was in hook, line, and sinker. I had planned my entire career by the age of nine. No kidding. I even wrote an ‘adaptation’ of my favorite novel to send to Steven Spielberg at the same age. No, it didn’t get made, but I’m still convinced it would be a great kid’s movie. Greatly disappointing my father who wanted me to be a pro golfer (but come on, there’s so much sun outside) and following my passion for dance, I trained with the famous Giacobbe Academy in New Orleans, eventually joining Delta Festival Ballet, where I rose to soloist level. My dance career kept me on my toes, performing in numerous ballets and two Broadway shows. Growing up in such a prestigious ballet company really took its toll. Because I was a pudgy kid, I had to struggle with ongoing eating disorders and constant injuries. One injury was so serious that I had to spend an entire year recovering. During that time I also had to fight a battle with debilitating depression. Thankfully, all of that is behind me. And to be honest, the more recent belief system in the American dance community is more focused on the health and strength of the dancer and not just the thin, long lines that were the mainstay for ballet for so long. We’ve come a long way, baby!

For high school, I continued in the performing vein, attending the prestigious New Orleans Center For The Creative Arts (NOCCA). I can still remember my audition and how nerve-wracking it had been. I couldn’t believe they accepted me. ME! I graduated from there, and then eventually found my way to the world-renown Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Along the way, I picked up a BA, MFA, and a DFA, all with Theater and TV/Film as the focus. It’s crazy what we do to keep our parents happy, isn’t it?

One thing that crept into my life’s journey that my nine-year-old self was not expecting was my love for Martial Arts. While dancing professionally, I lived and trained at the Wah Lum Kung-Fu Academy under the tutelage of Living Legend Master Pui Chan. Talk about rigorous! A regular day would begin with a Kung-Fu class, a quick shower, off to dance for an eight-hour day, another shower, back to Kung-Fu class, back to dance class, then on to tumbling class- and that was just Tuesday! I trained my tail off, always striving to be the best I can, I was rewarded by being able to compete for the United States at the 2001 Zhengzhou International Martial Arts Festival in Zhengzhou, China. I didn’t win, but I was ranked 6th in the world for that year.

I relocated to Los Angeles in the early 2000s. Since being here, I’ve performed in many feature films, television, and theater shows, I’ve written and directed television shows and films, and worked for several years as a video game tester (yes, that’s a thing!). I won the best actress awards at various film festivals, mostly for my role as Deloras (an aging dancer wondering how she got where she was) and I was even considered for a Prime Time Emmy Award®! (I’m still having a hard time believing that.)

How has creativity played a role in your acting?

Creativity is the driving force behind what I do. Even in the most constricted, fully defined characters on paper, there is a creative element. I often find, actually, that the more restricted the role the more creative it is. There is such an exciting element behind watching a fully fleshed-out character. We relate to them. It’s the creativity that helps us to relate. Anyone can play ‘Dana The Bus Driver’, but who is he/she? Does he or she love busses and that’s why they went on to become a bus driver? Or was it something that they fell into because other options didn’t work out? Do they enjoy helping people get to where they need to go? Are they stuck in a place in their childhood where they only hear the song ‘The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round’? It can go on and on. Creativity within the character is transforming to an actor. I think life would be much more mundane as a performer and an audience member without it.

What would Directors notice about you first?

After assessing my physical being for various roles, I would hope that a director would see my passion. My willingness to dedicate myself wholly to the character. To lose myself in the story they’re trying to tell. Then I hope my good nature and sense of humor would shine through.

Twitter/IG: @lorenkinsella

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