(AAA) Artist, Actress, Model, and Philanthropist: Serena Laurel does it all
Featured in BELLO June issue #186. Order your print copy HERE. Full digital preview powered by ISSUU below.
Serena Laurel: singer-songwriter, actress, model, and philanthropist, truly does it all. Starring in her most recent film SUMMERTIME DROPOUTS set to come out July 2019, she plays the role of “Lucy,” a lead guitarist in a girl’s pop-punk band. The role fits with her character almost too perfectly and it is a role Laurel is very excited about. She inspires others to love themselves and accept who they are no matter what anyone has to say. Her role as artist ambassador for BreakingTheChainsFoundation.org is a strong platform on which she can build her ideals and goals. Serena Laurel is a woman who does it all and is truly a ray of sunshine.
1. Tell me more about your upcoming role as “Lucy” in the feature film SUMMERTIME DROPOUTS coming out July 2019.
Summertime Dropouts was a dream job for me to book. Perfect in every way! My two passions, making music and acting rolled into one job. My character “Lucy” is the lead guitarist in a girl’s pop-punk band called Late For Curfew. Her two besties formed the band together, “Charlie” (Melanie Brook) and “Amie” (Cyrstal Lake Evans). “Lucy” considers the band a career but she also wants to keep her parents happy who don’t view Late For Curfew as a pragmatic lifestyle. The producer’s Hamid and Camille Torabpour (Winterstate Entertainment) wanted to hire actors who were also real musicians so we could play live and be more relatable to fans. The first day on set we were making music laying down the bands songs for the movie’s soundtrack. I am one of the six lead performers that make up two pop-punk bands Late for Curfew and Summertime Dropouts (Nicholas Podany, Takaya Abdou Lloyd, Caleb Donahoe) who want to compete on Vans Warped Tour. The punk-rock band Simple Plan (Welcome to My Life) appears in the film, so that was also very cool! Director Jhene Chase treated us like family. While pulling her impressive vision for the film together we became one big set family, who are all now very dear to my heart.
2. In what ways can you relate to your character Lucy?
Lucy is a smart free-spirited teen but has familiar teenage struggles of balancing work, school, friends expectations and keeping parents happy. She was already a part of me before I even read the script. We were both 17, redheads, a little quirky and chill. The fact that she is easy going and likes to go with the flow is what I love most about “Lucy.” She never really cares what other people think about her. She’s eccentric, colorful and always stays true to herself. “Lucy” loves writing songs, making music, her friends and their band, Late For Curfew. “Lucy” is surrounded by a group of loving friends that all share a passion for music. I found this same camaraderie on set with the lead actors playing her friends on set. We all actually hung out, jammed and wrote songs together on our downtime. “Lucy” likes fashion as much as I do. She has a really fun wardrobe with a unique sense of style. “Lucy’s” go-to electric guitar is a buttercream yellow Fender Jazzmaster and so is mine.
3. Being an award-winning actress, singer-songwriter, brand influencer, and model, how do you manage it all?
I find time management to be the most challenging especially since I’m also a full-time college student. Some of the work I do happens organically like brand influencing. When an audition or booking comes in, I drop everything and make it happen. Sometimes that means rescheduling appointments or getting class notes from a friend. When I booked Summertime Dropouts, I missed the first six weeks of classes. Thank goodness I had a good rapport with my instructors. Song-writing spontaneously combusts. When the spark ignites I record the melody, lyrics or thought on my phone and find a guitar as quickly as possible. I feel like all my interests compliment each other and that helps the balance. When my interests are combined it makes the work fun and rewarding.
4. What is your favorite part of each role you play in real life (Actress, Singer, Model, Brand Influencer)?
The aesthetic and art of a final creative project is my favorite thing. Bringing a vision to life. All I do gravitates around telling stories. I like painting pictures with words, music, and vibe. As an actress, I get to play other people and live in a fantasy world while capturing the essence of the character. When I’m Writing a song I’m writing a story either about life experiences mine or another person. During a photoshoot for Instagram or editorial, we tell a story with design, motifs, textures, and colors taking you on a style journey. And as an influencer, my job is to show my community the products/fashion that I’m using on my day to day lifestyle and how they can incorporate that into their real-life fairytale!
5. What inspired you to write your newly released single GOLD?
My single GOLD is about allowing yourself to be loved by those who treat you like a million dollars! It’s about surrounding yourself with people who know your worth and appreciate you. It’s also about self-love. The phrase “Stone cold” is referencing the negative thoughts that come in our minds and then reminding yourself that you are GOLD with the phrase “you make me feel like gold.” I think that if you have good energy around you, then you will also give off good energy to others. GOLD is about squashing negative thoughts and holding tight to the thoughts or people that make you feel like GOLD!
6. Do you feel any particular difference in how you perform depending on which platform you find yourself on whether it be on stage or in front of the camera? If so, how do you prepare for the different stages?
I find myself most comfortable in both places. I don’t get stage fright or on-set fright. The difference from being on set to singing on stage is an emotional one. Not that I’m not connected emotionally to both, it just comes from a different place inside of me. When I’m performing my own lyrics and melodies, the emotions behind those songs come from a very personal space deep down inside of me that I am sharing with the audience beyond the spotlight. As a character, I draw from those places and it’s emotional but it falls into different head space.
7. Tell me more about your role as an artist ambassador for BreakingTheChainsFoundation.org and what the foundation is about.
I use my voice as an artist by sharing and telling stories through music to help the healing process by unmasking the stigma of low self-esteem that causes eating disorders and mental illnesses. BreakingTheChainsFoundation.org (BTCF) works together to inspire self-love, healthy body image, letting people know they aren’t alone. Writing songs is my therapy and sees me through the day. By sharing that experience through my music and words I strive to help others embrace themselves. Recently BTCF did outreach for NEDA.org awareness using an audience live stream concert. I helped organize and performed during the two-hour live stream while all the BTCF ambassadors, like Mollee Gray and artists shared stories through music. BTCF promotes healing through the arts.
8. How would you describe your fashion style?
My music is eclectic while being chill and my fashion style is the same way. My style and music is a blend of retro acoustic pop sprinkled with Jazz. I like to say my music is like “a Sunday afternoon in a convertible with the top down cruising the PCH watching the sunset.” I pull from vintage finds because they are unique and upcycling is good for our planet. I like modern bold one-of-a-kind statement pieces mixed with relaxed garments. I find some of my most uniques pieces thrift shopping and sifting through consignment stores. One of the items on my bucket list is to have a power suit in every motif and possible color of the rainbow! My suit collection is growing.
Photographer: Greg Doherty @gregdohertyphotos
Hair: Daniel Gravel @danielgravelsalon
Makeup: Raul Padilla @luarpadillamua
Production @BELLOmediaGroup x @MaisonPriveePR_LA