We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauryn Muraida and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauryn, why did you pursue a creative career?
My mother always wanted my siblings and I to be fulfilled with as many experiences and life-skills as possible. She threw me into sports, crafts, theatre, art, dance, cooking, and everything under the sun. My heart kept pulling me towards performing and the arts field. I started theatre when I was 5 years old, I was drawing, designing, decorating all the time, and everything was pink and glittery! I realized my passion for performance was the most fulfilling. There is such a rush of joy I feel when Im singing, dancing, performing with and for others, and even when I’m watching a theatre production or leaving a movie theater, I feel completely moved by the performance of great talent. I love entertainment. I also truly love and appreciate art. I think anyone who has the talent to create something truly and remarkably moving by painting or designing, etc. needs to share their gift with the world. It’s a matter of how and when and if that gift can be optimized for success. I am struggling with the unknown of whether I can make enough money off of my own artistic talents, successfully, and until that one person or right time and right place opportunity gives you that boost, it’s all about hard work, dedication, following your passion, and patience until you do meet that success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After graduating from El Segundo high school, I was offered an opportunity to assist in directing the children’s theatre in our community programs where my love for theatre and performing began. I ended up becoming the director and had my hands in the directing, music, design, stage management, and parent management, and it was incredible! Simultaneously, I was driving down to Corona, CA to rehearse for shows with the Young Americans musical outreach group on the weekends. I decided to study drama at the University of California, Irvine, while doing shows in local theatres all over the south bay and began working as a parade performer at Disneyland. Performing was in all of my pockets, I thought, “ok what’s my next step?” I was so ready for more, more, more! So, I packed my bags and moved to NYC. I was auditioning left and right, while trying to make a living in the most expensive city in the U.S. I was performing as a Christmas Caroler the moment I moved there, I also managed the group in its final year in the city. I was traveling with a children’s theatre company based in Seoul, South Korea, and I was performing in cabarets, directing one-act plays and more. I got to a point where I was burning out so fast that I knew I had to make more of a sustainable lifestyle, so I did the office work for a few years and then I realized I was missing that creative outlet. The entrepreneurial art business kind of found me. My very first job in New York was working at a restaurant down in the Financial District. I was hostessing, then later moved to waitressing and while doing that, the manager noticed my artistic skills on our daily menu signs. He had asked if I could make a giant chalkboard and put our entire menu and some themed images. I was there for about a year and a half, and the current manager went from sous-chef to bar manager, to floor manager, to general manager and she asked if I could come back, three years later, and create some more art for them at a cost. I helped retransform their entire space from a barbecue restaurant to an American kitchen and bar theme. The owner is connected with several other restaurant owners throughout the city and by the end of this year, I’ll have provided artwork for 4 different restaurants. Granted, I took two graphic art classes back in high school, no basic art classes since I was maybe ten years old. I just write well and like to make clean, cool designs with little experience, but someone saw my work and helped me create a business for myself. I can now call myself a professional artist. Website and business cards to come. Instagram @arttbylo for more info. The performing side is still in the works, but I have had one constant opportunity for the last ten years, providing live entertainment for the Exceptional Kids Organization in the South Bay cities (EKO). Every year I would travel from coast-to-coast to put on a twenty-minute live performance at their annual prom event. This year was a little different because we could not host it live, so we planned to provide a virtual show. In addition to that, I was hosting virtual dance parties every two weeks, providing a playlist of favorites pertaining to a selected theme, dressing up, singing, dancing, and putting on a show, connecting with these beautiful humans and I cannot explain how fulfilling this has been! Just last month, I had put together a virtual variety show for Halloween, where I invited eight of my performing friends all over the U.S. to perform a song or two in a Halloween theme. It was amazing!! We also introduced a new non-profit organization, known as Bringing You Broadway, inspired by my virtual dance parties, where a cast of Broadway performers put on a professional production for special needs audiences. Needless to say, we are finding new ways to provide live entertainment for the special needs audience, and it has been truly successful. Any ideas? Send them my way firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am currently based in New York City, but have been spending the last seven months in the south bay and have definitely begun exploring more than I ever have. In NYC, tourists spots are a must: Rockefeller Center, especially during the holidays and even during the pandemic, they are lighting the tree, opening the ice skating rink, and whatever stores are still open on 5th avenue are still lighting up their exteriors and providing holiday window displays. I try to avoid Time Square as much as possible, but if its a first-timer, its a must! Just don’t take pictures with the costume characters, they beg you for money and they are nothing like visiting characters at Disneyland. Broadway is currently down, but I would highly recommend seeing a show. Currently, the famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner is open and their waitstaff is performing for dinner and a show. Stop into one of the many Irish pubs, stroll through Central Park, and Bryant Park, grab a coffee at a local coffee spot, and enjoy a nice dinner on a rooftop or down in the West Village. There is a ton of magical, fun, and safe things to do in NYC, and I have experienced years of it, so happy to provide a tour guide for anyone visiting. Thanks to Yelp and their collections, I have mine broken down for brunch spots, bars to hoop, rooftops, places for dancing, live music, jazz, and more. I have been exploring LA much more, so working on my itinerary as I spend more time here. I would set up a hike or a walk along the Manhattan Beach strand, drive up the coast to Ventura or Santa Barbara for some wine tasting, or stay local and visit Simmzy’s on Manhattan Pier, enjoy a beverage at The Manhattan Post, and ice cream at Manhattan Beach Creamery or head over to North Italia and say hi to my brother. The Bungalow in Santa Monica is my favorite hangout spot, and walking along the pier is very entertaining. Just recently discovered The Hangout in Long Beach as one of the coolest little shops with an array of local artisans home goods, plants, art, and more. Once Disneyland opens up again, I frequently visit the park to watch friends perform, get a taste of the ongoing magic, and reminisce with old memories of working there. Looking for more things to do and explore, taking suggestions!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate all of my training and experiences to my parents for all of the support they have given me to creatively find my path towards success. Without them and their open hearts and minds, I would not have been able to have the experiences i’ve had in my life. I would not have been able to appreciate my education, my connections, my talents, skills, and weaknesses, and grow into the happy, healthy woman I am today. I would also like to thank my brother Adam Muraida for his serious passion for music and the arts where we both connect on a very special level. You can find us singing and dancing our hearts out whenever we are together. I would like to shout out to my brother Josh Muraida for the challenging questions he’s provided me with and his continuous love and support as we ride this crazy wave of life together. I would like to shout out to my cousin, Lisa Carroll for the many career focused chats we’ve had. She is the most driven person I have ever met in my life and I am so grateful for her knowledge and endless love and support. Shout out to Sarah Tallerson for helping me start my art business. She is a lady boss! She recognized my talent and pushed me, gave me opportunity, and continuously connects with me on evolving my business towards success. Major shout out to the Exceptional Kids Organization (EKO) for allowing me to provide entertainment for their kids during this pandemic, and throughout the last ten+ years. It has been a pleasure and a honor to perform, dance, and sing with everyone! Thank you to Lindsay Kazan for your amazing friendship, gorgeous voice, and assisting me in some of our dance parties, Annie Woo and Chris Talio for sharing your music with EKO, Hannah Jewel Kohn and Emma Degerstedt for sharing your first Bringing You Broadway production to the kids and families of EKO, to Wesley Ryan for sharing your beautiful gift of a voice for EKO, and to Stephanie Yonkovich for your friendship, talent, living with me for the last five years, and helping me host the best Halloween virtual variety show for EKO ever! Thank you to all of my friends and family for your continuous support, kind thoughts, endless conversations about this crazy journey i’ve been on and helping me cope through the madness and celebrate the success!
Other: My Art account: https://www.instagram.com/arttbylo/