We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Larsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valerie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My first thought behind starting my own business was that I needed an income after losing my job performing at Disneyland during the pandemic haha. But it was also a few other things. Passion, Service and Flexibility.
I’ve always been very passionate about music and the process of mastery. When I had the opportunity and the time to build a new business, I knew that teaching would give me more time to not only master my own skills, but to help others do the same.
In my performance career as an actor, dancer and singer, I wasn’t getting much interaction with my audience. Some moments here and there but not enough to fulfill my desire to have relationship with the people I was serving. The aspect of one-on-one service had been something I felt was missing in my life for a while. I LOVE all of my students, and seeing them grow and grasp new concepts on a regular basis brings me so much joy!
I also knew as a multi-hyphenate artist, starting my own music studio would give me the time and flexibility I needed to set my own hours and work in a way that allows me to pursue my other passions – acting, songwriting and personal relationships.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As an artist, my double edged sword is variety. I LOVE to learn new things, and my passion for practicing to achieve mastery has made me a jack of many trades. It is not always the easiest to market myself, but thankfully I love all the things that I do, and being multi-hyphenate has always kept me booked and busy.
As a teacher, what sets me apart is my professional experience and my many years as a student. As a professional I’ve been able to learn what skills are of value in the business, and what are more peripheral. As a student, I have a way of understanding what challenges my students need to grow while maintaining a n emotionally safe environment where they can fail without shame. It’s important to me that my students feel encouraged despite having weaknesses.
As a performer I think I bring a strange quirkiness to things haha. I’m always trying to find the unique approach to a scene or a song that will surprise and excite my audience. Of course I love to be funny, but I also like to be impactful with a story and a message.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend in town I would first and foremost take them to The Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It’s one of my favorite places on earth! Absolutely gorgeous.
I would take them to eat my favorite taco place: Guisados. They have locations all over LA and it’s DELICIOUS.
I would definitely take them to a friend’s performance – I’m really lucky to be friends with some amazingly talented folks. Hopefully a night at the Ambush Cabaret or Hotel Cafe OR from time to time I have friends performing at the Pantages on different Broadway Tours – always a blast to support them.
And of course the beach. I especially love Venice. You can get a very california-tourist experience on the boardwalk, or go a little south for a more quiet, less crowded part of the beach. I also LOVE walking the canals in the nearby neighborhood. It’s so lovely and romantic!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out,
Bret Shuford – My career coach. He’s been a huge help in adjusting my mindset to be successful.
Audrey Moore – Another career coach of mine – she’s really helped me get motivated to move my Film/TV Career forward
Courtney Cunningham & Keri Safran – My acting coach’s
My sister and fellow entrepreneur EmmaLee Larsen, my Parents, and my Partner Zeniff.
Other: TicTok – @thevallarsen Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/vallarsenmedia
Leah Huebner, Zeniff Jasso