We had the good fortune of connecting with Lara Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lara, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Acting is the only thing I’ve ever felt passionate about doing. From the time I was a little girl in the children’s choir at church, I loved acting. We did little Christmas and Easter musicals with corny characters, catchy songs, and pretty basic choreography. A lot of these scripts had some sort of narrator who had the lion’s share of the script to memorize, and that was a part that I had a lot once I got into about third grade. I know that what I was doing then was just reciting the lines on stage, but I was someone who could remember all of the lines without much prompting from the directors and I didn’t get too nervous about standing up in front of the congregation. I loved doing these little musicals and they brought me a lot of joy. But I eventually aged out when I got into junior high. By that time, my mother was a director and I was helping out with teaching choreography and helping make props and costumes. But I was really missing getting to perform and my mom noticed. And then she saw in the local newspaper that a community theater was doing a play with kids in it. She figured this would be the next step for me. But I doubt she realized that this would lead to me wanting to do this for the rest of my life. It was “The Best Christmas Pageant, Ever” and my mom went to the library and checked out a copy of the book for me to read prior. I went into those auditions not knowing anyone there, because this was in the next town over from where I lived, and got the part of Alice who is a kind of goody two-shoes, teacher’s pet, and bully. There was something about getting that big of a part, in my first try, at an actual theater that really ignited my passion for this and made think, “Yup, this is for me.”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am most proud of and excited about our new podcast, Fan Theory Queries. My husband Spencer, our friend Michael, and I love to talk about movies and television shows. Every once in a while one of us will also bring up a fan theory that we’ve read or heard about. So Spencer got the idea of starting a podcast centered around these conversations and we recorded our first episode in April of this year. We find fan theories from all over the internet, but mostly on Reddit. For each episode, we each pick one theory, read it on the episode, we discuss it collectively, and then we rate it based on a 4-point scale we created for the show. It’s been so much fun to explore and celebrate the creativity of individuals who genuinely care about these intellectual properties. We even did a theory that was initially created by a ten year old girl who’s father helped flesh it out and posted it on the internet. And that’s what movies, television, books, and music are meant to do, right? We’re supposed to be able to escape into these other worlds created for us, the viewers and consumers, to learn from, grow from, and even use as a catalyst to heal. But there are more and more who are able to take ownership of these ideas and use them as a jumping off point to do some creating of their own which is such a beautiful thing to encourage and nurture. I’m thankful to these individuals for sharing their imaginations with us. There is artistry in the way that some people are able to connect different movies or television shows. It’s also a testament to the craftsmanship of the creative teams behind the media being referenced. Their characters and concepts are obviously having an impact on society if there are people spending time and energy outside of what they spent viewing to think about things and trying to make sense of them or letting their own creativity take over and make it into something that brings them joy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Spencer and I really enjoy doing escape rooms and there are so many to choose from. So if we have friends or family coming in from out of town, or even for a date night, we try to find a really good escape room with a great restaurant nearby. The last few times, we went to Ultimate Escape Game in Farmer’s Branch and then had dinner and drinks after at Pie Tap in Addison. If everyone in the group doesn’t mind riding in the car for a little while and we all want something equally active but maybe not quite such a cerebral experience, we like to go to Corky’s Gaming Bistro for their outstanding axe throwing or TopGolf, because sometimes you just need to hit a golf ball as hard as you can.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this Shoutout to my parents. My mother saw how happy performing and being part of a cast made me and she went to great lengths to accommodate me. And my father came to at least one performance of every show I was part of, even though theater is really not something that interests him. They both did this because they love me and I am grateful.