Tampa-born, and raised, Lauren Mayhew has been in the entertainment industry since she was a child. She’s appeared on PBS, a soap opera and most recently voiced a character on a new Hulu show.
In 2020, the entertainment industry took a major hit. Shows were postponed, projects were shut down and live entertainment was all but nonexistent for months.
Mayhew flexed her entrepreneurial spirit and got to work.
TBBW caught up with her to find out how she stayed busy and what her next projects will be.
Were you born in Tampa? How soon did you know you wanted to go into the entertainment industry and what was your big break?
I was born and raised in Tampa. I went to school at Berkeley Prep and my parents still live in the childhood home I grew up in. I got into the entertainment industry around 9 or 10 years old when I was on a kids show on PBS called The Reppies that I did 64 episodes of. It was pretty cool because my mom ended up getting hired as the on-set nurse, which was nice since she traveled with me anyway. My childhood was kind of like a real-life Hannah Montana. I went to regular school whenever I was home, but I was gone a lot filming. When I booked a leading role on the soap opera, Guiding Light, I traveled back and forth to New York City with my mom 4-5 times a month. I would say that was probably my big acting break, but my singing break was getting signed to Epic Sony in a girl band shortly after that called P.Y.T.
Let’s talk about your experience in 2020. As an entertainer, it must have been difficult.
It has been a challenging year but I feel like it’s all about pivoting and filling a void. I was lucky enough to have a substantial social media following, so I started focusing on live-streaming DJ sets that were sponsored by various brands. I would promote their product, do giveaways for fans and create content that people could enjoy from their homes. I also started focusing on creating new music that I will be releasing in 2021.
What were the projects you took on to stay busy? What stands out as one of your favorites?
I was lucky enough to have booked a leading role in a Dreamworks series called Trollstopia that debuted on Hulu in November of 2020. I have a home recording studio set up, so I recorded new episodes from my home.
How big of a role did technology play in making things come together?
such a big role. Technology and the entertainment industry are inextricably linked. I had to learn all of the Pioneer DJ hardware and Rekordbox software when I started DJing. I had to learn Avid technologies such as Pro Tools (which is a recording and producing software) when I wanted to start engineering and recording my vocals from home and there is always new technology coming out that works in tandem with music and film production. Educating yourself, as much as you can, will always help you to be well-rounded and present the image you want, as an artist, to the rest of the world.
Did you try anything that just didn’t work?
I started to try Twitch streaming during quarantine. This platform has been typically known as a jumping-off point for gamers, but so many DJs are making a living off Twitch now with their live sets. Twitch, unlike Instagram, allows you to charge a subscription fee for the content you are creating, which is extremely meaningful in a time like this. What they don’t tell you is how complicated setting up your live-stream situation for Twitch can be. Streamyard, Elgato (capture card), new cables, a nice Canon or Sony camera to shoot with, and plugging in your Scarlett Focus-Rite to your mixer, all while trying to make sure you have good enough Wi-Fi, electricity and processing power can be enough to make your head spin! To be honest, especially since I’ve been so busy with gigs here in Tampa and the promotion of my new series on Hulu, I still haven’t mastered it! But I’m working on it.
How did you put your various projects together with stay-at-home orders and inability to travel?
I got creative! I shot most of my brand collaborations from home or outside. Also, I was able to travel, but just did so safely and following all COVID protocols. Luckily, or unluckily, I got COVID back in March and have had the antibodies in full force since then.
People may not realize, you’ve had to play the role of entrepreneur and be creative to keep working, especially in 2020. What was that like?
That is 100% true. But in all honesty, as an entertainer, you are always playing the role of entrepreneur. You are constantly growing, changing and evolving. Part of my job is being a great actress, singer and DJ, but the other part was learning how to edit my content, learning how to master social media, learning how to basic HTML code and update my website, etc.
Looking into 2021, what’s next for you? What are you excited about going into the New Year?
I am excited about my new music coming out. I have two releases through Tipsy Records — a cover of EveryTime We Touch with Kayliox and an original song, BOYS, with producer INViDA on Jan. 29 and Feb. 19, respectively. I also have a song called Going Out with C-Fast releasing Feb. 5 through a division of Universal Germany called 1st Strike. I would love it if you would check out my artist page on Spotify.
You can find Lauren Mayhew on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mayhew will be DJing at an American Social Super Bowl Party Friday night. You can register here.
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