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Conversations with the Inspiring Lorian Vaughn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorian Vaughn.

Lorian, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Every Friday night, in Dallas Texas, until I was seven, I’d fall asleep to the rhythm and blues of my father’s band rehearsing in our living room–developing a deeply rooted relationship to the arts. As a junior in high school, I was filming the youth news at church when the camera man had a visitor. The visitor turned out to be a director and thought I’d be a good fit for one of the roles in his short film. I immediately agreed to doing it without even asking my mom as I was a minor and filming was to take place on a school day. After begging my mom to go (who couldn’t understand what kind of adult would ask a minor to do something without talking to her parents first), she took off and we were on our way to set. We got there, saw the lights, cameras, and makeup artist and a sort of frenzy began. This was what I wanted to do and from that point on, she was more than supportive.

I went to college in Huntsville, Texas at Sam Houston State University in 2012 as a Theatre major with an emphasis in acting and directing with no prior experience (outside of the one short film and announcing the youth news at church) and had to go up against a rigorous course with peers who had been training and acting since childhood. Though challenging, it was an outlet where I could express myself, fully and freely.

Towards the end of college, adulthood kicked in and I was thrown into the workforce, putting acting on the back burner. It didn’t take long for that to get old and I started acting in my friends’ independent projects and started scriptwriting. I started writing in an attempt to tell the stories of minorities that I don’t see told on television. The goal is to create the opportunity I’m seeking instead of waiting for it to come while writing about strong, complex characters and stories that I actually identify with. I decided to move to Atlanta because of the growing film industry in 2015 and didn’t actually make it out here until 2018.

I’m now here, I’m ready, I’m studying, I’m hungry I’m working, I’m writing and I’m claiming my space… One project at a time.

It took a few years to make it out here, but you are here now and ready to claim you space and your opportunities.  I imagine it hasn’t been easy though?
It’s been everything but easy… trying to balance a normal social life, a 9-5, and still making time for your passions and craft is challenging. However, if I’m being honest, the most challenging struggle is self-doubt. My advice to young women starting their journey would be:

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. We all have different walks and paths and that’s what makes us special and unique. You have to be content and grateful for where you’re at in this moment and fall in love with your chase in getting where you want to be. We are all learning as we go and there isn’t a wrong or right way set in stone.

Don’t let fear or self-doubt keep you from doing anything you love–do it scared. Don’t ever quit or give up on yourself. You have to be willing to lose in order for you to win–in love, in life. In anything you do.

Last but not least, showing up fully present, being your best self and doing the work is half the battle. Knowing that it’s not always the prettiest or most talented that gets the job should make you strong in your stance. Work ethic, genuine effort, energy, passion, being prepared, and attitude weigh way much more than you’d think.

What else should we know?
I’m a full-time dreamer and doer. A vibrant creator is known for wearing multiple hats–actor, screenplay writer, film-maker, blogger, painter, and BEYOND. I’m all about pushing my limits and showing my expansion as an artist. I’d like to think that my work is colorful, unique, fresh, and relevant.

Determined to do my part in reforming the image of black film and media, I started LoVaughn Visuals (in 2017) in hopes to create job opportunities for and to tell the stories of people of color and minorities. Although I’m still in the start-up stages, this is the vision and work I’m most proud of because this is when my dream of acting became much bigger than just myself–I became obsessed with wanting to create space to be able to help other minorities break into the film industry (where we’re extremely underrepresented) as well.

I think what sets me apart from others is my continuous effort to grow in all aspects of life. I’m always learning and striving to be a better version of myself. I’m a full-time dreamer and doer. A vibrant creator that’s known for wearing multiple hats–actor, screenplay writer, film-maker, blogger, painter, and BEYOND. I’m all about pushing my limits and showing my expansion as an artist. I’d like to think that my work is colorful, unique, fresh, and relevant.” directly after “one project at at time”.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I believe the biggest barrier in female leadership is creating space and standing in it. Finding our voice. It’s not enough to be in a role or to have a seat at the table, we also have to know we deserve to be there, regardless of the odds or adversity. We also have to get over the barrier of competing with each other and have to build a sense of togetherness, inclusiveness and have to continue to open the door for those coming behind us. We have a good momentum going as women these days, we just have to keep the ball rolling.

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Image Credit:

Headshot cred: Aaron Spellz

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