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Co/Create Winner Profile: Actress Lauren Neal

Cover image for Co/Create Winner Profile: Actress Lauren Neal

While Lauren Neal lent her voice to the character of Jackie in the Marcus Rhoder Backstory, acting is just one facet of her diverse career. Lauren exemplifies the essence of a "jack of all trades," with a skillset that runs the gamut of entertainment, art and technology.

A testament to her multifaceted expertise is her academic background. Lauren is an alumna of Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies and the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science, the latter of which she studied applications of machine learning to filmmaking. This unique study of art and technology is now being showcased in her latest project, “Under the Influencer,” a microbudget feature film currently in post-production in which Lauren served as technical director, editor, VFX artist, executive producer, and lead actor.

Lauren is also a StoryCo Producer, and we couldn’t be prouder to have her in our community.

Lauren's Creative Process

Lauren is obsessed with the discipline of acting (notoriously so, she says). She approaches the craft with a technical lens, designing a curriculum for an independent study course that compared acting training methodologies as an undergrad, and more recently serving as the resident data scientist at Castability, a start-up devoted to providing actors with actionable feedback and quantitative analysis of their work.

Process is everything to her; she views acting as intuitive, instinctual, and inspired, and technical, all at once.

To Lauren, performing for voiceover is both challenging and freeing. She finds it challenging that an actor cannot rely on their visual self to communicate. At the same time, this allows a performer to funnel and focus their energy into the vocal instrument to express what needs to be said.

Lauren's Co-Creation

Below are several takes of Lauren’s completed Co-Creation - a line read for the role of Jackie, Marcus Rhoder’s college sweetheart in the “Marcus Rhoder Backstory”:

Looking Ahead

Marcus’ Backstory is the first character backstory to be fully conceived with several different co-creations pieced together to build a coherent visual narrative “Story Branch.” While there may certainly be additional Story Branches off of this initial backstory for Marcus, there will also be many other character backstories similar rendered with an initial story, and brought to life via original community art and performance.


To learn more about Co/Create and view all the current Co/Create opportunities, visit Story.co/create.

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