“Don’t Take it Personally”, 5 Hollywood Tips from LuLu Lambros of Disney’s Stuck in the Middle
“Once I got an agent I booked my first national commercial within a couple of months. The next two came shortly afterward. Beginner’s luck was on my side! Soon after that I learned that so many factors are involved with booking a role- age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, look, personality. You are not always right for every role. Most of the time you will not be right for it…until you are! Because of all of the above reasons, you will hear ‘no’ a lot. Don’t take it personally, its a business and they have to do what’s best for the entire production.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing LuLu Lambros. LuLu is a fourteen year old actress best known for her current role as Ellie Peters on Disney’s Stuck in the Middle. LuLu has been acting since the age of four and got her start in commercials. LuLu has appeared on Nickelodeon’s Mutt & Stuff and sketch comedy show AwesomenessTV. She has also done extensive work for DreamworksTV. In her free time LuLu spends time with her family and friends in Los Angeles and lends a hand to various charitable organizations raising awareness for anti-bullying, pet rescue and research and development in the medical field.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting career?
Well, I was introduced very early on to Murphy’s Law and its sense of humor. I had booked my biggest role up to that point, which was starring in my own sketch comedy show for AwesomessTV. Although this was an internet series, it was cast by a very well known casting directer, so it was all very exciting. It was basically a one woman (well, kid) show with tons of dialogue. It was my first time making a big deal of staying home from school to learn my lines and prepare for filming. I remember getting up that morning, getting dressed, setting up a beach chair and snacks outside and telling my parents that I couldn’t be disturbed. I worked all day, from morning to night, because they filmed several episodes in one day.
So the next morning, the morning of filming, I woke up with a terrible head cold and cough. I was completely congested, coughing and had no voice. The funny thing was that I felt great otherwise, I just wasn’t able to speak without sounding completely stuffed up and coughing between every other word. My parents said that of course we should call to try to reschedule and that of course everyone would understand. “Oh no!” was my answer. I begged my mom to find an immediate cure, so she actually went online to search home remedies for my very unfortunate and inconvenient condition. There wasn’t much time. So for the next hour or two I drank different versions of concoctions of water, tea, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, lemon, honey and turmeric (what IS tumeric?). But do you know what? My sinuses completely cleared up and I stopped coughing. Off to set! Nice try Murphy.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Easy! My role as Ellie on Disney’s Stuck in the Middle has been a true fantasy come true. Are you kidding, being a Disney kid? I can’t believe we are filming season three already. I play Ellie Peters, best friend and number one fan of Harley Diaz (Jenna Ortega), the middle child in a crazy fun family of seven kids. Ellie is an only child and lives next door to the Diazes with her hilariously overprotective mother. Ellie is everything I love- quirky, funny, sweet, loyal, eager. She lives to hang out with the Diazes where it’s loud, chaotic family fun (and the snacks are better!). She and Harley has a very special and sweet relationship.
I’m also currently involved in a new project which is in very early stages, which means that I’m not allowed to say too much. But I am very thankful and grateful to have been asked to participate at such an early level. It has been incredibly interesting to learn how projects are developed and what it takes to make them a reality. Finger crossed!
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I would definitely say that it has been people behind the camera and behind the scenes. I have now worked with awesome directors, producers, agents, managers, casting directors and network executives who are at the top of their game. I have to say that at first it sounded intimidating. Before meetings I would wonder what I could possibly say to them and what we could possibly have in common. Well, first of all everyone was once a kid, right? Secondly, many of them have kids of their own. I have been very lucky because most every adult I have worked with has been so incredibly kind, supportive, generous and very down to earth. They are just nice, normal people- no different from say, my parents’ friends or my friends’ parents.
I do have one little story. I was was working for a couple of weeks on a set with a producer who has done tons of shows, even way back to when my parents were kids. I was given the same trailer as my dressing room for the first week, but when we returned the next week, there was another guest star that day and he had been given my trailer. The crew was running around trying to find a dressing room for me and this producer came out and said “take my trailer for the day, I insist, enjoy!” LOVE him!
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Wow, well, I always say that the people that inspire me the most, living or dead, are the ones that had a dream and had the courage and the confidence to follow it. I have been acting since I was four- the first six years in community theater and the last four pursuing a TV and film career. In these four short years, I have already learned how patient, determined, confident, and focused you have to be to succeed at a professional level. There is a lot of sacrifice, falling down and getting back up again, but if you love what you are doing it’s still the best. Obviously for an actor the goal is to land a role, but I actually enjoy the process in between. I love auditioning, I love my acting classes and I love my sweet actor friends. I look up to and admire everyone who had a professional goal and saw it through to success. I happen to be in the acting world, but I have many friends with other professional interests like sports, music, dance, many other art forms, medicine, academics, and business. They are all rock stars!
Who do you aspire to be like one day?
I aspire to be like anyone who reaches a high platform through hard work and success in their field and uses their position of celebrity or power to bring awareness or influence people for good. That should be the true meaning of “influencers”. People at that level have so much privilege and power, and to use that well earned influence to spread kindness and love, raise awareness and lead fights for positive change is such a gift to the world. I want to grow up to be like those people.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have been lucky enough to become involved with some awesome organizations helping to rescue animals, bring awareness to anti-bullying and help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. My friend Grace Rose is a fashion designer and created her clothing line and foundation, Rosie G, to raise funds and awareness for CF. FREE2LUV is an anti-bullying non-profit dedicated to end bullying by educating those who need a little more love in their hearts, and Nail and Bone is a company that makes nail polish for people and donates proceeds to animal rescue organizations. This year I’m also hoping to partner with others to help feed the hungry- I have been more and more concerned with hunger. On a small scale, my mom and I always keep snacks in the car for when we see people on the side of the road hoping for donated food.
What are your “5 things I wish someone had told me when I first started” and why. Please share an example or story for each.
- Number one has to be “it’s not that easy”. Once I got an agent I booked my first national commercial within a couple of months. The next two came shortly afterward. Beginner’s luck was on my side! Soon after that I learned that so many factors are involved with booking a role- age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, look, personality. You are not always right for every role. Most of the time you will not be right for it…until you are!
- Number two, is “don’t take it personally”. Because of all of the above reasons, you will hear ‘no’ a lot. Don’t take it personally, its a business and they have to do what’s best for the entire production.
- Number three is “every audition is a learning experience”. Just because you don’t book it, doesn’t make it a failure. Every audition is still an opportunity to perform, which is an actor’s ultimate goal. And it’s an opportunity to meet new casting directors, producers and sometimes even network executives. If you gave your best performance but still didn’t book the part, it wasn’t meant to be. And if you didn’t give your best performance, make changes, and do better next time.
- Number four is “be yourself”. Don’t go in there trying to be someone you think they want. Chances are that you probably won’t guess right anyway. So be yourself. They want to see YOU as that character. No two actors will go in the room and do the exact same thing. Your personality and look is unique, and that’s what they want to see.
- Number five is “be patient”. Stay in classes, learn and improve so that when opportunities come your way you are prepared. If you truly love the business and the craft, don’t give up. Everyone has their own timeline and their own path to success. Stay strong and confident!
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S. whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.:-)
Ok, I’m going to be honest…here goes…
Justin Bieber. Of course there are obvious reasons being that I’m a fourteen year old girl, right? But seriously, it would be interesting to ask him privately how he has dealt with his fame and success at such a young age and how he has come through it all on a very public stage. I would love to hear about his early childhood before fame, his big break, his move to the U.S., the highlights, the lowlights, basically the good, the bad and the ugly, how faith came into his life and how it has affected his relationships and his career.