… and where to keep the statue.
by Melanie Camp
Lauren Wilkins didn’t set out to win an Emmy®, as a kid, she dreamed of representing her hometown Los Angeles playing WNBA for the Sparks. “I played basketball my whole high school career…I was going to go to Standford and then play professionally,” she tells Beautiful Hollywood of her childhood goal.
So, what happened?
“Things shift,” she says of the dream. “I wasn’t getting the letters from the D-I schools to play basketball. It wasn’t like the Standford, UCLA, USC basketball teams that I’d wanted to go to and I thought gosh, maybe I’m not quite as good as I think I am.”
“I don’t remember feeling I had disappointed myself or anything like that because I’d done my best.”
While it was humbling, Lauren says, “I don’t remember feeling I had disappointed myself or anything like that because I’d done my best.” She is still in a league today and plays for fun, something she says is essential to help maintain a good work-life balance in an industry where so many people burn out.
Ultimately, the shift away from her long-time goal to play in the WNBA has left Lauren with no regrets…and an Emmy ®. “I’m glad that it all happened it did, in hindsight,” she says.
By college, Lauren had transitioned her career goals. A love of singing and acting drew her to the entertainment business. She applied for many internships before landing one at Fox Broadcasting Company in their publicity department, and so began passion for television. “To be in the building where these shows that I grew up watching were airing. Like, The Simpsons and In Living Color…” she says of being on the Fox lot. A publicity internship led to a marketing internship which eventually led to a job at Fox in their promotions department, and this is where her career in production got its start.
Cutting her teeth on some big-name shows including The Wanda Sykes Show and The Queen Latifah Show, Lauren worked hard for ten years before winning her Emmy® in 2018 as show producer for the CBS show, The Price is Right.
Lauren says it is about doing and not, “waiting for an opportunity, not waiting for someone else to seek you out.”
Lauren admits she’s “so, so competitive,” and as not every great producer has won an Emmy®, one might speculate that having a competitive drive could help towards winning awards. Whatever the case, one thing Lauren is certain of is she knows that joining the ranks of the honored few does not happen solo. “I got really, I feel, very fortunate that I worked on a really good show with really talented people.”
Today, Lauren has stepped up the producing ranks and works as Supervising Producer on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk. Of her uphill climb in such a tough industry, Lauren says it is about doing and not, “waiting for an opportunity, not waiting for someone else to seek you out.” Easier said than done but what keeps Lauren “doing” are affirmations.
“I have to do my inner work before I get to work, so I’m not looking for anyone else to validate me.”
“I’m the kind of person who writes affirmations in the morning. I have to do my inner work before I get to work, so I’m not looking for anyone else to validate me. So, that I’m not waiting around with a cup half full waiting on people to be like; ‘You’re great. You’re talented. That was a great idea, Lauren.’ Because, those are the things you want to hear, but I try to tell myself before I leave the house…that’s part of my morning routine,” she tells Beautiful Hollywood.
Even then, Lauren says she doesn’t always get to the morning affirmations. “Here’s the thing, I don’t do ‘em every day. I want to. I aspire to. There’s also like, you have to get up earlier and make it a priority.” Lauren also swears by morning pages, a Julia Cameron hack from her book the Artist’s Way.
Affirmations help fuel persistence. Something Lauren also believes is key. “You go to a good school, and you think all these jobs are going to come out and ‘I’ll be able to do this that and the other’ and it’s not necessarily the case. You have to apply, and you get rejected, and you go to interviews, and people don’t want you.”
Lauren says you can’t let a “no” get in the way of you getting to where you want to be…even when it comes to trying to score an appearance on the Price is Right. “They come back again and again and again, and they shoot their shot,” says Lauren drawing upon a basketball metaphor to explain how people would come back, again and again, to audition as contestants on Price is Right. “We had so many people coming multiple times just trying to get picked,” she says. And, for those that did, it paid off.
“In this industry, you have to believe in yourself you have to trust that things will work out for the best,” says Lauren.
And, about that Emmy®, Lauren keeps it on her dining room table ‘cos it kinda looks perfect there.
Get your tickets and take your shot (or shots) on appearing on the Price is Right online at on-camera audiences.
Follow Lauren on Instagram @ellexLA
Hear Lauren sing…it is just another thing this doer does.
Check out the latest episode of Red Table Talk on Facebook watch.
Follow Red Table Talk here.
Try Julia Cameron’s morning pages from the Artist’s Way here.