Lauren Buglioli’s international childhood allowed her passion for performance to flourish. “I was born in LA and was lucky enough to discover my passion for acting as a child. I’m really grateful to have been exposed to a lot of different cultures as a result of living abroad. I was in London for middle and high school, and our school provided a lot of opportunities for us to travel,” she remembers. “Those experiences and the people I met while abroad definitely intensified my love of storytelling. I’m really thankful for the theater I saw and the training I received– and I definitely don’t take any of that time during my formative years for granted.” Sadly, starting in the industry young also means being subjected to body image policing from a tender age, but it also helped propel her towards a tight-knit and supportive circle. “I was encouraged to lose weight for the first time when I was six. While I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, I’ve found my experiences with body image are actually surprisingly universal and have served me in connecting with people I love on a deeper level. Some of my most meaningful relationships have resulted from a willingness to share our experiences and feel less alone.” The pressure to have a flawless body has long dominated Hollywood. “I think a lot of performers feel it regardless of gender. It’s an old paradigm that thankfully is shifting. Our worth or talent are not aligned with the external, and I think so many of us believed a different narrative for so long.” Instagram is predictably dragging this movement backwards. “We all know photoshop, editing and filters can really alter our perception of reality. I think we all look at magazines and know that those images are doctored, but can forget in many ways that Instagram has morphed into a tool for advertisers as more and more accounts are being utilized to sell us products. I love to follow people that make me feel good and utilize the mute button when necessary.”
Lauren is slowly making peace with her body. “It’s a lifelong process to dismantle those deep rooted belief systems that encourage us to chase a certain ideal. I think normalizing that we will always be working on our relationship with ourselves and our bodies. Bodies change. We age. And we are in a society that has encouraged us to chase perfection, when in reality, we are all perfect, whole and complete at any given moment. I’m a big fan of therapy, meditation and self-development to keep working through issues as they arise. Apparently we’re never ‘done.’ Rude!” Having a healthier relationship to her body has motivated her to pursue more acting roles. “The more I focus on the work and my craft rather than the external, the more happy and fulfilled I am. Self-acceptance and compassion is a process. The interesting thing about acting is that you’re always confronted with yourself. I’ve found the more I approach my experience as a human with curiosity rather than through the lens of self-criticism, the more I can play other humans with empathy and compassion.”
Her new film, A Jazzman’s Blues, is about the resilience of true love. “This is a beautiful and heartbreaking love story that Tyler Perry wrote 27 years ago. The two main characters, Bayou and Leanne, face many obstacles that prevent them from being together, and I’m one of those obstacles. It premieres on Friday, September 23rd, on Netflix and I’m so excited for everyone to see Mr. Perry’s vision come to life. He’s endlessly inspiring and I’m so grateful to him and his team for the opportunity to be a part of this story,” Lauren says. No matter what they encounter, Bayou and Leanne’s bond endures. “The film celebrates how love cannot be extinguished, even in the face of ignorance, darkness and hatred. I know audiences are going to be moved by these breathtaking performances.”
Outside of acting, Lauren enjoys helping children with disabilities. “I have a loved one with Down Syndrome, and he was the reason I started working with kids with special needs in middle and high school. He shaped my life for the better and was the reason I pursued a degree in special education in addition to studying acting.” It’s important to shine the spotlight on kids with disabilities and the organizations that are devoted to them. “While I’m not in the classroom, I hope to use any kind of platform acting provides to highlight the work of organizations like the Heart Gallery of Tampa, that is making a difference in the lives of incredible kids every day. Heart Gallery works to place children who’ve experienced abandonment, abuse and neglect (some of whom have special needs) in foster care in forever homes and improves their quality of life in the process. If you aren’t able to adopt, you can support the Heart Gallery by becoming a birthday buddy for a child in foster care, making a donation or spreading the word about the incredible work they do.” Donate to Heart Gallery of Tampa here.
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Lauren Buglioli Talks “A Jazzman’s Blues” and Cultivating Positive Body Image. Photo Credit: Ben Cope. Hair/Makeup: Cat Sherwin. Styling: Anna Schilling.