This interview is the first in the student blog’s new “Studio Spotlight” series. Each month one actor studying at the studio will have their brain picked on all subjects related to their experience as an actor and student in the professional world.
Laura Chaneski is an actress currently studying at the Caymichael Patten Studio. Her television appearances include Law & Order: SVU and Do No Harm, as well as over 40 national and regional commercials. A graduate of Rutgers university, she also appears on stage frequently in regional musical theater productions.
On discovering a passion for acting:
I was a sociology and dance double major. And I only started sociology because I was taking Gen ed classes and I was taking sociology and I liked it. And people always said “What does that have to do with acting?” and I said “It has everything to do with it!” Because it’s the study of people and why people do things, and you know, what makes people tick. I didn’t know it at the time but that’s why I really wanted acting. I didn’t put that together until afterwards. I just loved it.
On her most recent project, Law & Order SVU:
It was amazing. The best two days of my life, it was so cool. Just being in that atmosphere where everybody is so professional and it’s like “this is your job!” Everyone has the same pride for the craft, art, for the final product. And that’s hard to find. It’s just a love at that level for all of them.
I felt so inspired. I felt like I worked really hard, and I was ready for that experience. I was nervous, because I wanted to do it justice. But I was just trying to take the whole thing in because you never know when it’s going to happen again. You’re thinking “pinch me, I’m on the set of Law and Order right now. ” I dreamed about that when I was little.
On finding a home at the Caymichael Patten Studio:
I took her audition class at Terry Schreiber studio. She was teaching it there last March, and after that class I thought “I need to work with you more!” And so I joined her scene study class. I also take drill on Friday’s.
On approaching a character:
The first thing I think about is all the ways I’m similar (from the character) and all the ways I’m different. I have this really simple, two column thing, just for figuring out how we’re different and then after finding it how I can somehow relate it and how I personalize it. And I look at everything; physical attributes, relationships, anything that’s different.
On discovering personalization for the first time with Cay:
It was a little confusing at first, because I didn’t exactly know how to go about it. But now I couldn’t imagine working without it. Working at that depth. The personalization, everything, I think it’s just such an easy way to the script. An easy way into the script, but not easy to do.
More information on Laura, her projects, and her career as an artist can be found on her website.