DIRECTOR, ACTOR & WRITER
Lara Everly is a director, writer and actress. Her affinity for comedy and improvisation (a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade) has led to working on sitcoms, half hour shows, features and many national commercials. As a director, she celebrates female-driven comedy and women’s issues. Her films have played the film festival circuit (including the year-long Lunafest), winning awards and procuring distribution with New Wave Entertainment, Oprah.com and Shorts HD. Everly loves directing web series and sketch comedy for Refinery29, FunnyorDie, Scary Mommy, Awestruck and more. She’s versed in the branded content world partnering with clients such as Walmart, Little Tikes and Babycenter. You can view more of her work at www.laraeverly.com.
Telling stories. It’s pretty much my favorite thing. And I’m a good friend. You can’t really add “kick ass friend” to your resume under special skills, but I know how to channel that friend energy into my work on set. I’m good at relating, connecting, listening and holding space. Making people, including kids, feel safe while still vulnerable. Humor and wit helps a bunch too.
I’m also excellent at sewing some element of doubt into all of my decisions. Even the obviously good ones. I guess that is a part of being creative and a perfectionist, or being Jewish.
Finding the humor in most things. Growing up as a sensitive person, I have learned ways to cope with the world around me and humor has been my most important tool in that process. Otherwise, it really does just feel like a wild shitstorm out there.
And passion. Or maybe it’s compulsion. When I’m in it, I’m in it. It’s the same quality that makes me over-research which blender to buy for days so it’s a double-edged sword. But I’m always down to get that one last shot, try one more thing, throw out one more joke, shoot till the light is gone. Often it’s in that end of the day blur when you’ve stopped following the shot list or the script that the real gold comes.
I’m super ready to direct a feature stat. And I want to start directing half hour TV shows. Overall, the goal is to make good money doing what I love. That’s the dream, right? I want to work on projects that feel aligned with who I am and be able to support my family doing it, with some vacation funding to spare. I want to continue to create comedy and create opportunities for other women both in front and behind the camera. Because female directors are such a steep minority and we still don’t get equal pay, my job inherently makes me political. So much mainstream media and especially comedy is created under the male gaze. I want to help disrupt the way women are seen.
I cringe at touting career successes. I’m just awkward about it. Here are a few random accomplishments:
1. I once rescued 14 kittens from a kill shelter in one day.
2. I did a dance sequence with Isaac Hayes on “That 70’s Show”.
3. I bungee jumped off the Victoria Falls bridge in Zimbabwe.
4. I told my 6th grade P.E. teachers who we’re treating the girls and boys radically different that they were “sexist pigs”. While I was sent to the principal’s office, I hold this as a proud accomplishment.
5. I balance motherhood and a creative freelance career and haven’t had a mental breakdown…yet.
Having a uterus. Such a blessing and curse. I’ve had multiple uterine surgeries. It made getting pregnant a crazy, confusing and costly journey. There was a lot of missed diagnoses and unnecessary struggle. Ironically, we wound up getting pregnant without trying after a night of vodka and disco dancing at a gay bar. Then my first son came two months early. We still don’t know why. That spontaneous and emergency pre-term birth was one my most challenging moments. All that said – that rollercoaster of a journey has made me a better parent and made me more patient and grateful for the chaos of motherhood. It’s been a lesson in letting go and putting things in perspective. Bottom line – women are warriors.
My grandfather always told my mom who always told me “time is money”. Your time might be the most valuable thing you have to offer. Also a believer in “work begets work” – but really what I take away from that is creativity begets creativity. Don’t work shitty jobs that undervalue you cause again – time is money.
Well, I tell my 2 year old, Leo, daily “you’re my favorite”. We’ll see what happens when his baby brother is born in a matter of days! Role models? Too many to name…Jill Soloway, Michelle Obama, Emma Gonzales, Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Kamala Harris, Ali Wong, Amy Schumer, my cat Finn (thought I should include one male in the mix) and any female director.
Also I’m in a mom’s Facebook group with some of the most raw, funny, powerful, generous women I know. It’s the only reason I’m still on Facebook. It’s like the mom illuminati. It started small with moms in the entertainment industry and has expanded from there. I see women compete with each other all the time, but in this group, women build each other up. It’s been an inspiration. It’s a safe space to talk about everything from pumping on set to gun safety in schools to which post-partum bathing suit to buy. These power-house moms are gonna take over the world – watch out.
Past couple years we’ve been in the what’s short travel time, affordable, Zika-free and baby-friendly world. But I’d love to return to Indonesia and Africa. Those places left a lasting impact on me. I lived in Italy for half a year and would love to take my husband and kids there one day and brush off those years of Italian. And I grew up going to both Yosemite and Hawaii a lot and we’re working on keeping up that tradition as best we can. Both places hold a happy place energy for me. Locally, I love Lake Hollywood which is the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s nostalgic and still feels like a respite from the rest of Los Angeles. And I love being home – especially when no one else is.
My sons’ hair. Moscow mules. My camera. Soft pajama pants. My harp that I’ve woefully neglected and promise to one day return to (I’m like that horrible ex-boyfriend). My phone – we’re very attached (so I have a devoted side after all). And I’m interested in green technology. We put in solar panels for our house and I drive an electric car.
This is kind of random, but before I became an uncomfortable narwhal in this last pregnancy, I was going regularly to a class called Yoga Booty Ballet. It feels like a throw-back to the hip hop classes I used to take in the early 90’s music and dance-wise, and I get to pretend I’m 11 again and am going to grow up to be the first woman who’s both a fly girl and a comedian on “In Living Color”.