A classical music prodigy, Lourds Lane began her training on violin and piano at the age of three; by six, she had played Carnegie Hall and was traveling the world with her youth orchestra. After graduating with honors from Harvard, she formed her own band, LOURDS, and as the band’s frontwoman, played the electric violin, mandolin and electric guitar. Lourds is also the creator of the annual Medusa Festival, which has been showcasing the best emerging female-fronted bands in the country for the past six years.
Now Lourds new Broadway-bound musical "Chix 6" is currently playing at Queens Theatre in the Park (Flushing Meadow Corona Park) through October 30. "Chix 6" tells the story of "Katie," a comic book artist trapped in an unhealthy relationship with a narcissistic musician who will do whatever it takes to get ahead. When Jay’s emotional games become too much to bear, Katie’s creations—a quintet of strong, sassy, superheroines—come to life, leaping off the page to teach the vulnerable artist how to become strong and make changes in her life.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My Filipino mom raised her three kids all by herself. My dad was violent and the cops would drag him out of the house regularly. I would practice 6-7 hours a day, starting when I was 3 years old, because music and performing was my emotional outlet. It was my escape. I played in front of hundreds to thousands of people by the time I was 6, when I played Carnegie Hall. Performing wasn't really an option. It's part of my bone structure.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? One day, I want to jam out on electric violin with Missy Elliot.
3. What made you want to write "Chix 6" and what excites you about having this piece come to life? Being the host, creator, promoter, and headliner of the Medusa Festival (http://medusafestival.com), which features high-energy female featured bands for 6 years, I knew a lot of super-talented and charismatic female singers and musicians. I wanted to create a huge theatrical event featuring an all-star female cast. In the beginning, the cast were mostly all kick-ass indie rockers. Now, with a fully developed script, the cast is now mostly Broadway veterans. When I was re-writing the script, I pulled a lot of the scenes and lines from the heartbreak that was going on in my real life. At the time, I would listen to the music I wrote for the show and it rescued me from the immense pain I was feeling, just like Katie's (the protagonist) art rescues her.
Over the past 2 weeks of shows, we've had a cross section of audiences at the Queens Theatre in the Park, where we are doing our developmental run, including the subscription audience where the average age was 80 years old. Every single show, we've gotten a standing ovation. I'm excited that no matter how old you are, or what sex or ethnicity you are, that CHIX 6 resonates with people.
The underlying mission of CHIX 6 is empowerment, which extends to the FUN-DATION that I co-created called "The Lightning Girl Fun-Dation," (http://www.chix6.com/main/fundation.htm). We are teaching kids bi-weekly in Harlem that "The superhero is you." Spreading that message through the play and through our "fun-dation" is most definitely the biggest thing that excites me.
4. What is your favorite part of the creative process in writing a song for a record and writing a musical? I love when the magic happens...when lyrics just flow, when music just leaves my fingers and taps the perfect chords on the piano. I love the moments when I have no idea who wrote the melody that seemed to have come out of my mouth. Those are my most spiritual moments when I feel most connected to something bigger, something divine. Those are the moments when I fall to my knees and weep in deep gratitude. This is my church.
5. What do you get from performing in a theatrical show that you don't get from performing on your own? I have more freedom performing my own rock show. I can change the show daily-- different set, different clothes, brand new songs, more or less audience banter. I do what I want. I can play a show entirely on electric violin if the mood strikes me. There are no rules. Performing in theatre requires a certain amount of consistency and discipline. Same clothes, same wig, same lines, same blocking. But I'm on my toes in a different way. I don't come from the theatre world so I don't have the same kind of comfort level that the other Broadway actors and actresses have. Everything feels new and foreign. Plus since this is a "developmental run" and the show is far from being "set," as much as I try to just be an actor in the show, I can't help but also wear my "writer" hat. I'm constantly thinking of alternate lines and ways to make the show better which keeps steam blowing out of my ears at all times. Right now, performing in theatre is probably the most intense thing I've ever done. Yet, collaborating with this cast and our Tony Award winning creative team is a high that is matched by no other. The CHIX 6 team are the most talented, committed, and passionate group of individuals I have ever had the honor of working with. I feel so grateful and blessed.
6. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I learned that I really don't like or need attention except the times when I'm supposed to get attention.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Brisk walks by the river.
8. Favorite skin care product? Clean and Clear oil free moisturizer. Favorite kind shoes? My black Vans.
9. Favorite website? I try not to stay on the computer more than I have to.
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Puhleeeeeze...Wonder Woman, no question.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? In the Philippines, the word for grandma is "Lola." My Lola came to America and lived with my family for a few years when I was a little girl. We shared a room and a bed. One year, she went back to the Philippines for a visit and I never saw her again. I love dreaming about her. It makes me feel protected and safe.