by the handprints and signatures of her favorite actors while “standing in that place where my heroes were. I was also mesmerized with how big everything was, and how much there was in L.A. – so many people from all over the world, culture, art – I just fell in love with the city.”
Louise now trains with acting coach Ivana Chubbuck, who has been described by Academy Award- winner Halle Berry as “the premiere acting coach of the 21st century.” Over Chubbuck’s 35-year career, she has worked with several A-list actors and stars, including Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Jim Carey, Meg Ryan, Beyoncé Knowles, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sylvester Stallone and Jessica Biel.
“I just want to push myself more and more and educate myself as much as I can,” said Louise, who said her work never stops, even when she’s at home, where she’s constantly reading and analyzing scripts.
Louise also trains regularly with a voice coach – working on accents and projection, knowing that the American accent is foreign to her.
“I regularly read monologues and study them; I practice my accent training every day without fail,” said Louise, who also studies screenplay writing, and enjoys watching and learning from documentaries about great actors, actresses, writers and directors, including Marilyn Monroe, who Louise admires for her persistence.
“When people thought she was just the sexy blonde, she had huge talent and proved it to everyone around her – in her drive and dedication,” Louise said. “She is my role model for that and I admire her so much for her bravery and courage to believe in herself and do it.”
To that end, Louise believes you only get typecast “if you allow yourself to get typecast,” and her reaction is to “push yourself to play a character that no one expected.”
Everyone has “a look,” she said, “but isn’t it fascinating when you see your favorite actor in film play a complete opposite character than what they usually do? You immediately are drawn to them more, waiting to see what they will do next. It makes you think, ‘wow,’ I never expected that.”
While grit and talent have fueled Louise’s success, she largely credits the support of her mom and dad, who encouraged their daughter to pursue her dream.
“They work so hard all their lives and have given me so much, I honestly feel like the luckiest person on earth to have had parents like them.”
Although Louise was nervous about moving to Los Angeles, “my parents were like, ‘just do it.’ My dad helps me with auditions and reading scripts, and my mom is the same. They’re always rooting for me. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”
Many people on the outside looking in might think that actors only go on set and read their lines, “but it’s nothing like that,” noted Louise, adding “there’s a lot of inner work that goes into what you’re character is…there’s meaning behind everything and you have to find that and project that into your acting. Then you have to find a way to connect with what’s going on with your character.”
Acting has a lot to do with what the character is feeling, the challenges they’re facing and whatever battle they’re facing, and “in that moment, you’re feeling everything they’re feeling,” she said. “You’re taking every single thing thrown at you and just letting go. And that’s when I’m in the moment. I’m no longer Layla Louise. I’m the character. It’s a precious experience and I feel lucky I get to do that.”
She also loves being immersed in an art form that requires constant learning and growth – as well as teamwork by like-minded individuals.
“It’s amazing how much work and dedication goes into one shot,” said Louise, adding this requires many aspects, including the lighting, the blocking, the camera, the sound, the props, and the set up.
“And sometimes, something amazing happens when it’s not even written in the script – maybe something the director sees on set or something an actor just did – and it just works in that scene and that’s just another amazing aspect of the beauty of film,” she said.
Looking back on the tremendous success she’s had since moving to Los Angeles, Louise believes “whatever your dream is or whatever your passion is, never think it’s out of reach, never give up on your dream.”
“I always wake up and say to myself there are 24 hours in the day – make them count,” she added. “Every hour, minute, second is precious to achieve what you want. Go grab it. I love acting. When you love something, you just do it without thinking. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”