Broadway star Lulu Lloyd is back home in San Diego after following her dreams to the Great White Way. Lloyd said she’s home to help others wishing for similar success by launching The Broadway Clubhouse with after-school classes on all things Broadway.
Speaking from her current residence in Point Loma, Lloyd expounded on her stardom and her passion for coaching others to the stage.
“I was always involved with theater,” she recalled. Born and raised in La Jolla, she said she started acting at age five in Dierdre Andrews’ Young Actors Workshop while a student at Stella Maris Academy. Bitten early by the theater bug, Lloyd said she knew she wanted to be on Broadway after seeing “Beauty and the Beast” in New York. After the show, she told her parents, “I’m going to move to New York and be on Broadway for a long time.”
A La Jolla High School grad who performed countless times with San Diego Junior Theater and other companies, Lloyd said she moved to Los Angeles and then New York, earning a degree from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy. She then “pounded the pavement; I did everything you can imagine when you’re on your way to Broadway,” she said.
After hearing “hundreds of ‘no’s,” she got her first big break, auditioning in New York, but performing at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “Bright Star.”
“Since then, I’ve never stopped working,” Lloyd said. “I’ve been lucky enough to perform for years without any survival jobs.”
Her next break came with her role in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “School of Rock” on Broadway. During her tenure, the choreographer invited Lloyd to be the dance captain, which meant she would work with the 17 children in the cast, training them in their roles and serving as a mentor. “I had no teaching experience. I had no clue it would mean anything to me, but it ended up being the best part of the job.”
Lloyd did this for three years with new cast members, eventually teaching more than 70 children, while performing with “School of Rock.”
“I lit up every day I went to work with these kids. It completely changed things for me, in terms of showing me I didn’t want to perform full-time anymore; I knew I wanted to work with children, make a career out of it.”
She then got involved with as many teaching opportunities as she could, teaching all around New York “with a lot of different workshops, teaching hundreds of children” while continuing to perform. She paused briefly to perform on a national tour of Jim Steinman’s “Bat Out of Hell,” and later booked her bucket list role: Jenna on “Waitress.”
“While on tour, I was finally getting to play my dream part, but there was something about the kids that I really missed,” she explained. “I also missed San Diego, having been gone for 12 years. So I took the opportunity to come back to town and decided to take a really big risk and open my own company.”
Her theater business, The Broadway Clubhouse, will offer classes on singing, dancing, acting, audition workshops and more, targeted to children, but Lloyd hopes her venture will gain momentum and she can begin offering her expertise to teens and adults. Classes begin in April and will run through spring, picking back up in the fall after Lloyd breaks to perform locally in the summer.
She plans to hold her five-week courses at the Santa Clara Rec Center in Mission Beach, while she scours the County for other locations, excited to bring her classes to wherever she’s welcomed.
The Broadway Clubhouse will also bring in members of the Broadway community, for master classes taught by Lloyd’s friends and colleagues as they travel through San Diego on Broadway tours. Every show that performs in San Diego will include an actor or two who’s agreed to teach for Lloyd. The first ones will come from the musical “Frozen” this spring, with song presentations and artist Q&As for the duration of the tour in San Diego.
“I’m hoping it’s exciting to people to be able to be trained by Broadway professionals,” she said.
To youth interested in performing, Lloyd has this advice: “It’s really important to say ‘yes.’ Saying yes to the dance captain opportunity was life-changing for me; it changed my entire trajectory. Immerse yourself in all aspects of the theater.”
As for herself, Lloyd teared up when speaking about the significance of her new endeavor: “No matter how it goes, this will be a profound chapter in my life. I cannot wait to work with the local kids.”
— Want to know more? Visit thebroadwayclubhouse.com