On The Spotlight: Lacey Caroline
Interview by Gabby Sobral
Images courtesy of ConnectHer Media
LACEY CAROLINE is an Actress, singer, dancer and host. She is best known for her role as Mariah in the 2019 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, A Christmas Love Story directed by Eric Close. Her current show HARBOR ISLAND is on the festival circuit earning her numerous nominations and awards. Lacey has worked with NASCAR on NBC as a Kid Reporter and the Monster Energy Supercross series. Lacey has also appeared on episodes of Evil Lives Here, It's Supernatural, on Lifetime's Terror in the Woods and in numerous short films, commercials and music videos. We had the pleasure of chatting with this talented young lady, find out below what she revealed.
When did you first get interested in acting and performing? And Why?
I was actually born into a family of entertainers - my Dad is a former professional mascot and my Mom was a professional cheerleader. My first real job as an entertainer was as a mini mascot. I got to perform as Mini Hugo - the mini mascot for the Charlotte Hornets at the French All Star game in Paris and loved it. I performed in halftime and throughout the second half of the game in front of 25,000 fans and also participated in their media day. I realized that I loved performing right then and there. Around the same time I was introduced to theatre and played “Molly” in my elementary school’s version of Annie, Jr. Back then, I was focused on competitive cheerleading so I didn’t do theatre again for a few years. But I did theatre summer camp and I knew I had found my passion! I stopped cheering, started voice lessons and decided to go to Northwest School of the Arts in 6th grade. I got my first local agent and booked my first project when I was in 6th grade and that was the beginning.
What was your first ever professional job? Being a mini mascot was my first true job. But my first professional acting gig was as a photo double for Sophie Grace in Lifetime’s “Terror in the Woods.” I was just starting out and filming was in Atlanta. I was originally booked as Background for a scene, but on the way down to Atlanta we got a call from casting and they were interested in having me be Sophie’s photo double. We were only prepared to stay one night but ended up staying all week and it was an amazing experience and I was hooked!
Can you tell us a little bit on the audition process that led up to getting the role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film?
“A Christmas Love Story” was actually filmed in my hometown so Hallmark was working with Northwest School of the Arts to find the kid characters, especially the choir kids. I auditioned for a choir kid and the role of Mariah during an Open Call. The audition was at Northwest School of the Arts and we were put into groups. We had to perform our scenes, sing as a group and then sing a portion of the Christmas carol, Silent Night. I actually messed up singing a little but kept smiling and finished strong! I got a call back for the character of Mariah and was really excited to head to the casting agency; but we got a call the day before the call backs were scheduled saying that the callback session was cancelled. The producers felt they had everything needed to present to the Hallmark executives. That was on a THURSDAY! All weekend we were anxious, and excited and hopeful and the following Monday night my agent called and told me to check my email! I had booked the role of Mariah.
What’s your favorite thing about playing Mariah? How would you describe it? It was life changing experience. Getting to be a part of the Hallmark family is a huge honor and every element of the project was so well done. I got to record individually at a music studio for the first time and meet and work with Kristin Chenoweth. As a theatre kid, I got to work with one of my idols. The director, Eric Close, is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and he was so genuinely excited about the project. His excitement was felt the entire time and made it so special. I seriously cried when it was over.
Any special moments on set that you can share with us? There are 2 moments I will never forget. One was filming the final concert scenes. We filmed those first in a beautiful theatre in Uptown Charlotte and the entire choir was so excited to be there. It was hard, at first, adjusting to being a principal character when a lot of my friends were in the choir, but they were so supportive, and I am so thankful. One of the days when we were filming the final scene where Kristin and Kevin Quinn were singing their duet, we all started singing along during rehearsal and it was magical. My Mom still has a picture of me standing there watching them and I was mesmerized. Another cool moment helped me understand that an actor’s job never ends. My “school” was in the basement of where we were filming the choir rehearsal scenes and I was down there doing school work with Keyon, the other principal youth actor, when Mr. Scott and Kevin came down to film an audition. Seeing Scott Wolf film an audition, that I think he actually booked the character for, was so inspiring. Kevin Quinn filmed him and I was honored to watch that process.
Did anyone give you any special advice on set? I wouldn’t say special advice but Mr. Eric and Ms. Kristin called me “one-take wonder.” I had an awesome scene with my “mom”, Ms. Kristin and 2 other actors. We filmed the scene from so many different angles and my close-up was the last one to film. They filmed my close-up once and I nailed it. Ms. Kristin said, “ok one-take wonder” and Mr. Eric and the Producers were thrilled and so complimentary. From that I learned to respect the process, to always be prepared and to give it my best no matter how many times it takes - 1 or 100!
Do you get excited to see yourself on tv? I don’t normally like to watch myself - I hate watching self-tapes. But the Hallmark movie was different. It was so cool to see the final movie and I was so proud to be a part of it. The Hallmark movie premiered while I was filming the tv pilot, “Harbor Island” and the entire crew made it a very special night for me.
When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun? I love to swim, ride my bikes, play with my dogs and skateboard. I live in a beautiful lake area of North Carolina and water is a big part of my life. I also love television and movies and am fascinated by thinking through how shots were made and where things were filmed. I just recently got an old school Super 8 camera and am trying to find film so that I can start making some of my own content.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be an actress and director. I also hope to have a large enough platform to be a true influencer. I am very passionate about equality and want to try and influence change in a positive way.
Is there a specific role you’d like to play one day? I would love to be in a movie musical or musical series. It would be the most incredible way to combine my passions for theatre and film. I continue to work hard on improving my voice and honestly, miss singing.