Actress conquers criticism
Point Park alumna Lachele Carl brings passion to international audience
Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09
Lachele Carl has covered a great deal of territory in her acting career. She has performed here in the United States as well as in Europe, Japan and South Africa.
"You wake up one morning and you never know what's going to happen by the end of the day," Carl said. "You could still be out of work or you could be on your way halfway across the world. It can change just like that. I think that's one of the exciting things about my job."
When Carl was a student at Point Park University she was shy and awkward. One Point Park actress, whose name Carl asked to be withheld, referred to Carl as the least likely to succeed.
"I was absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that [acting] is what I wanted to do," Carl said.
Carl attended Point Park College from 1977 tp1982 as a theater arts major. Point Park left Carl with what she refers to as a "very broad and interesting education."
To date, Carl has worked all over the world with big names such as Maya Angelou and Tadashi Suzuki.
Working with the Suzuki Company of Toga in Japan was Carl's first real challenge upon graduating from Point Park. While under Suzuki's direction she learned various techniques, even though she was unable to speak Japanese.
"I found that wonderful, because I could not rely on anything other than listening and looking at the other actors because I couldn't understand what they were saying to me," Carl said.
Carl's most recent works stray away from her theater training, and she is currently working on television, her second love.
Carl's work on NBC's "The Philanthropist" took her by surprise when she auditioned and got a role that sent her all the way to South Africa for the filming of the show.
"That was an amazing experience…In this business 10 percent is talent and the rest is luck," Carl said.
Carl also just completed two series, the American broadcast of "Bob the Builder", and Russle T. Davis' "Dr. Who".
Carl recorded the voice of Muck on "Bob the Builder" and played reporter Trinity Wells in "Dr. Who".
Television work is a stretch for the now 50-year-old actress because it's technically different from her beginnings at Point Park College.
Carl took her first drama class her senior year in high school.
"That did it for me; I fell in love," said Carl
"Shelly [Lachele] always liked plays," said Alfred Carl, Lachele's father, who still lives in Pittsburgh. "She was always interested in fantasy. She would dress up her sisters and brother in adult clothes and make the neighborhood a part of her plays…she was serious."
After graduating high school, Carl immediately attended Point Park with aspirations of becoming an actress.
Carl took most of her classes at The Pittsburgh Playhouse.
"What's fantastic about the Playhouse is it was very progressive and experimental in those days. I got a classical theater training," Carl said.
Junior theater arts major James Ogden II agreed.
"The Playhouse gives me experience because of all the staff that work here as well as the directors that come here, are working professionals…they travel the world and work here with us everyday," Ogden said.
Teachers such as Jill Wonsworth and a key part of her inspiration, Raymond Laine, worked with Carl and gave her the confidence to really reveal her talent.
"In this business, if you don't believe in yourself you're in serious trouble," Carl said.
Carl officially left the United States in 1985 and now lives in London. She was motivated by the possibility of getting work in Europe.
"If you didn't sing or dance, your chance of getting work was slim, [especially] if you weren't stunningly beautiful, and I wasn't, so I thought if at least if I go to England, they have a real strong tradition because of Shakespeare and I could work," Carl said. "I could feel that I would get some better work there."
Within a month of leaving the United States, Carl landed a job touring with TNT, a small European theater company.
Despite Carl's success, when she was a young actress, she thought by age 50 she would be a Hollywood starlet. Nevertheless, she still considers herself lucky in every sense of the word.
"I have a job and I do something that I genuinely and still passionately love," Carl said.
Carl now lives in Crouch End, North London with her husband Alejandro Viñao, an Argentinean classical contemporary composer, and their 17-year-old son. Today, Carl works as a freelancer for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
"It's a good fit," said Carl when referring to her marriage to Viñao.
Carl mentioned, if she ever finds herself back in Pittsburgh, she would like to teach an acting class at Point Park.
"It's a wonderful profession. Study, open your mind, watch films from all over the world," Carl said. "See what's happenin- try to understand what's happening in your time."