MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Lola Lauro may only be 12 years old, but she already has a better appreciation of what she wants to do with her life than most college seniors.
The precocious Mahopac Middle School seventh grader has had her eyes set on a career in the modeling/entertainment business since she was 8 and already has a leg up on girls twice her age.
Lola is in the middle of a two-year contract with TTA Model &Talent Agency on Madison Avenue, which has been setting her up on auditions and photo shoots with clothing companies.
She got accepted by TTA after she filmed an audition video and sent it to the agency, and they invited her down to the city for an interview.
“I got the interview and they said they loved me,” Lola said. “It was a great experience. It was amazing.”
One of Lola’s biggest gigs to date was a photo shoot she did for Zara, one of the world’s largest apparel retailers. She admits she had some butterflies before the shoot.
“I was very nervous,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is happening. This is real life. A huge company wants to see me!’”
Prior to the pandemic, Lola did two walks on the runway for a designer during Fashion Week in New York City.
“That was cool,” she said. “I did two [walks] and they thought I was a natural. Most of the girls did just one. One of the outfits I wore, you could fold it into a bag and use it as a purse. They were all clapping and that was an amazing moment.”
Lola also completed auditions for the children’s pop group Kidz Bop and for Nickelodeon. Due to the pandemic, those auditions were performed online. She is still waiting to hear back.
“We really don’t know yet,” she said. “But it was cool to audition for such a big industry. I made up a dance routine right there on the spot. I am a perfectionist and I try to do it perfect but try not to get carried away with that because it can get frustrating.”
Lola said the pandemic has hindered her ambitions somewhat as performances and auditions have either been canceled, postponed or relegated to the internet. She was supposed to be part of the middle school’s production of “Mary Poppins Jr.” last spring, but that was canceled.
She also wasn’t able to perform at the annual veterans Thanksgiving dinner at the Putnam County Golf Course last November. In prior years, she gave a guest performance with the USO singers.
“[The pandemic] took that opportunity away and I was sad about it, but there will be other chances and I am looking for a busy season this summer,” said Lola, who was the Italian American Club’s Little Miss Columbus in 2017 and rode in the Columbus Day Parade. “Things are starting to open up again and I hope to be back to doing live auditions.”
When things do get back to normal, Lola Lauro will definitely be ready for her close-up.