Caroline Helm Huval, raised in Lafayette, began her “introduction into the arts” pretty late in life. After tinkering around on the guitar, she decided to create a “girl jam session” that eventually became the band…The Figs. In the Figs, she played upright bass and guitar, sang and wrote a few songs. In 2008, Caroline’s next big idea was a concept called “The Nue Moon Revue.” With ten runs, The Nue Moon Revue variety show, with Caroline as emcee, jingle writer and producer showcased 60 songwriters in Acadiana and was backed by and all star band. Next up… acting! In 2010, she auditioned to be in a local musical “The Dream of the Marionettes” which had several runs in Lafayette and even made its way to New York City. Caroline was cast in the lead role “Sam” in a full length feature film produced in Lafayette called “You’re in Charge.” She acted in a few other plays and films before she took to the stage in the hardest role she has ever played…”Martha” from “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” That experience lead her to want to learn more about acting, so she went to New York City to study The Meisner technique. Today, Caroline is in the process of writing a musical and participating in the hardest of all creative endeavors…marriage and raising a child.
Who makes up your art circle?
Man. That is a tough question. One I have never thought about. AND…I don’t know if I have one. I’m all over the place, jumping from one thing to the next. I guess I just feel like the entire arts community in Lafayette is my circle. I have never felt like I had a ‘tribe” like some people do. Maybe I should get one? Yes, I will. Where do I sign up?
How do you expand your art circle?
I know I just said I don’t have one. Yet, I know the answer to this one…collaboration. One constant in all my endeavors is collaboration. I. would. have. done. Nothing….if I had not collaborated with other people. It seems to be part of my process to think of an idea, connect to someone else and then get the ball rolling.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
Oh my. It is everything. Pretty much everything I have attempted to do has been because of having so much support from this community from the get go of an idea. With The Figs and The Nue Moon Revue, we had a built in fan club called “friends.” Lafayette is just big and small enough to put yourself out there and have a balanced amount of cheerleading and high expectations. I feel somewhat safe to “fail.” Especially these days. I did not always feel that way!
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I guess my artistic approach is.. “Try whatever you feel like doing!” It is usually under the performance/music/theatre umbrella. Want to sing? Sing! Dance? Do it! Write a play? Do it. Just do it. I do believe that Lafayette has benefitted by me following through with my crazy ideas. People shut down ideas sooooooooo much. What if…everyone followed through with their wild ideas? Life would be so much more fun.
Our weekly Art Circle series profiles artists throughout the community and is sponsored in part by Lafayette Visitor Enterprise Fund managed by Lafayette Travel