Lauren Elizabeth Orton
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Lauren Elizabeth Lipkin was born in Houston, Texas on January 28th, 1971. She was the first of three children for Mark and Roslyn Lipkin, followed by her sister Allyson and brother Michael. She attended Memorial Drive Elementary and Spring Branch Junior High. As a child, she was a brownie, a gymnast, and a ballerina. She went on to attend Memorial High School and graduated in 1989. She entered the University of Texas at Austin and pretended to major in dance so she could attend the better ballet and modern classes, formally switching into the philosophy department in the first of her two senior years and eventually graduating in 1994 with a BA in philosophy.

During her years at U.T., Lauren began working as an artist's model - first with art classes and later with individual artists. At the same time, she was gaining what would be a lifelong interest in yoga, fitness, and alternative health practices. She was staunchly opposed to western medicine and its idea of treating the illness rather than changing the part of one's lifestyle that caused it. She picked up the guitar in her junior year and began writing songs as she taught herself to play - her songwriting a natural extension of the poetry she had been writing. Along with modeling, she worked at a myriad number of jobs during college, ranging from Greenpeace canvasser to waitress at Threadgill's.

In the summer of 1995, Lauren moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue both music and dance and settled in Berkeley. She continued art modeling and taught occasional yoga classes. She performed around the Bay Area at clubs and coffeehouses including The Hotel Utah and The Freight and Salvage. She studied dance with Alonzo King's Lines ballet company.

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