Lawrence Evan Dotson aka Loupy D was born in Los Angeles, California. He decided early in life that he wanted to tell stories. He was a character who could entertain his two older sisters by staging his own version of a church radio broadcast that they would listen to on Sunday nights. His desire to perform followed him through grade school, and in his senior year of high school, a UCLA professor scouted and urged Lawrence to major in theater. Lawrence felt convicted to follow in the footsteps of his father, so instead of declaring Theater Arts as a freshman, he went in undeclared to sit out for a spot in the highly competitive engineering school. It only took one calculus class to convince Lawrence that Theater Arts was his calling and that he was going to achieve his goal of being recognized for his talents.
While attending UCLA, he combined his interests in art and music and was one of the founders of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival and the Jazz at the Wadsworth Series in conjunction with KJAZ FM in the late 80s. Lawrence became more aware of social justice issues affecting the African American community on campus, and he became active in organizations that promoted positive change. He collaborated with students from other majors and formed the African Theater Collective, which promoted and produced plays from the African Diaspora. That action inspired a performance protest demanding the hiring of more black professors in the Theater Department, and tenure for longtime Professor, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson. The performance showed the progression of the Black theater experience in America as depicted through the development of the African slave from the plantation, to the pulpit, to the stage. I was that performance that expressed the need to study the origins of the most uniquely diverse entertainers on the planet.
Blessed with a wealth of knowledge and a rich experience from college, Lawrence graduated and landed a job as an actor with University Express, an outreach program managed by a former student of Dr. Robinson. The troupe wrote and performed plays at Middle and High Schools, stressing the importance of continuing education. The job allowed him enough time to go on commercial auditions, but after a year of failing to get a gig, Lawrence burnt out on the acting treadmill. In 1991 he met an editor for an underground Hip Hop magazine called No Sellout. Lawrence had his first article published in the second issue, an interview with 1580 KDAY DJ Michael Mixxin Moor. Lawrence began writing under the pen name “Loupy D”, coined from a childhood nickname. He wrote articles, reviews and commentary, conducted interviews and rubbed elbows with some of Hip Hop’s top entertainers of the Golden Era: 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan, Keith Murray, Erykah Badu and many others. In 1994, Loupy D became managing editor at Kronick Magazine, one of the most well known and successful hip hop indie zines out of the West Coast.
Nine years later Lawrence, inspired by his theater work with the children, entered the education field full time. He was a long term substitute teacher in the nation’s largest school district, then a reading specialist for Sylvan Learning Systems in 2003. That phase ended three years later and a lucky break landed him work behind the camera in the film and television industry. Lawrence built a career by being flexible in many aspects of production including camera, locations. As an independent producer, Lawrence has coordinated, managed and supervised a number of commercials and short form content projects. He co-produced with Anika Poitier a short she directed called Yard Sale in 2009. Lawrence directed his first music video Body Movin’ in 2018.
In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, after submitting a draft of a memoir based on his experiences growing up in post-Civil Rights Era Los Angeles, which will be the first part of a trilogy of memoirs. He’s published an academic article, “Persona in Progression: A Look At Creative Nonfiction Literature In Civil Rights and Rap,” in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. He also was the music editor for the online writing journal Drunk Monkeys in 2015.
Recently, Lawrence has been taking steps towards developing his amateur photography into an art form. He had his first public viewing at The L.A. Convergence, Fall Edition at The Metaphor Club in the Crenshaw Community. He has taken photos of several Hip Hop stars. His prize possession is a set of photos of Tupac performing in L.A. at Glam Slam circa 1992, and has a wide collection of photos taken in and around his neighborhood of Baldwin Hills. His photos include before/after photos of different areas of Los Angeles that were marred by the chaos of the L.A. Riots in 1992. Lawrence recalled the horrors of those moments recently in a staged reading called “Riot Day.”
His lifelong goals are to advocate for fathers, publish books and videos of his work over time, and be a great dad to his two sons.