With graduation upon us, we spoke to some of CFA’s talented #LMU18 graduates as they gear up to leave LMU and take on the world. In our We Love Our Grads series, we asked a senior from each of our departments to share some words about their time here, as well as their plans for the future.
Beau Mantor, ‘18
Major: Theatre Arts
Next step: Broadway!
How did you decide to become a Theatre Arts major?
I have done theatre since the second grade and have always loved entertaining people. I want to be the reason people smile or cry or release any emotions that they don’t feel they can release in their life. I see theatre as an escape from reality and I’m most happy when I’m a part of that escape.
Tell us a little about your time at LMU.
I started out my college experience doing stage management and set design for the Department and Del Rey Players, LMU’s student-run theatre company. I had the honor of going to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as the technical director of a show my freshmen year, and for set design the following year. My concentration shifted to acting when I got cast in “Three Sisters” my sophomore year. I was involved with two other shows, “Raft of the Medusa” and “Laugh” as well as the Haunting of Hannon. I studied abroad with the theatre program in Bonn, Germany and Moscow, Russia my junior year and that was a life-changing experience. It challenged me to do my best work and push through barriers that were holding me back. I have been the secretary of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society, for the last two years and also worked as an Associate Justice and committee member with ASLMU.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be moving to New York come July. I went on a career trek with LMU’s Office of Career and Professional Development and fell in love with the city. I had the opportunity to meet alumni working at different theatre companies, both on- and off-Broadway. I know I can find inspiration around every corner there and will feel creatively satisfied. I definitely see myself doing theatre, specifically comedy, because I love bringing a smile to someone’s face. I also have an interest for film acting and directing in general so I am very open to the experiences yet to come. Whatever I do, if I can make other people happy, I will be happy.
Did you have a particular experience that led you to this path?
Having the opportunity to play the lead in “Laugh” by Beth Henley definitely got me interested in doing theatre as a career. It allowed me to explore my strength of physical comedy and it is the most fun I have ever had on stage. The moment I figured out that theatre was right for me was when I saw my first Broadway show, “Once on This Island,” as part of the CPD career trek. You could tell the ensemble was having the time of their life onstage and it made me miss the fun I had during “Laugh.”
How do you feel your experience at LMU prepared you for this next step?
Without a doubt, my time here prepared me for the professionalism required to be successful in the industry. The faculty is open to sharing their personal experiences of working in the industry and preparing us for the hurdles we will have to overcome. It’s extremely helpful to have an inside perspective of the industry because I feel like I have a leg up on others in terms of what agents/managers/casting directors expect from you and how to market yourself.
What is your favorite thing about LMU?
My favorite thing about LMU is the community and strong support system, especially in the Theatre Department. Everyone has each other’s back, and the faculty are always there to talk about anything. I’ve had discussions with professors about my career goals, life in general, and the obstacles that are holding me back. I feel comfortable talking to them about anything because it is truly one, big family.
What advice do you have for underclassmen?
Get to know your professors. They are fascinating people with incredible insight. Choose one of them to be your mentor to help guide you through college and life. Find one that you really click with and spend time with them so they can get to know you and put you on a path that is specific for you.
Pictured above: Beau starring in “Laugh” by Beth Henley. Photo by Jason Muñoz.