Los Angeles, California
Theatre Performance and Political Science
Soon after graduating from Carthage, Natalie Lall ’22 moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. There, she signed with a manager and commercial agency that submits her for opportunities in film, television, theatre, and commercials. Ms. Lall prepares for roles by filming self tapes, working on auditions and callbacks, and making sure all her casting profiles are up to date.
She recently booked two national commercials and is working on her own play that explores healing and celebrating a multicultural identity.
“Chase down everything that excites you. Have the courage to say yes to yourself and create the life you want. If you want it, go get it.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I am so grateful that I get to do what I love every day. Even on my most stressful days where there is so much to do, I remember that getting to act, sing, and dance for my career is what I dreamed about doing as a kid. I am truly living my dreams and chasing the stories that call me.
“The world can feel so overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel powerless in the face of so much destruction and sadness. I know that stories change lives. They change culture. They give people hope, understanding, and joy. They make people feel less alone. I am incredibly honored that I get to bring characters to life and contribute to making the world a more vibrant and thoughtful place.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“I practiced disciplining myself in college. I practiced doing the work and putting in the hours and preparing the materials to allow myself to play and thrive in a scene. My political science degree also helps me approach the work I do with relentless inquisitiveness. I learned to investigate at Carthage and to have the courage to ask why things are the way they are. The pandemic also forced us all to learn to adapt in creative ways. In the theatre world, we learned to work on camera and develop self-taping skills that I now use when submitting auditions.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“I think about my Intellectual Foundations class with Professor Michael McShane all the time. I think about ‘Dante’s Inferno’ and how I create my own reality every day through the choices I make. The richness of the texts I explored at Carthage through my political theory classes, Global Heritage classes, and my feminist theory classes make me a more aware and empowered artist.
“Coming from a liberal arts background that introduced me to incredible literature and stories gives me a sense of groundedness in my life. I know that whether or not I book the job or star in the movie, I am still a person. I am a person who can enjoy art, life, food, stories, music, and dance. I am more than my work, and there is so much the world has to offer.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“Because of Carthage, I was able to connect with alumna Marie Tredway ’17, who has been a wonderful and very generous mentor to me as a young actor. She offered me support and guidance. Because of her, we now share the same amazing manager who is constantly helping us grow our careers.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Professors Seemee Ali and Michael McShane’s course on the Mahabharata changed my life. They taught me how to dig into a text and open myself up to the richness it had to offer. I consistently return to the Mahabharata whenever I feel lost or without inspiration.
“Professor Paul Ulrich’s political theory classes also stick with me as I’m growing as a person and thinker. I actually go back to some of my old papers I wrote in his classes to help me puzzle through my ever-evolving thoughts on justice, community, power, and purpose. In the same way, I think about Professor Ellen Hauser’s courses all the time. Her women’s and gender studies courses helped me learn to see society and everyday interactions in an entirely new way, and I’m grateful to have been her student.
“Professors Hershel Kruger, Neil Scharnick, and Martin McClendon all had the grace to work with me and help me become the actor I am today. Professors William Newcomb and Kim Instenes both had the extra patience to teach me how to use a drill and properly operate a sewing machine. Because of them, I can confidently say I learned extremely practice skills at my liberal arts institution!
“There were so many professors at Carthage who shaped me and offered me so much. Special thanks to everyone in both the political science and theatre departments for always pushing me to do things I didn’t think I could.”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
“I was the Distinguished Senior for the Class of 2022, the Theatre Department, and the Political Science Department. I also received the Kenosha Oaks Scholarship. As a scholar recipient, I was able to graduate from Carthage debt-free. This allowed me to make the move to L.A. and establish my life in a new city with financial stability.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“It’s all about community. We don’t live life in a vacuum, and if you get too full of yourself, life starts to get real ugly, real fast. I seek truth, even though I don’t really know what that means, but I do my best to be a person of integrity and meet each moment with honesty. I also make sure to remember where I come from. I come from the beautiful City of Kenosha, where people care about each other and know what’s important in life. Keeping the Kenosha community close to my heart reminds me not to get stuck in my own head and to get out there and make people’s lives better in any way I can.”