Carrie Coon '03
Major: English and Spanish
Job Title: Actor
Original Hometown: Copley, Ohio
Based out of Chicago and currently residing in New York, I have the pleasure of acting on stage and screen, most recently in "Gone Girl," "The Leftovers," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" on Broadway and "Law and Order: SVU." Basically, I get paid to tell great stories.
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
I was recruited to play soccer and upon visiting, I found the campus well-maintained and inviting; my potential teammates were fun, intelligent and open-minded; and the accommodations were comfortable. I also knew going in that Mount Union had a strong academic reputation, and I qualified for a scholarship.
Large and Small
Mount Union was large enough that it didn’t feel limiting and small enough that I could explore several majors before settling into English and Spanish.
I have to pick one? That’s not fair!
Mount Union Memories
I’m so thankful I chose to participate in athletics at Mount Union. Playing soccer and running track gave me a strong sense of community right from our first training week and also helped me manage my time more efficiently. I also can’t believe I was able to participate in plays in addition to sports—something I don’t think would have been possible at a Division I or II school. I took advantage of the study abroad program as well and spent an incredible semester in San Sebastian, Spain. I also have fond memories of the stir-fry station and the pizza ovens.
Starting a Career
I actually went to graduate school the very next year, after Dr. Hendel in the Department of Theatre introduced me to and helped me prepare for the University/Resident Theatre Auditions (U/RTAs) in Chicago. Without Dr. Hendel’s guidance, I wouldn’t have known the auditions existed nor would I have been prepared to undertake them.
I played soccer for four years and ran track and field for two. I participated in four plays with the Department of Theatre and rushed Alpha Delta Pi. I also worked in the costume shop and by senior year was very active in the Department of Theatre.
I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006, where I was offered a full tuition scholarship.
Preparing for Life After College
At Mount Union, I was able to take a broad range of classes and exercise all of my curiosities. I played sports, participated in plays,studied abroad and met students from all over the world. I traveled to an impoverished area of El Salvador for the culmination of Dr. Kramer’s social responsibility class. A well-balanced liberal arts education should expand one’s sense of empathy and responsibility. In addition, it should offer one structure so as not to fail, but also latitude on which to thrive. That certainly characterizes my experience at Mount Union.
I lived in King Residence Hall, then Shields and finally the blue house across from the football practice fields (which, I understand, was demolished to make room for additional student housing).
I would like to make my living as an actor.
Local Media Coverage of 'Gone Girl':
Mount Union Grad Stars in 'Gone Girl'
I actually went to graduate school the very next year, after Dr. Hendel in the Department of Theatre introduced me to and helped me prepare for the University/Resident Theatre Auditions in Chicago.
- Who is your hero?
- Anyone who is brave is my hero. Nearly everyone is brave sometime, and there are an infinite number of ways to be brave, so … everyone? I wish I could be brave all the time. I look for it everywhere for inspiration.
- What is your biggest pet peeve?
- The ubiquitous “like.” I’m guilty of it, too, but I try to be conscious not to sprinkle it in every sentence, and I never say it in interviews if I can help it. Words are important! How you say something matters as much as what you’re saying.
- In a meeting with your peers, is your phone on the table, in your pocket or purse, left at your desk or in your car?
- In my purse, but I do not check it during a conversation.
- What is your favorite kind of sandwich?
- Right now it’s the niman ranch smoked ham and jarlsberg swiss on a baguette from Pret A Manger—my go-to on a busy audition day in New York City.
- What is your usual bedtime?
- Between 2 and 3 a.m.
- Do you dance in the car?
- Does steering wheel drumming count?
- What was the occupation you wanted to be when you were a kid?
- An archaeologist
- Did you ever win a contest? If so, what was it?
- I seem to recall edging out my fourth grade peers in a fire safety poster contest. Is there a “Neat Job Contest” going on? I think I’m a contender.