Alumni Spotlight: Lindsay Burton, ‘16, Theater Arts & Computer Information Systems

Lindsay Burton performs sketch comedy with UCB and with Model Majority, an Asian-American sketch comedy group in NYC. Lindsay has performed all across LA stages, spoke at VidCon in 2019, placed in the Top 10 of Asian Comedy Fest’s Content Creator Contest, and has been featured several times on WhoHaHa’s websites throughout 2021!

Describe a time where you felt you had found your professional calling.

During the summer between freshman and sophomore year, I started seeing a lot of live comedy (specifically improv and sketch) and watching a larger amount of content creators online. Soon after that, I quickly met other people who were already incredible comedians who encouraged me right from the start to pursue comedy, specifically as a writer. After watching those same people on stage, I soon realized how gratifying it can be to write and perform your own material, especially as someone who doesn't typically fit the Hollywood mold and as someone who enjoys making niche content. Now I don't have to wait for people to notice me and it's empowering! I have no idea what my friends saw in me that prompted them to cheer me on so early, but I'm so grateful for it.

It took me a full year after seeing my first live sketch show in LA for me to sign up for an improv class (because improv can be terrifying!). Then a couple years later I started writing and performing in my own materials to put up on YouTube. My creative path has snowballed since!

How has your Christian-based college education impacted your career?

One of my anxieties about pursuing a career as a performer was learning how to balance my professional wants and needs with my moral wants and needs. I had no idea what it looked like to be a professional artist, while also maintaining a relationship with Jesus. I had always been told that it's impossible to have both. I'm so thankful that I was surrounded (and still am surrounded!) by people who are working in the entertainment industry but also retain their Christian faith and take it seriously.

What was the most meaningful experience you had at APU?

Hands down, the most meaningful experience for me was getting to write and perform in my first sketch shows there. Developing my own comedic voice in a safe, familiar Christian environment helped me build up my confidence, even if one of my sketches completely bombed. My professor (Susan Isaacs! The best of the best!) and my classmates always showed up to have fun and support each other throughout, which set the tone for me and how I approach my videos and shows in a collaborative environment. I performed in a sketch where I stuffed whipped cream in my face while wearing a dinosaur onesie and then received my diploma on the graduation stage two days later! It was a blast.

Why did you choose to study your particular major?

I knew I wanted to double major in Theatre Arts and Computer Information Systems. One reason was to support myself after school while pursuing my artistic dreams. But also because I genuinely enjoy both subjects. I always knew I wanted to be a performer because I love storytelling. The arts help me laugh, cry, reckon with myself and my relationship with others, and understand other people's stories.

While applying to schools, I had been told to avoid picking a major in the arts. However, I chose to study theatre, and specifically chose to study at APU, so I could see what it looks like to be a Christian and a professional performer. I had many adults tell me it's not possible to be a performer and a Christian. I had a feeling they were wrong. Five years after graduating, I can safely say they were!

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