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Emmanuel LaPorte

2505

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Finalist

Bio

Hello! My name’s Emmanuel LaPorte, although I usually go by Manny. I’m a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley! I’m currently majoring in both Architecture and Theater, which I know is an odd combo, but it aligns well with my goals! High school taught me that I am in love with performing and the performing arts at large, and even though plenty of people told me I'd end up broke, I'm confident that I will find a way to create a sustainable and successful career within the entertainment space. I hope to use my architecture and design experience to hone my design skills, and use my theater training to become an even more competent actor. My dream is to have my work make someone else’s life better - whether I inspire people through acting, or I design the sets that let someone else do that same thing. Designing a building would also be amazing! Once I achieve this goal, I'm going to do it again, and again, and again - an infinite number of times, and bigger each time. There's no telling how far I'm going to go, but I know that it's gonna be pretty far. So, yeah! That's me. Thanks for reading!

Education

University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Drama/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft
    • Architecture and Related Services, Other
  • GPA:
    3.7

Lassen High

High School
2019 - 2023
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Performing Arts

    • Dream career goals:

      I want to work in entertainment at large - either acting, or set design.

    • A/V Crew

      UC Berkeley Department of Music
      2023 – Present1 year

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Junior Varsity
    2021 – 2021

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2022 – 20231 year

    Arts

    • UC Berkeley's Theater4Charity

      Acting
      Sketch Showcase Spring 2024: "Unit 3 Explodes", Sketch Showcase Fall 2023: "Five Nights at the Golden Bear Cafe"
      2023 – Present
    • UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

      Acting
      The River Bride
      2024 – 2024
    • University of California Marching Band (Cal Band)

      Music
      2023 – 2024
    • BareStage’s BarePage

      Acting
      BarePage: Divorce
      2024 – 2024
    • BareStage Productions

      Acting
      2024 – Present
    • Susanville’s Best of Broadway

      Acting
      Matilda
      2023 – 2023
    • Susanville’s Best of Broadway Concert Series

      Acting
      Hairspray, High School Musical on Stage, Young Frankenstein, Ragtime
      2023 – 2023
    • Lassen High Drama

      Acting
      A Party to Murder, The Lightning Thief - The Percy Jackson Musical
      2021 – 2023
    • Susanville's Best of Broadway

      Acting
      The Wizard of Oz
      2022 – Present
    • Hefner Band

      Music
      2016 – 2019
    • Susanville Symphony

      Music
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Seventh-day Adventist Church — Main technology person, helped church run
      2015 – 2024

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Student Life Photography Scholarship
    Jest Laugh Scholarship
    Have you ever just sat down on your comfy chair at the end of a long day, wondering just how exactly you got to this point in your life? Maybe you wanted to cry, maybe you couldn't figure out how - but everything was just wrong. You peer over at your computer monitor, wanting to grab the rubber ducky you kept in front of it, only to see he's been stabbed with a pin. Great! Can't ask Harold for advice today. Maybe the rubber frog on the other side of the desk? Nah. She's vanished. You turn, your eyes mid-roll, to face your roommate, who's staring at his own laptop inconspicuously, pretending that he'd just been playing Minecraft all day and could never have done that to you. He knows you know it was him though, your gasp's enough to tell the whole floor. Life sucks. Walking into college, I don't think there's a single person who didn't tell me to pick money above all else - after all, that's the way that I was going to survive the California housing market, right? With a "respectable" job. I chose to major in Architecture. I'd always liked design, so maybe it wouldn't be bad. I could do band too! But when I tell you that being in a university marching band is like selling your soul to a military general cosplaying your school's mascot, it would be an understatement. My first semester of college was TERRIBLE. I spent my nights wishing I could act, but failing auditions whenever they came around because I had changed my mind too late, and not prepared well enough. Band was fun, but it wasn't a stage - I didn't get to heckle audiences, or poke fun at the stage manager's mullet, or convince a fellow actor to shave his beard because we thought he'd look like the know-it-all kid from Polar Express without it. I liked the buildings I drew in class, but they weren't me, at least, not on their own. If I was gonna become a design expert, I wanted to gear it towards entertainment, like set design. If I was going to be in college, I was going to ignore my "friends," and bring back the acting. So, I began my mission. I found a theater club that specialized in comedy sketches and I crashed their mid-semester meeting. No auditions, so no chance to kick me out! It took a bit of begging and some mild social media stalking to get them to let me put one of my own scripts into their next showcase, but soon enough, we were saving our pet bear (he was kidnapped by space pirates after we teleported him into space on accident). Two sketch showcases later and a winter break later, I'd made it into a more serious role in a university sanctioned production, I'd made it into another sketch-writing group, and I'd scored my first paid role, coming in August of 2024. Life's gotten better, and even if life's still a joke, I'm laughing with it, not at it. I'm in the process of officially declaring my double major (or, "simultaneous degree," as UC Berkeley calls it), and I'm more sure of my goals than I think I've ever been. I'm gonna entertain some people, and make them smile! Some advice from me: don't listen to people. You'll end up just delaying your dream. For example - make sure you steal your roommate's Mac and Cheese box before he comes back, not after! Not that I did that, or anything... Thanks for reading! :)
    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    Everyone tells you to look both ways when you cross the street, right? What they don’t tell you is that you might also want to look for a flying discus. My first experience with Track and Field was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was clear that I loved the feeling of throwing a discus - sometimes enough to ignore practicing my saxophone for it. Some called me lazy for choosing that event - but the tips of your fingers wrapping around the edge of a metal disc is such a good feeling. The year after, I got my first full season, even if it was inside of a mask. My personal records soared, and I never lost my groove. Our discus cage was falling apart, and the ring had blades of grass poking through it… but just because it wasn’t perfect didn’t mean I couldn’t use it. If school ended at three, I went home at six. Every hour meant another inch, and every inch told me I could get one more. From a jersey that was too small to a regional championship, I made every moment count, no matter how cramped the bus was, or how much homework I had to catch up on. By the end of the season, I had conquered the disc as well as an average high schooler can, and I was ready to end the season and take my AP History test. But… the day before, I failed to look both ways. I reached up from my pocket to adjust my glasses, which had slightly moved out of place. As my hand connected with the glasses, I turned to hear someone shout my name, and faced a rogue discus directly. Time slowed down - it was like adrenaline tried to give me extra time to react… but the discus was too close. I turned my hand forward, with the palm facing the disc, shut my eyes, and braced for impact. The feeling was like nothing I had ever felt before. A shock slid down my arm, as if the disc had shattered a million nerves along the highway. For the next week, I couldn’t feel my arm. Every movement felt phantom, as if it wasn’t real. I took that AP test in immense pain - but it was as if my brain couldn’t tell where the pain was coming from. I had a jazz concert the next day, where every movement felt like sliding along a pin or needle, but I was afraid to tell anyone for fear my injury would bring high medical costs. The impact of that discus changed my life, with what is perceived to be nerve damage in that arm. I competed in track and field again, but I was never the same… thing is, change isn’t always bad. The change drew me farther into the world of arts and design, where I spearheaded play productions, improved my saxophone craft, and drew hundreds of new buildings, sometimes slowly bringing back fine use of the discus arm. By the end of high school, I’d found a home in the arts, and I’d worked with some of my closest friends to help them find their homes too. As a student at UC Berkeley, I continue to build a new future for myself in the arts and architecture - all because of a discus. In the same way that Kalia did, I created opportunity with the cards that I was dealt - and I believe that my continued drive honors her memory in the way this scholarship was meant to.
    Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
    As an only child, co-op gaming was always a hassle. I was awkward, I didn’t know how to make friends, and I only had retro consoles! Imagine going to school with all those cool kids playing Mario Kart on their DS Lite and DSi consoles… while you had Metroid Fusion on your Game Boy Advance (the model WITHOUT the backlight!). But… I did have one saving grace to my lonely gaming adventures, and that was my dad. Let me tell you - this man knew NOTHING about modern games! He’d dabbled his hands at Pitfall or Galaga back in the 80s, but when he tried his hand at Minecraft for the first time, he tried to break stone with his hand. That being said, he was never one to admit defeat… so he always kept trying. One fateful day at a used game store somewhere in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I found a copy of Metroid Prime for the GameCube, and instantly picked it up. Up until I had discovered Xenoblade, Metroid was my absolute favorite Nintendo franchise, and little me was on a quest to collect every game. The problem? I had NO idea how to play a non-linear 3D game like Metroid Prime. The map didn’t make sense to me, and I was quick to get distracted. But I decided that I was going to play it anyway… My first time trying to play, I got to the end of the first section on the space frigate. After that? Nothing. I couldn’t even figure out which door to go through to progress the game! It was completely different from the 2D Metroid games I’d played before it… and it was so much bigger too. Instead of two or three incorrect doors for me to get blocked by, Metroid Prime had ten! It was so much bigger… and I was in over my head. But QUITTING? Nah. I spent $12 on it! That’s where my dad comes in. He wouldn’t dare play a game like Metroid Prime… but trying to help me figure it out? That was up his alley. Maybe alone neither of us could get Samus through the cavernous depths of Tallon IV, but together, we came up with a plan. While dad got his hands on a complete and detailed map of Tallon IV, I held the controller. He steered the wheel while I pressed the buttons; and together, we slowly figured out what to do, and where to go. The Varia Suit? We found it. The big giant rock guy you fight in the Phazon Mines? He told me where to hit him, and I pulled it off with style. By the time we fought the actual Metroid Prime, we were an unstoppable duo. Unlike Samus, we used the power of teamwork to finish the fight, and that’s why we didn’t end up blowing up any planets while we were on our mission. In the end? We got a hell of an experience, a heck of a memory, and a completed save file on our memory card. It was time for Fusion suit mode! And that’s how we made Metroid Prime a co-op experience - and why it’ll always be my favorite way to play.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    "You're crazy." That's what my counselor said when I added another Advanced Placement class to my schedule. I'd always been a driven student, wanting to make something out of my life and not just be another student who made no mark. I'd always told myself that I'd take on any challenge that could help me achieve my dream of architecture, no matter the cost. That, the cost, was an integral part of the decisions I made. I knew from middle school that going to college was going to be an expensive goal, and it terrified me. "You can't afford it," was what my mind told me whenever I'd think about college, followed by "You'll drown in the debt of your loans." I'd fight those thoughts with "You're young - just do what you can and it'll all work out," but it never calmed me. Then, I learned about Advanced Placement. Year-long courses that could boost my GPA, and give college credit that could not only expedite my journey to architecture, but reduce the cost of college. My high school offered eleven. I was going to take them all. My school didn't offer AP classes to freshman, so I'd have to wait to take on AP. However, I discovered that through the local community college, I could take online college courses. "The cost goes down, and you get through college faster with these," my mind said. So, I took one per semester. The challenge was immense - freshman me was not ready for the rigor. But I was determined to get the credit for those classes - and I did. My sophomore year came around, and I took the AP course offered - AP European History. Thanks to the preparation the college classes before it gave me, I was able to pass the course relatively easily. I even began to take an extra college class per semester. My junior year came around. I planned to take four AP courses, but scheduling conflicts left a blank in my schedule. Against everyone's advice, I chose AP Statistics as a fifth AP course. I wasn't prepared for five AP courses, along with two college classes per semester. I barely hung on for the first semester, but I persisted. I got myself into this - so I would see the end. I created a schedule, dedicating time to study, community service, theatre, everything that I did. I only had one junior year, and I wasn't going to let anyone down. I would not be overwhelmed. I found encouragement through the internet - if others could take this many classes, I could too. By December, I found a rhythm. My grades stabilized - I found a way to manage my responsibilities. However, I wanted to add my sport, Track and Field, during the spring. After adding that sport, the pressure was immense. I felt like I wouldn't make it to the end of the year - but I felt I had to finish this. I began using even bus rides to track meets as time to study. I left no minute unused. June came. I passed each course. Despite my mind and everyone around me telling me I couldn't, I did it. I found a way to figure it all out. As a senior, I've learned that my determination can get me through the toughest situations, and inspire others to do the same. I now lead a drama club as its president and continue to serve others in other ways, while taking another five AP classes. I am crazy. But I'm determined. That's my greatest quality.
    Bold Optimist Scholarship
    When I was 5, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It's a degenerative condition that affects the nervous system and brain - the myelin sheath is ripped from cells and leads to episodes of exacerbation of symptoms and sometimes the occurrence of entirely new ones. (After the initial episode, these episodes are titled "relapses.") During an evening in 2010, I was riding with my mother back home from a shopping trip to a nearby town. The town we lived in back then didn't have a Target, and admittedly - we both loved our Target. The drive was about a 40 minute drive, but on the way back, she went blind. Her vision vanished and she began to cry out - neither of us knew what was happening. I knew she was a good driver, so I assured her everything would be okay. Our drive home was a straight shot, and it was late, so there was no traffic. I figured we could make it, I just had to believe we would get home. It was terrifying, but we did get home. In the early years of Mom's battle with MS, between her legs ceasing to work at times and her arms at others, it was a challenge for both of us to get through even individual days. But I figured that, if we survived that first day, we could survive anything. That thought process has gotten me through broken friendships, difficult losses, academic challenges, and really just about everything. Optimism has shown me that there is always a light beyond darkness. For some it's dim, and for some it's bright, but it's always there. And when we remind ourselves that it is, when we find the strength to keep going, we can make it to that light.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    “You.” That’s a word that holds a lot of value to me. You’re probably wondering - “why in the world is *that* a valuable word to you?” I’ll tell you why. It’s because it’s the word that changed my life. For the first years of my life, I lived a life of instructions. I’d always wait for an instruction; I’d always wait for someone to tell me what to do in a given situation. I had no drive for myself, I’d just wait for someone to tell me what to do or how to do it. In my mind, there was no such thing as initiative - I needed to wait for a command. Otherwise, how would I know if I was doing something right or wrong? How would I know where to go in any given circumstance? For a long time, that was my life. I lived in the shadows of my peers, always wanting to ascend to their level of confidence or flair, but never knowing how - because I had no instructions. That all changed on one fateful day not so long ago, when I’d expressed this frustration with myself to a close friend. They made one simple comment: “Why don’t you just do something about it then? The only person that can actually control your life is you, so if you want to change something, just do it.” It’s a simple concept - but it shattered my perception of life. I realized that I didn’t have to wait for instructions… because I could write my own. I learned that we are in control of our own lives. The only thing that can truly stand in our way is ourselves, and we can always find a way when we believe in ourselves.
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    “Patience is a virtue.” That’s a proverb I think we’ve all heard at least once. But why? Why is patience a virtue? Why is it important? I think we should take a look at concrete. I know - it’s an odd choice to relate patience to, but hear me out. When concrete starts off, it’s just unprocessed cement, sand, and gravel. It’s pretty much worthless, but it won’t always be. Eventually, it’ll be mixed together. It’ll be combined. And after it’s combined, then it’s sent off to serve a purpose. But what purpose is that? That worthless material from a few sentences ago is now a mold - and when construction workers pour it into place, it will harden - and strengthen into the strongest construction material we as humans have. But it won’t make it there on its own. Most modern skyscrapers use a type of concrete called “reinforced concrete,” which includes steel rods to strengthen the concrete. At the end of the process, that once useless material is a strong, reliable material. It’s like us. At our beginnings, we’re useless. We’re immature, and we don’t know much more than what we’ve been told. But over time, we grow. Our minds expand, we learn new skills, we learn from our mistakes, and with help from friends and family - our “steel rods,” - we too can become strong. With patience, we can endure time. When we endure time, we can become anything. We can achieve anything. Why? Because we learn. We become strong. And when we’re strong - we can change the world. As a saxophone player, patience has been important. It takes practice to get better, and practice takes time. But over time, I have gotten better. I have gotten stronger. That’s something patience has made possible.