Laura Mennell’s Journey: A Tale of Passion & Perseverance
Laura Mennell’s interest in acting sprung out of her interest in multiple things. For her, acting became a way to “be anything and everything” - and so she has.
Laura’s roles throughout the year have ranged from science fiction in Alphas and Watchmen, to comedy in Loudermilk, to dramatic dystopias in The Man in the High Castle, to historical series such as Project Blue Book, which is her current project. All these productions have showcased different facets of Laura’s undeniable talent and have added value to her journey as an actress, which had its origins since Laura was still in high school.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Laura spent her formative years in Mission, BC. As a result, she witnessed first hand the boom in the film industry in Vancouver during the 80s, and she knew in her heart it was where she was meant to be. Her parents, with much insight and discernment, did not allow Laura to immerse herself fully in the industry at such a young age. Rather, they supported her preparation and steady rise, which laid solid foundations for the rest of her career.
When she was a junior in high school she had her first acting job. It was an experience that cemented her love for acting and opened the door to her future in the industry. She proceeded to attend the University of the Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser University, where she pursued both general studies and acting. During those years, Laura had the opportunity to surround herself with teachers and mentors whose invaluable advice and coaching she remembers to this day. Since then, her passion, her talent, and her determination have been evident in every project she has been a part of.
PROJECT BLUE BOOK
Laura has found something to love in each project she has been involved in. In fact, when asked which of the characters she has portrayed has been her favourite or has stood out to her the most, she was unable to choose. However, she expressed how much she has enjoyed being part of Project Blue Book, as it has allowed her to “explore real slices of American history.”
Project Blue Book is a History channel production that follows the life and work of Allen Hynek, who is hired by the US airforce to investigate and debunk UFO sightings during the Cold War era. In essence, Hynek’s job was to “distill any mass hysteria,” but there were some cases that could not be scientifically explained. Project Blue Book comes at a time when the topic of UFOs continues to garner interest and prominence, especially given the increasing ease of access to information we enjoy today.
For Laura, this project holds both professional and personal significance. As a woman, she has found it revealing to take on the role of a woman in the 1950s - an era that can be easily romanticized, but which was in many ways difficult for women. For Laura, exploring the juxtaposition between what women were not able to do then as compared to now has shed light on areas in which we’ve made important strides, but also on things that have not changed much. From this perspective, therefore, this series is also an important wake-up call as to what more we could be doing for women.
PASSING THE BATON
When asked what advice she would give to young girls today, Laura emphasized three key things: savouring a slow but steadily evolving career, never underestimating the value of learning and mentorship, and remaining true to who you are - the latter being of utmost importance with the rise of social media.
While social media is a world Laura has only started to explore, she admits being saddened by the seemingly never-ending pressure for women to create perfect online personas. She encourages the younger generation, especially young women, to showcase who they really are and to explore what is beneath the surface, which “might not be perfect, but will be real.”
Talking to Laura was as refreshing and enlightening. Her elegant strength, perseverance, and humility came through with every anecdote and opinion she shared. Her hunger to continue learning and growing, and her ability to take stock, are evident qualities in Laura. And, although Laura’s career is nowhere near over, the importance of these qualities is something young actresses - and indeed, all of us - can definitely glean from her.