Student Spotlight: Keaton Lane, journalist and performer

Keaton Lane performing in Godspell
Keaton Lane in Godspell. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre.

Keaton Lane stepped onto Iowa State’s campus nearly four years ago to pursue his dream of storytelling and found a way to combine his passions through his double major in journalism and mass communication and performing arts. He led his final show as Jesus in Godspell on April 14.

What have you been involved in at Iowa State?

"I’ve been involved in the Daily, Iowa Statesmen, ISU Theatre, Mortar Board Honor Society and I’m a student rep for ISU Theatre."

What types of jobs and internships have you had over the last few years?

"I was a Meredith apprentice for Midwest Living magazine, I was the education and outreach intern for the Des Moines Social Club, a company member at Prairie Repertory Theater in Brookings, South Dakota, a theater instructor for Ankeny Community Theatre and Story Theater Company, a communications assistant at the College of Human Sciences and a summer youth program assistant at Clayton County Extension Office."

Why did you choose to double major in journalism and performing arts?

"I’ve always been a writer and a performer and those were two things I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and those were the two different mediums I could do that. I wanted to keep telling stories in both ways and continue improving my craft."

How have your experiences in theatre helped enhance your journalism degree and vice versa?

"I feel they have totally informed each other and improved each other. I think in journalism classes we tend to focus on micro details, like grammar and sentence structure. In my theatre classes, there’s more emphasis put on macro details, like stage pictures, or the overall arc of a character. They’ve informed each other so I focus on both big picture things and details."

Keaton Lane (front left) and the cast of Godspell. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre.
Keaton Lane (front left) and the cast of Godspell. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre.

How do you balance both?

"Each semester I just have different priorities and there are some semesters that my journalism major has been more the focus and other semesters that my performing arts major has been more of the focus, and that’s also true for different parts of the semester. I evaluate what needs to be my priority at that time and understand that might take away from the other major for a while but in the end, it will help improve it."

How and why did you decide to double major?

"I wanted to keep my options as open as possible and I think that if I was going to spend the time to minor in performing arts, why not take the extra few classes to have the major and have as much information as possible? For the first few years of college I didn’t know which direction I wanted to go so it made the most sense to keep my options open with both. The journalism major really gives me the freedom to do that, so it felt like if I were given that freedom, why not take advantage of it?"

What are your career goals?

"I think my career goals will always be to perform in some capacity. I could see journalism potentially fitting in as my day job while I’m performing at night and auditioning on the side. For now, my goals are to perform while I’m young and have the freedom to. Depending on where that goes and where my career takes me, I can see myself going to grad school to eventually be a theatre professor."

How has the Meredith Apprentice Program helped you achieve your goals?

"The strength of the Meredith Aprentice Program, in my experience, was that I got to try a lot of different things, which helped me determine what I could actually see myself doing. The Meredith name also holds a lot of weight and to have that on my resume is really important. I think anytime someone my age can get hands-on experience in the real world and see what it’s like to be in a professional environment is great."

What have been your most memorable experiences at Iowa State?

"Playing Jesus in Godspell and getting the Meredith apprenticeship absolulety were. I also remember being cast in my first Iowa State show and musical were really memorable."

What are your future plans?

"This summer I will be going back to South Dakota to perform with Prairie Repertory Theatre as Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and Kevin in Insane with Power. In the fall I’ll move to the Twin Cities to work as an actor/educator for Climb Theatre."

Keaton Lane (left) and Angela Powers, Greenlee School director
Keaton Lane (left) and Angela Powers, Greenlee School director