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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Spotlight shines on Marine in Theatre Albany production

By Cpl Denyelle D. D'Aveta | | April 8, 2004

Stage make-up, costumes and singing are not normally associated with the title United States Marine.

However, for Cpl. Tim Mantell, data base administrator at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, they are.

For Mantell, what started off as performing for children with a small song and dance group named For Kids Only, has turned into a hobby and possibly a career.

After For Kid's Only, Mantell, a St. Petersburg, Fla., native, appeared in his first musical, "Cats," at the critically acclaimed Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Florida.

Since then, Mantell has spent almost four years in the Marine Corps and has still managed to find a way to continue performing on stage.

"When I discovered there was a theatre in Albany, I thought I wouldn't have the time to do a show," Mantell said. "Between work, rehearsals and the shows, it just didn't seem possible."

Despite the impossibility of it all, Mantell, with the persuasion of a fellow Marine who also performs, auditioned last November for a part in "1940s Radio Hour."

After receiving a part in the production that showcases swinging big band music and situation comedy of a bygone era, Mantell began rehearsing and realized that for his passion of the stage, the work and lack of sleep were worth it.

"Balancing work and rehearsals is as hard as I thought it would be," Mantell said. "But I love being on stage. So, in the end when the curtain closes, it is all worth it."

The experience proved so rewarding that Mantell took on another show and landed a role as George, one of the main characters in the production "Once in a Lifetime."

It's a tale of three down-and-out Broadway troopers who decide to head to Hollywood and try their luck with the newly invented "talkies." Due to a series of blunders, the most stupid of the three, George, is carried to heights of fame and fortune until he's literally made a god in the industry.

This being his second role in a production at Theatre Albany and approximately his 45th show, Mantell is looking at a career in the stage acting business. Mantell is due to get out of the Marine Corps in August, and is already making plans to do what he love - performing. In the meantime, he plans to continue with Theatre Albany.

Through his performing ventures, Mantell has learned many things in the theatre that he has been able to apply at his work section and overall as a Marine.

While performing has little in common with the Marine Corps, Mantell said it has taught him things that have helped him in the Marine Corps.

"I learned that teamwork is paramount no matter what you are doing," Mantell explained. "Whether you are working with many other Marines or working with people on stage, teamwork is what is going to determine the success or failure of a project."