Recent Holy Cross Alumnus Matthew Helfer '12 to Appear on Criminal Minds April 9

Theatre major says Mount. St. James Prepared him for career in Hollywood

Recent College of the Holy Cross graduate and theatre major, Matthew Helfer ’12, will make his first television role appearance on the hit CBS show “Criminal Minds” on Wednesday, April 9 at 9 p.m. “Criminal Minds” follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. The American police procedural television show focuses on how the team profiles the criminal instead of the crime itself. Helfer will be playing a character named Trevor Burkett on the show’s 21 episode of its ninth season, “What Happens in Mecklinburg...”

Although this may be Helfer’s first television role since moving to Los Angeles a year and a half ago, he can already connect his success to his time back at Holy Cross, especially his time spent with the theatre department. To Helfer, the theatre department did not only sharpen his acting skills to prepare him for a profession, but his liberal arts education as a whole coached him to find his way through the Hollywood industry. “I knew that I left Holy Cross with great acting training,” said Helfer. “But what I didn’t know until now was how well Holy Cross prepared me to navigate an industry as convoluted and complex as this one.”

Originally from Weston, Mass., Helfer attributes many aspects to his undergraduate education at Holy Cross as the stepping stones to the actor and person that he is now in LA. He finds that the sense of community that the theatre department consistently builds has shaped the type of environment he continues to seek outside of Holy Cross’ gates. He identifies the time spent during the days with professors in the classroom that carried into time spent in rehearsals at night as the foundation for such strong relationships with his professors. He recalls the family that forms between all of the theatre students, as they learn together. Helfer said that he continues to seek this communal core in his acting career still. “I have found an incredible acting studio out here that accomplishes the difficult task of not only providing an arena for actors to hone their craft, but also builds a family of friends in a town full of strangers,” shared Helfer. “These are the people who make this journey worthwhile. We learn from each other’s experiences, we celebrate each other’s successes and we support each other in our failures. I look for environments like these because I learned their value from my time at Holy Cross. The theater department specifically has this dichotomy where learning is coupled with this sense of being part of a family.”

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