Seizing the Day

PROVO, Utah – Feb 04, 2019 – Balancing personal passions with demanding coursework is an art that can take years to perfect. But Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business alum James Bounous did just that, building a successful academic career while starring in roles such as Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Jack Kelly in Newsies on some of Utah’s most popular stages.

Bounous, a native of Provo, has been taking singing lessons since he was four years old. Growing up, he and his siblings took lessons from their parents who ran their own vocal studio. “I thought the lessons were a chore at first. It wasn’t cool for boys to sing back then,” says Bounous. “But it was my singing skills that helped me get roles later, after my church service mission.”

Bounous has performed in theaters across Utah in shows like Peter Pan, Tarzan, South Pacific and The Addams Family. His favorite role, however, has been Quasidomo. “The role is incredible,” he says. “By the time the show was done, I wasn’t ready to let it go yet. I had the stamina to do more shows than we had scheduled, which isn’t usually the case.”

He also starred as Jack Kelly in a local theater company’s production of Newsies this last summer while working on his master of accountancy (MAcc) degree. “The rehearsals for Newsies were intense,” he says. “But I was able to balance it because I was only taking a few summer classes.”

Bounous knew he wanted a successful accounting career to accompany the success he had seen as a performer. While enrolled in Accounting 200 as an undergraduate, he worked as CFO for iBrokeMyiPhone, a company started by a friend who had figured out how to repair iPhone screens. The company was a business-to-business service that repaired screens for corporate clients, which included Vivint, Nu Skin, and doTERRA.

Bounous is grateful for the variety of experiences the accounting program has provided him. But he is most thankful for his time in the junior core. “There’s nothing quite like the junior core experience because it makes you suffer in the most intelligent ways,” he says. “The accounting professors have perfected a method of pushing people and helping students learn a great deal in a short amount of time.”

He also maintains that the best way to take full advantage of the program is by asking questions in class. “If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask it.” he says. “I guarantee there are other students in the class wondering the same thing. You can only help yourself and other students by speaking up.”

Bounous recently graduated from the BYU Marriott MAcc program in December 2018. He now works with Tanner LLC, a public audit firm in Salt Lake City, while continuing to pursue performing opportunities.

James Bounous rehearsing for Newsies.
James Bounous rehearsing for Newsies.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Ellen Ford