Where are they now? Art and Theatre alumni check in

All the way from London to New York, we are checking in with SOAC alumni from the 2011-2012 academic year who share their life experiences and advice. Below, see what Andrew Deem ’12 (Art & Design) and Angie Tennant ’12 (Theatre) have put their PLU education to in the last year. Next month stay tuned for updates from Music and Communication alumni.

Andrew Deem ’12

deemDegree: Bachelors of Fine Art: Studio Arts
Organizations: Choir of the West, Art Club

Where are you now? “The summer after graduation I taught children and adults the fundamentals of ceramics at the Open Arts Studio in Tacoma. Now I am in London at The Royal College of Art getting my MA in Ceramics and Glass. I am also working with a potter Nicola Tassie as her assistant one day a week in London.”

What is the most valuable thing you learned from PLU?  “The importance of community across a wide spectrum of ages, races and disciplines.”

What is a skill that you learned at PLU that has transferred to your “real world” work? “The ability to problem solve. There are always difficulties, but it is how we approach them so we can overcome them that is important. (I’m still working on this.)”

What is one piece of advice you would give graduating SOAC students about the future? “Be humble. Be confident. Stay positive. Make a lot of friends. Don’t be a slacker.”


Angela Tennant ’12

Angie-2Degree: Bachelors of Fine Art – Theatre, Acting Directing with an English Literature minor

Organizations: Alpha Psi Omega (Member and Historian), Vpstart Crow (President), CLAY CROWS Improv (Member), SOAC Advisory Board

Where are you now? “I currently reside in New York City. Upon graduation at PLU, I was accepted into the MFA Acting program at The New School for Drama, and I’m in the middle of my second semester. It’s a three-year, intensive program that hones actors by giving us a safe and challenging space to learn and practice our craft. We focus intensely on collaboration with the new playwrights and directors also seeking their MFA’s, and this allows us to form an artistic company. I have actually been accepted into the school’s smallest year, with only 17 other actors in the program. I work for The New School, as well, in a work-study position.”

What is the most valuable thing you learned from PLU? “Honestly, the most valuable thing I think I took away from PLU was a knowledge of who I was–what I wanted, how I thought, what I wanted to pursue, what issues were important to me, and in what conditions I could best work. A series of amazing professors and courses all contributed to helping me begin to formulate my answers to these very difficult questions. Not to mention, I gained an invaluable knowledge and appreciation for the theatrical process as a whole.”

What is a skill that you learned at PLU that has transferred to your “real world” work? “Though I’m certainly still in the academic world, the education I received at PLU has certainly given me a strong base for adjusting to such a diverse city and an intensive program. PLU’s emphasis on vocation allowed me to find my passion (theatre) and therefore gave me the drive to seek out a way to continue learning, while not being afraid to really strive to fulfill my vocation. As for the adjustment to the city, it’s impossible to truly prepare yourself for living in NY, but I believe the [International Honors] classes I took at PLU gave me a foundation for looking at the world from various perspectives, something that’s unbelievably important in a city with so many different people crammed into a tiny island!”

What is one piece of advice you would give graduating SOAC students about the future? “To graduating SOAC students: You’ve begun your training to become an artist. Don’t be afraid to go and start doing your art. Move across the country, or to a different country! Find a program that excites you, or stay and invest yourself into a community. Regardless, do your art. There’s a beautiful book by Stephen Pressfield called The War of Art. In it, he argues that each artist is bestowed with a divine inspiration, a need and drive to create in their specific medium. And it is our duty, as artists, to overcome the Resistance we face (internal and external) to our creative processes. So work to overcome them. Don’t allow yourself to stop being the artist you are. No matter what else, do your art.”