From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating MFAs, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Our series continues with graduating PATP actor Tamsen Glaser!
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
That curiosity is the thing that will push through any of the sleep deprivation and the exhaustion and the difficulty and the challenges and the self-worth issues. I’ve found that if I can stay curious in the thing that I’m doing and remember what’s interesting about it, then I can move past myself and stay with it.
What are you looking forward to being able to do now that you won’t be in class or rehearsal 12 hours a day?
So I’ve never been out of school. I went straight from undergrad to grad school with a short summer of work in between the two. So, I think I have this really unrealistic expectation that I can have days where I just wake up and go, “I don’t know what happens today.” I have a real dream of that. Like, oh, today I guess I’ll go on a hike. I have this image in my mind that I’ll have at least a couple of days where I can just wake up and have no idea what happens. I’m also like terrified of that, cause I’ve never had my whole day not planned for me, so there’s an element of like, oh, I’m going to lose all self-worth and purpose for a little while, but I’m kinda looking forward to that.
Any plans for after graduation?
Yes, I have one show right after that I cannot talk about at the moment. It's like showcase is on the 18th, I fly back on the 19th, I start rehearsals on the 20th, boom boom boom. Super fast. And then I will at least be here for the summer. I want to just like enjoy a Seattle summer. I miss day jobs. I want a day job and I want to enjoy the summer here, and then after that, Chicago.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
It was the day after the 2016 presidential election, and we had class. We had Suzuki in the morning, and then I taught right after that, and I was dreading it. And we walked into class in the morning and Jeffrey [Fracé] sat us all down, and he just said, “Okay, we’re going to acknowledge this.” People came in devastated. People were still crying. It was heartbreaking. And Jeffrey made this wonderful--it almost felt like a pep talk or something--this wonderful speech about how what we do is more important now than ever. I was so grateful for that, because then I turned around after that class into my class, and was able to sit down with all of them, and these are 18 year olds, they’re just starting. Oh, bless them all, I mean some of them were very scared, very upset, but they turned around and said the same things, and I was so touched that day by how we were all on the same page. I felt more that day than I think ever, this sense that we’re a part of a movement. That we all have a responsibility to each other and an investment in each other, and that striving for excellence and demanding our best work is actually not for us, but rather our responsibility to this thing that’s quite large--this movement of humanity and what communication is and just like how to do that, one-on-one, live, in person. So, that was a really important day for me.
What advice do you have to people who might follow in your footsteps?
This was something that was passed on to me from members of classes ahead of me, and that is to find the joy. Find the joy in every day, find something that brings you joy. And that, for me, for a long time was, like, taking my dinner break to leave this building and go get coffee. I don’t even like coffee. But I would go get coffee ‘cause that was the time that I could decompress. And the other thing, and this was something that really resonated for me from that New York Times article about Laurie Metcalf, and that was this idea of doing what you need to do today to make you sleep well tonight. That was something that clearly she does by example and just said it because that’s her life, but I was like, "Oh, that’s the thing." What do I have to do today to make me sleep well tonight?
Our graduating PATPs are raising money to support their showcase tour to Los Angeles and New York. Learn more about their tour and how you can be a part of launching this talented class into their professional careers by clicking here.