With fellow colleague, Chris Cannon, and a collection of our bright student theatre artists and technicians.

With fellow colleague, Chris Cannon, and a collection of our bright student theatre artists and technicians.

There’s been some interesting sharing from both students and faculty about the fears behind doing what each loves to do… ”what they find passion in”. I want to take this dialogue a bit further. From my perspective, I believe an artist thrives on trying new things, on using both their acquired and innate skills/talents and applying them towards something they have never done before.


While I may be a wife, mother, and teacher, I also know that I am intrinsically an artist.

This intrinsic characteristic tends to drive everything that I do and most of the time I am not even aware of it. I am not an actor or performer of any kind, nor do I want to be; I have always been quite certain of this. Looking back, I realize that my choice of artistic expression started blooming when I was about 12 years old, yet it took years for me to reach that “Ah-Ha” moment where I knew what I wanted to do.

My focus has always been directed towards some form of the applied visual arts, such as architecture, interior design but most specifically towards the stage as a scenic designer. These things invigorate and inspire me as an artist but that does not negate the fact that every time I take on a new design project there is a bit of trepidation. Or, maybe, it’s just a simple question in my mind as to whether I have the right skill set, or whether my imagination is vivid enough, or whether I have the proper critical thinking skills to effectively design for a script within the specific confines of the playwright, the director’s vision, the budget, and still do it with excellence!

One might think an artist’s fears would subside as they garner more and more work experience in their art form but I say this… ”Some fear, some anxiety, keeps the work and the art both interesting and challenging”.

Where is the art in something that does not require the artist to think, imagine, and create? I say “fear” can be a good thing, as it keeps the adrenaline flowing.

SAC Theatre Arts

Multiple scene build-out for Fall 2013 show, Angry Young Women.

Yes, adrenaline! Adrenaline keeps me engaged and begging for more. In most aspects of my life, whether it be personal, professional, or in an artistic endeavor, I have learned that things don’t necessarily get easier just because I have experience with them. But, I can say this, I have become more comfortable facing the unknown. Working in the theatre never disappoints the artist in me. I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be professionally than joining a new eclectic team each and every semester as we work collectively towards a common goal… To artistically tell a story that matters, and do it to the very best of our ability.

I am grateful to be a part of such a rich and vibrant community college, Santa Ana College. I am grateful to work alongside my departmental colleagues. But most of all I feel incredibly privileged and honored to work alongside each and every student who finds a kinship, a connectedness to this art we call theatre.

Tell me… Is there something in your life that keeps you engaged and begging for more?

Let me hear your story,

SAC Theatre Arts

Valinda Tivenan (Learn more about Valinda HERE)

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