Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.
As a working Hollywood actress and model, hectic shooting schedules are Arizona State University student Brittany Panzer’s reality. Her most recent role was on an episode of “Lucifer,” a Fox television series.
“Shooting ‘Lucifer’ was really fun,” said Panzer. “And it was my first hot and heavy make-out scene!”
All those, uh, distractions would keep some students from making progress toward a degree — but not Panzer.
“It was pretty hard to manage school with [the ‘Lucifer’ shooting schedule], but I was proactive and actually emailed my teachers in advance to ask if I could submit some stuff early and/or get any extension on other projects and they were really accommodating," she said. "I think being proactive about upcoming situations is best.”
The Miami native relished the flexibility afforded her through ASU’s online platform. Panzer didn’t expect to learn much from the required discussion posts, which she dutifully completed around acting engagements and auditions. She certainly did not expect to enjoy them. Yet, she did.
They “helped me think of other mind-sets and other perspectives,” she said.
Panzer graduates from ASU with her bachelor’s degree in film and media studies this December, and with a more nuanced view of her chosen industry. She answered some questions about her career plans and future projects.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study in your field?
Answer: I’ve always wanted to major in either theater or film and media. I’m an actress, and both majors pertain to what I do. I think really learning about the world I’m in through film and media studies is invaluable. I can take acting classes anywhere, but it’s wonderful to be able to learn about screen acting, writing and everything TV and film.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?
A: Believe it or not, discussion boards helped change my perspective as to how people think. They made me realize that answers — that I thought were obvious — weren’t obvious to others and vice versa.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I needed to do school 100 percent online because of acting and modeling, and ASU is a great school with a wide range of degrees that can be completed online. So happy about my decision!
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Do NOT wait until last minute to do your homework. Something will come up — it’s Murphy’s law. Time management, my friends.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Acting! I just shot an episode of “Dear White People,” which comes out next year, and I’m gearing up for pilot season!
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I’d tackle the homeless problem first in [Los Angeles] and then in other areas. I live in L.A. now, and it’s shocking to actually see the homeless problem on a daily basis. It’s really heartbreaking, and I don’t think we as a whole are doing enough to help.
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