And so, the journey concludes. Thank you and goodnight!


The ASDS graduation rose ceremony on 10 May 2014. L-R: with our dedicated stage manager Joe Onorato, listening to a speech by the Dean of Dyson College Dr. Nira Herrmann (and the woman responsible for one of my largest scholarships) and lastly with James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and founder of the programme (and famed creator and host of “Inside the Actors Studio”)

Dearest friends,

It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that I share with you my final post on My ASDS Fund.

With our industry showcase and graduation ceremonies now concluded, my life-changing three years at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University has officially come to a close. I am now a holder of a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting, and with that everything this website was started for way back in 2011 has come to fruition. If I haven’t said it enough before, THANK YOU ALL; the part you have played in this incredible fundraising adventure is a remarkable testament to the generosity and kindness of the human spirit, and you have surprised, delighted, inspired and deeply touched not just me personally, but my loved ones who care about me, my fellow actors who dream the same dreams, and in fact every single acquaintance, reporter or general listener I have ever told this story to.

The morning I arrived at ASDS for the first time on 12 September 2011, the late Steve Nicholas, our beloved and much-missed student coordinator handed me this to read out loud. The point was to assess my accent and whether I would need Neutral American speech classes, but they were words that struck a deep chord and somehow perfectly encapsulated everything that had brought me to that moment in time. Today, at the end of this chapter and the precipice of the unknown next, they are again seemingly tailor-made to draw on as I look back at you, this website and the tremendous impact you have all had on my life:

“There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help on that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

-W. H. Murray, Leader of Mt Everest Climbing Expedition


2 April 2014: Opening night of Blackbird, with one of my most consistent supporters of My ASDS Fund over the years. The lovely Wolfgang started donating before he had even met me; I was beyond touched and amazed that he was here to witness the culmination of my training.



The graduating class of 2014, with James Lipton, our wonderful Chair Andreas Manolikakis, Oscar-winner and Co-President of the Actors Studio Ellen Burstyn, Dean Nira Herrmann and our esteemed faculty including the holy trinity of acting teachers Susan Aston, Jacqueline Knapp and Elizabeth Kemp, Dr. Bill Coco (Theatre History), Edward Allan Baker (playwriting) and Brian Rhinehart (directing).

Of course, now begins the REAL work of getting a job and building a career as an actor. I don’t know what the future holds, but I invite you all to keep an eye on if you would like to continue this journey with me 🙂


Signing off with love,

Samantha Tan


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