Claudine Pinedo “It’s going to take twice as much work for me as it would the usual “A”-maker, but my studies are definitely my priority now.”

Travolta and Newton-John were working out in her living room the other day and she was intently studying their rock’n roll moves. “I’m going to my theater class as “Cha-Cha”, one of the characters in Grease,” explains Claudine Pinedo. “Performing is my passion and I’ll never stop pursuing acting. But I’ve realized, at 25, that I’m also going to need to prepare for other things in life that I can fall back on.” To this end, Claudine has put show biz in the wings while she learns to perform on the stage of business.

“I want to set up my own little vintage shop filled with knick-knacks. It’s just a brainchild now, but Larry Singleton is a very encouraging teacher in the area of small business, and I’m really excited about all that we’re learning. It’s given me a completely different outlook on all my studies,” says Claudine. “But it’s going to be a little tough, I know, because I’m dyslexic. I have to get all my books on tape because reading is so difficult, which is upsetting. But I have to learn how to live with that and, over the course of my life, somehow learn how to make reading fun.”

Claudine actually studied at SMC five years ago and went on a Study Abroad program to Guildford, England to study her beloved Shakespeare. “And then I went backpacking around Europe and it was one of the best times of my life,” she says. “So now I’m, technically, a woman returning to college, and I feel much more motivated about what I”m learning.” Though she’s also studying Spanish, “because I’m Latina and don’t know my own language very well,” it’s the theater where Claudine is determined to make her mark. “I don’t intend to be like Julia Roberts,” she says. “I don’t need to be Pretty Woman, because acting is my craft and talent and it’s something I’m very serious about.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.