Pursuing happiness

Pursuing happiness

February 10, 2017

Three Skidmore young alumni are bucking the millennial stereotype with their success in the entertainment industry. 

Zazie Beetz ’13

Three years post-grad finds Zazie Beetz as a member of the cast of a Golden Globe award-winning TV show. Her role as “Van,”  the sole female character on Atlanta, isn’t her first acting gig, but it’s the one garnering the most attention. Beetz has appeared in three Netflix series. The next one, featuring Chance the Rapper (who played a concert at Skidmore in 2014), is due out later this year. She’s no stranger to the stage either. A French major while at Skidmore, Beetz was in the mainstage production her senior year and often relies on techniques she learned from her theater classes. Now, she gets recognized three or four times a day when she leaves the house.     


Danny Pravder ’16

This 20something composer is no stranger to success. Danny Pravder kicked off his career at Skidmore with a Filene Scholarship. Since then, he has performed with Liza Minelli, Steve Martin, and Edie Brickell, to name a few. He spends his days as a ballet, modern, and character class accompanist with the American Ballet Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, California State University at Long Beach, and Chapman University. And he spends his evenings—or at least one of them—on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon playing piano with Kid Cudi (he takes the lead at the 3:40 mark).


David Slitzky ’14

Speaking of The Tonight Show … Skidmore has a connection with the show’s house band, the Roots. David Slitzky is on a first-name basis with the hip-hop ensemble. He’s recording and engineering their next album while simultaneously working on his master’s degree. He booked the recording gig with the help of his mentor, a connection he made while at Skidmore’s radio station, WSPN.  

Slitzky with the Roots

Tags: Admissions, Career Development, Zazie Beetz '13, Danny Pravder '16, David Slitzky '14, the Roots, Kid Cudi, Atlanta