Catherine Dent

Looking back at North Carolina School of the Arts.


Catherine Dent, who plays savvy beat cop Danni Sofer in FX's The Shield, has accrued street cred both on and off the screen. In addition to her TV appearances, Dent has starred on Broadway and in films like Nobody's Fool, The Majestic, and 21 Grams. Here, she looks back at North Carolina School of the Arts, where she received the training to launch her career.

  • Name: Catherine Dent
  • Occupation: Actress
  • College attended: North Carolina School for the Arts
  • Major: Performing arts
  • Graduation date: 1993
  • Why did you choose to go to college?

    After moving to New York City right out of high school and spending a few years competing with girls from Yale and Julliard, I finally realized if I really wanted a career as an actress I needed to get some craft under my belt (being young and a little pretty only lasts for so long). What was the biggest obstacle you overcame in college?

    I went back to college after living on my own in New York City, so I was a little bit older and terrified. I was so scared, I don't think I made friends that easily. But the second year was great, and now I have wonderful friends from that time.

    Do you keep in touch with any of your college friends?

    Yes! Thank goodness for Facebook, that's how we've tracked each other down. I used to not really "get" the whole Facebook thing, but after planning a trip to Ireland this summer and then reading that a classmate I had not seen in almost 10 years was doing a play at the Abbey in Dublin, I get it! I get it! Tell us about one thing you did in college that still makes you proud.

    I walked through some of the biggest fears and doubts about myself after being on my own in New York and then going back and having to relearn what I thought I knew. What did you like most and least about your school?

    I loved the small size of the classes. Not a lot to hate. What were two things you did for the first time while in college?, um...let's just say there were more than two things I tried for the first time in college! Hey, they don't call it "the best years" for nothing! If you could go back, what about college would you do differently?

    If? The question is when. I love school and learning and meeting new people. I'm always looking online to see which courses are being offered. Now that T he Shield [is ending], who knows?