Student Spotlight with Sarah Lindstedt

Text by Greg Johnson

GREEN TREES: From Palos Verdes Estates in southern California, Sarah Lindstedt (pronounced like “instead” with an L) is a senior majoring in English and minoring in music. She is also music director of The Penny Loafers, a co-ed a cappella group at Penn.

Sarah Lindstedt
Photo by Mark Stehle

Sarah Lindstedt
Photo by Mark Stehle

GREEN TREES: From Palos Verdes Estates in southern California, Sarah Lindstedt (pronounced like “instead” with an L) is a senior majoring in English and minoring in music. She is also music director of The Penny Loafers, a co-ed a cappella group at Penn.

WRITE HERE: Lindstedt, an aspiring writer and musician, says she was attracted to Penn because she wanted to broaden her horizons in a “hustle and bustle” city like Philadelphia, and because her cousin, Katie Jackson, a 2009 Penn alumna, urged her to check out Kelly Writers House, which she did. “As soon as I went in there, I thought, ‘This is where I want to be,’” she says.

UNCLE SHELBY: Inspired by poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, Lindstedt has been writing poetry since she was in kindergarten. She says she briefly entertained a few other majors, “but I knew that English has always kind of been my rock.” She studied English literature at King’s College in London during her junior year.

GUITAR PLAYER: Lindstedt’s family is big on music, and at a young age, she picked up the guitar and began putting her poems to the chord progressions she was learning. “It was, as I say, love at first strum,” she says. She has been writing music ever since.

ELEMENTS OF STYLE: Studying English, Lindstedt says, has helped her with her songwriting. “Each class has really either showed me a different way of approaching writing or examples of how other writers approach their work,” she says. “It’s definitely inspired me to explore different avenues of writing.”

CENTER STAGE: Lindstedt has played gigs in Los Angeles and in Philly at The Rotunda and Writers House. On Saturday, Sept. 20, Lindstedt and fellow Penn student Michael Lewis performed at Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown. Her music is also available on SoundCloud.

PRESS PASS: During the summer after her freshman year, Lindstedt interned at The Hollywood Reporter, attending concerts and interviewing music industry moguls. She says she was considering a journalism career, but her internship made her realize that she would rather create artistic projects than report on them.

FADE IN: This past summer, Lindstedt served as a writer’s assistant intern for the Showtime series “Homeland,” a position offered through the RealArts@Penn internship program and “Homeland” executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a Penn alumna. “That was an incredible experience,” says Lindstedt, a huge fan of the show. “Meredith was incredible. She really showed me the ropes. She let me sit in on the editing room and walked me through the process of how those writers operate.”

QUE SARAH, SARAH?: Lindstedt says she is not yet sure what she wants to do after graduating in May. “I’m obviously very interested in the entertainment industry,” she says. “I would love to be immersed in creative environments, whether that’s in movies, TV, or music.”

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