The only choice I made was to be an artist

Chris Brandt: Faculty


Describe your career path. What choices did you make? How did you use your time in college to help you along in your career path?

The only choice I made was to be an artist - thought that was less a choice than a need. The question was, what kind? I was always writing, but secretly and with no confidence, but then I got fatally infected by the theatre bug, and everything else has followed from that. Again, even that was less a choice than a fortunate coincidence.


What advice do you have for English majors or English graduate students as they prepare for for careers? How can they stand out in a competitive job market?

I have no advice to give someone who wants a career - since I have never sought one. (I consider writing a vocation not a career.) As to jobs, I have had a lot of jobs, mostly freelance, and I've done pretty much everything from driving a cab to construction work to furniture design to teaching - but these jobs (though I love some of them, like carpentry and teaching) are not the be-all, but just a way to pay the rent. So my advice to young people who are called to write is, get a trade - something like electrical work or upholstering or plumbing (all of which I have done) where they will always be assured of finding paying work, and then - write!