Brendan Flaherty
  • Area of Study: Theatre with technical concentration
  • Current City: New York City, NY
  • Graduation Date: 2010
  • Current Occupation: Stagehand IATSE Local 1, NBC primarily (freelance)

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I chose West Chester because it was the best option for me. I believe what you put into something is what you get out of it. West Chester provides a great outlet to grow as a student and a person. The smaller size of the program allows a lot more creative freedom and attention to detail that can be lost in a larger program.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
The education I received at West Chester prepares me for life after graduation. Having experience working out of the classroom is a large help and the program also brings in artists that I ended up working for in the field after graduation.

What is a typical day like for you?
There is no typical day at SNL but what you can expect is about 50 or more hours of work in three days. I also work all the large events for NBC like the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Rockefeller Center Holiday Christmas Tree Lighting, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, etc.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
In West Chester you will learn all you need to know to become successful in the field of technical theatre. You're education will always rely on what you are willing to learn. What you succeed and fail at now is what you will use to become successful when you leave. The golden rule is also always say yes to first.

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
I would say i's important to figure out where you will wind up when you leave. I got very wrapped up in projects my senior year but was fortunate enough to have an opportunity come my way when I graduated. Don't be afraid to ask around about what is available to you when you leave. Reach out to alumni and friends for ideas and assistance. We have all been there and would be more than willing to assist in any way we can.

What makes our college stand out to you?
West Chester simply felt like home to me. I still make the trip back when I can just to see professors that over time became friends of mine. it's a small community but it makes it a close knit community. There is a lot of pride in West Chester and it's successes.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
My favorite memories were always late nights in the shop working on Homecoming, 24 theatre fest and honestly any show we put up. When you and others are putting energy into something to make it work it's a powerful thing and it makes for lasting memories.

What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
The skills I've learned in school have given me the confidence to start flipping a house. I've been able to do all the work myself. Also I haven't used a resume for work since my first few months out of West Chester.