Michael Laskaris '07

Tisch School of the Arts

Tell me about your professional background and what you are doing these days.
I originally came to New York to dance, and I studied it formally at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2011. After that I accidentally fell into a freelance gig at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I got caught up in the vortex of the high art market and haven’t looked back since.
I currently work for a fine-art handling and logistics company that works with all of the major galleries, auction houses, and fairs in N.YC. It’s been quite a trip! The art world is wild, so it’s certainly never boring.
I live in Brooklyn. It’s hip, and I love it. I practice yoga and enjoy writing in my free time.
When did you begin at Brimmer.
I was a lifer. I began in Pre-K and stayed all the way through 12th grade. So Brimmer essentially incubated me.
How did Brimmer prepare you for your profession?
I mean, let’s take a gander: Ten-page research papers by 5th grade, Shakespeare by 6th grade, Chaucer and Dante by 9th grade, Malcolm X by 12th grade...
As young students, we were exposed to topics and texts that many people never study in their lifetimes. Before I left Brimmer, I just assumed that everyone grew up learning about such vast social and political issues as race, identity, colonialism, genocide, and economics. We were prepped way beyond our years, and, of course, we didn’t realize it at the time. 
I’ll also say that the attention to detail that permeates the pedagogy at Brimmer is the most salient aspect of the curricula.  Whether it’s logistics and time management in my daily life or knowing when and how to be discreet in professional situations, I continue to rely on the intellectual foundation that I built at Brimmer. 
What are your memories of Brimmer faculty?
So many; too many to mention here. I’ll never forget Kelly Neely and Diana Scharrer as well as former English teachers Amanda Lombardo, Kate Hamblet, and Liz Perry. I attribute most of my writing, verbal, and editorial skills to those women, and their voices continue to whisper in the back of my head. It’s like they’re haunting me! The best thing about them is that they never force-fed us—they had some kind of vibe that made us students want to learn. (No easy feat!)
Is there any advice that you would give current Brimmer students?
Do what works for you, not what works for the person next to you. Don’t compare yourself to others, and don’t always do what you think you should be doing just because everyone else around you is doing it. As the old proverb goes, “all roads lead to Rome,” but I’ll also add that not everyone wants to go to Rome—some of us want to go to other cities. 
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