For many CAS students like myself, feeling like an outsider makes the Tisch School of the Arts building a terrifying place to enter. But like many of his students, Christopher Goutman made me feel like I was in a safe place where I could be heard.
Goutman, a production and writing professor for almost 10 years, has an impressive career in producing, directing, acting and writing. He is most recognized for his work on soap operas, for which he has won five Emmys.
“I like to think of all of my interactions with students as wholesome. It’s certainly something I aspire to. I’m here simply to facilitate their growth, both personally, as artists, as citizens and as crafts people. I try to tailor whatever I do to each specific student — everyone learns differently, everyone processes information differently and everyone works at their own pace. However, I’m very much interested in their learning skills. In other words, I just want them to grow, but also I want them to have a good time.
This industry is a business, but the business should be fun. It’s tough, but it’s also incredibly gratifying. And if you’re able to make a life in it, it’s incredibly rewarding. I encourage everyone to be appreciative of that. When I have a wholesome interaction, it’s when we have a dialogue.
This student, she’s working on her final project, and she wrote her script. She brought it to me and I gave my opinion of it. Just today, she emailed me. She said she had worked on the script and wanted to meet again to talk about that. And that, to me, is a wholesome interaction, one where the dialogue continues, and one where it never ends.
With every piece of work as an artist, you’re never truly finished. In television, you’re not finished with their script until they rip it out of your hand. So this interaction to me was just so wholesome, because I think it was an exchange in which she continued to be excited about her work and she continued to try to improve it. I don’t know if we’ll ever get the right answer, but we are continuing to find the right questions.”