By Christa Rodriguez || Campus Life Editor
This past Monday, January 29, Creed Bratton visited campus along with Erik Abel ’99. Both participated in the Q&A, held in the Roschel Performing Arts Center at 5pm, while Bratton also performed music and comedy in Roschel 8pm that night. Both events were free to students. The events were hosted by the College Entertainment Committee (CEC), and sponsored by OSPGD, Alumni Relations Office, and New, Ware, Weis, and Brooks College Houses.
Creed Bratton is best known for his role by the same name on the NBC television show The Office and his membership in the rock band The Grass Roots. Erik Abel, an F&M alumnus, is currently the owner and a podcaster at Focused Noise as well as a head booking agent at Adler Music Group.
At first, CEC assistant chair Kathleen Miao suggested that they sponsor tickets to see Bratton at the Chameleon Club, as he performed there on Sunday. However, Erik Abel emailed CEC asking if he could bring Creed to F&M, which launched the events that occurred on Monday.
The first part of the Q&A session involved Bratton and Abel being interviewed by CEC Chair Sarah Silverstein. Towards the end, Silverstein invited questions from the audience. Bratton entered the stage, walking lethargically and stumbling into his chair. When speaking, he abruptly coughed, which immediately had the effect of perking him up. He asked the audience how many of them thought he had severely aged until that moment, which produced laughs.
Silverstein asked what they would say to students looking to enter the entertainment industry. Abel advised to “go where the action is,” and approach people with value by demonstrating what you can bring to the table. Creed shared his experience going to speech therapy because he stuttered as a child. It was there that he was recommended to do public speaking and acting, and he found that he loved it. He said he also had been playing music as far as he could remember. In this way, he said he didn’t choose his career path, “it chose me.” Abel agreed with the sentiment that “everything happens for a reason.” When he attended F&M, he was cut from the varsity basketball team, but it opened the door for him to DJ for WFNM.
One audience member asked Bratton if the rumors of a The Office revival were true. According to Bratton, they have not contacted him about the revival, but he teased, “you never know.” He does, however, still keep in contact with most of the cast from the show. “We’re all family,” he noted, as they had all worked together for over eight years. When asked about the moment he thought he “made it,” Bratton commented that one should not think this, as they should always strive to be better. “You get complacent,” Eric added, if one believes they have reached the pinnacle of success.
Creed Bratton’s performance included both song and comedy. He additionally announced that his special, shot in San Francisco, is coming soon, and his 7th solo album, Heart of Darkness, is being released April 6. Bratton played some songs from The Grass Roots and some of his own, with bits of comedy in between. To close his performance, he played the song “All the Faces.” This song was featured in the last moments of the final episode of The Office. As all the actors were allowed to pick how their characters would end on the show, Bratton pitched the idea of singing his song. He said when doing the table read, he flipped to the last page of the script and saw he would be singing his song, and tears came to his eyes.
After the event, CEC made the statement: “CEC was thrilled to bring Creed to F&M’s campus. Seeing the student body’s reaction was incredible and we hope to keep providing fun and free late-night programing for students.”
Junior Christa Rodriguez is the Campus Life editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.