Actor Marcus Chait ‘91 Talks Business and Broadway

2 mins read

Marcus Chait ‘91 has tackled a multitude of careers as an actor, producer, and family business owner since graduating from M-A.

Growing up in the Bay Area, Chait shared, “I don’t think I knew how good we had it growing up here. As I grew up and spent time living all over the world, I realized what a great place Menlo Park is. I spent a good chunk of my adult life trying to move back here.”

Chait described his time at M-A as a “fantastic time in my life.” He loved the Spanish program with Mr. Casca, and his favorite class was Psychology. 

In the summer between his junior and senior years of high school, Chait and his history class took a trip to Europe for two weeks, which he remembers as his “greatest memory from M-A.” He said, “We weren’t given much supervision and just got to explore Europe ourselves which made it really special.”

At M-A, Chait played football for three years and helped start the men’s volleyball team, which is still thriving today.

As a child, Chait and his family spent their summers in Tahoe, where he played beach volleyball. He then joined an indoor club competition team at Gunn High School because M-A did not have a team at the time. He said, “My friends and I eventually got a team together at M-A, and I played volleyball throughout the rest of my high school career.”

He added, “It’s nice knowing something I started is still at M-A today.”

Chait went on to play volleyball at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). He initially majored in psychology but always had an interest in the arts. He said, “I was so focused on sports, I never had time to participate in acting at M-A, so college was my time to do that.” 

After two years at UCSB, Chait transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he double majored in Acting for Film and Television as well as Acting for Musical Theater. Just three months after graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Chait booked his first Broadway show, Cyrano de Bergerac, and continued to work as an actor for the next 15 years in New York and Los Angeles. 

Chait in Million Dollar Baby

Chait was also in Miss Saigon, Titanic, Urban Cowboy, and Pirate Queen on Broadway. He is best known for his acting in Million Dollar Baby which won an Oscar for Best Picture in 2005 and North Country which is based on a landmark sexual harassment case. Chait has also guest-starred on a variety of TV shows, including CSI: Miami and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

He said, “After acting for so long, I realized I was much more interested in producing, so I started a production company in Los Angeles that I eventually sold in 2012.”

He continued, “After I sold my company, I wanted to figure out how to move my family back to the Bay Area, so I met with various tech companies and eventually started an entertainment division for a major publishing company. It was really special to come back to the Bay Area after so long.”

Around this same time, Chait took over his family’s diamond and jewelry business called 66mint, which was first established in 1912 and has been family-owned since 1951. Located in San Francisco, 66mint specializes in buying and selling diamonds as well as fine jewelry. He has now run 66mint for the last 12 years as he continues to balance it with producing. 

For the past three years, Chait has simultaneously been producing a Broadway show called Lost Boys, a rock musical about a family moving to a town filled with vampires in the 1980s. Chait said, “It’s really cool being able to work in production and keep up my family business at the same time.”

Chait’s advice for M-A students: “Don’t decide at 18 years old what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. You never know what opportunities are going to come your way, so keep your mind open and go try new things. Make sure that whatever you’re doing, do it with all the passion, energy, and focus you have.”

Rose is a sophomore at M-A and this is her first year in journalism. She enjoys writing about pop culture and issues affecting the M-A community. In her free time, Rose enjoys exercising, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.

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