What is your hometown?
Chicago North side. Grown up in and around Hermosa, Logan and Avondale
What brought you into Chicago Theatre?
As a young man, I was always interested in being creative and using my imagination. From playing out adventures and scenarios as a child, to exploring and experimenting with teen theater and writing in after school programming, to attending Columbia college as a theater major, I've always gravitated towards performance and theater. After college, I joined the Artistic Home as an ensemble member in searching for the Mienser technique. I fell in love with physical theater and devising and later became a company member at Collaboraction theater. Chicago theater has been a part of my life since I was fairly young and I am lucky to work using theater in youth programming.
How have you seen the industry change?
I've seen it grow into a thriving community that on stage seeks to endlessly inspire and revolutionize as well as entertain. I've seen the community grow into a powerful force off stage where sexism, racism and ignorance is not tolerated, rallied against and a has become a culture that values equality and quality.
What inspires you most about theater?
The vast opportunity to be moved and entertained and inspired. Where a story can be old and new. Each performance you see has the potential to delight and surprise now matter how well you may know a story. New and exciting forms of telling theater that triggers the mind to new places and almost forced you to be creative after you've experienced it.
How does working with Teens affect your artistry?
It helps put a perspective on the importance and profound power of theater and invested storytelling. It helps me put into practice many of the therapies and techniques needs to create and devise great theater. It forces a certain attention to detail while also necessitating the ability to adapt and adjust on the fly. It has most definately made me much more patient as well as a better collaborator and listener.
How do you choose the projects you want to work on?
It has to be something that triggers my creative spirit and inspires me to think, feel and work. Because of the investment of time, energy and resource, it has to be a project that makes a difference or strives to make a change or bring about amawareness as much as fuels and feeds my creative spirit. I put in so much of my heart, soul and passion into a project that if im going to work on something I'd like it to make an impact.
What would you like to see change in the industry?
Less criticism, more cooperation
More love, less haters
Newer work and more opportunity for new playwrights, actors and directors
Continued focus and support on youth theater and artists. Giving our future artists a platform to rise in the city.
What advice would you give emerging actors and directors?
Dont forget why you do this wonderful work in the first place. Being inspired and inspiring are powerful tools. That force of creation, imagination, and creativity is inside you ALWAYS. What's outside of you adds more power to your craft. The work begins and ends with you.