Hey creative minds! Thanks so much for checking out my site, and for your interest in learning about my journey as an actor, educator, and world traveler.
I have always been a creative spirit and loved visual arts. Taking small engines apart fascinated me at an early age and I spent hours outside with my family working in our garden and building tree forts. You could say I had an active imagination. Well, in that department… nothing much has changed!
My acting interest started while I was in high school. I was kicked out of choir for some unsavory behavior (don’t worry, I’ll tell you about it one of these days). The only class at the same time (6th period) was drama! I auditioned for one of the prince roles in “Into the Woods,” and enjoyed being a ham! I took to acting naturally and decided to take a year to travel with Up With People around the world performing in a Broadway-style musical as the lead. I stayed with host families, tried new traditions and regional dishes, and knew that after living and working with people from 24 different countries, my life would never be the same.
I earned my BFA in Musical Theater Performance from Western Michigan University and then my Masters in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri- Kansas City where I committed myself fully to a life immersed in acting. I met my lovely and talented wife Jennifer while acting one summer at the Hope Summer Repertory Theater and two years later we marched down the aisle and whisked off to New York City to pursue our acting careers. I also had the pleasure and challenge of taking on the role of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar on a week’s notice at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival which was an experience of a lifetime! Rewinding for a moment back to Kansas City though, I should mention that I fell in love with clowning, and taught movement and acting to undergraduate students. The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art was walking distance to UMKC and I would encourage students to take field trips there and incorporate their observations and impressions of different paintings and sculptures into our class work. I figured, if I used these techniques to deepen my understanding of a piece of theater or music, so could they. The results were profound.
Our NYC chapter began as founding members of Dangerous Ground Productions, an off-Broadway experimental theater company under the tutelage of Romanian director Doris Mirescu. We worked at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts as guest lecturers ostensibly mentoring young filmmakers on how to interact with professional actors all the while forging friendships and learning how to act on camera. Our dear friend and mentor, Chris Newman (3x Academy winner) welcomed us into his classrooms and his wisdom and desire to give back left a lasting impression. While in NYC I secured my Actor's Equity Card while touring with a production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in which I played Peter and a dwarf.
I also worked as a street performer entertaining tourists in Battery Park, Times Square, Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Denmark, Manila, Nanjing and Spain. I’ve always idolized Charlie Chaplin, and after touring the world with Up With People and seeing all the buskers in Spain, Denmark, Japan, and NYC I decided to give it a try. Well...every summer for several years I earned a good living and kept my improvisation skills sharp. I learned how to be fearless, take risks, and stand in the face of adversity. I learned how to meditate and control my body and mind in ways I had never dreamed of. This awareness and discipline continues to serve me well.
After three good years in the Big Apple, we decided to visit the Philippines for a two-month vacation. We connected with the people, the food, and had an abundance of work opportunities in Film, TV, Commercials, Voice Over and Print. Some of the notable projects we worked on include Quezon’s Game which is currently streaming on Amazon prime, The Boston: The Kitchen Musical, Heneral Luna, Venus in Fur at the Cultural Center of the Philippines as well as originating the title role of Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story which led to a run in London. The Philippines is packed with creative minds and a can-do spirit which resonated with me. My wife is also Filipina, so it was an important part of my journey as her husband to understand and embrace her cultural heritage.
A beautiful new chapter of life opened in 2015 as we welcomed our first son into the world. Soon after his birth, I secured a job in Nanjing, China creating theater programs in the Jiangsu province. I developed programs for high school, middle and primary schools and forged relationships with education heads, principles and English teachers. Watching Chinese children get up and perform in front of 500 people was inspiring and watching them develop their emotional range and linguistic abilities was very rewarding. While in Nanjing, I also had the privilege of helping found a theater company called International Spice which developed cross-cultural content and performed in conjunction with local actors and community members. When the opportunity to jump into the role of Dwight D. Eisenhower in Quezon’s Game finally presented itself, we decided to move back to the United States.
My life stateside has been a consistent parade of auditions, bookings, inquiries, and personal development. With the addition of two more sons, Jennifer and I have learned how to juggle and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have worked on NBC’s Chicago Fire, Circumstances 2, The Baby Sitter and Clown Shoes, among others. I’ve booked several commercials and have enjoyed developing a good reputation with the top casting offices in Chicago.