My Story

First of all thank you for your interest in my life!

I was born and raised in Southern California.  Specifically? I was born in Downey (perhaps you may have heard of it? It's where you stopped for gas on your way somewhere ELSE :).

 

I was raised in beautiful San Diego and I am the brother of two incredible sisters, the uncle to their kids, and the father of my own little toddler, Nadine Paula.
 

Paula is also the name of my mother who is a lifer with the airlines.  Her career with TWA brought her a host of incredible experiences.  These included being hand-selected to work President Ford's 1975 official visit to Chairman Mao in Peking (when China was just opening to the West) and surviving the infamous Gary Trapnell "James Bond" hickacking of TWA flight #2 from LA to NYC. (Hey, it was the 1970's!).  My thirst for knowledge, love of beauty and my scruples come from my mom. It's also why I'm an airplane nerd.

Bob, my father, is a retired salesman and had his own advertising business.  I got my Choctaw blood, my ability to talk to people and my Dad jokes from him. 

Growing up in San Diego-- everything was 72 degrees and NICE all the time.  And my childhood was indeed NICE. It was spectacular! Full of secret hiding places, brawls with my two sisters, and chalk full of activity.  The family van was pumping Phantom of The Opera, Cats, and A Chorus Line at all possible moments; each of us kids were immersed in the arts.  I spent most of my time after school at San Diego Junior Theater and graduated from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts where I had formidable experiences on and off stage. 

72 degrees and NICE changed very quickly when I moved to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon School of Drama where it was more like 42 degrees and REAL.  I graduated with honors and went to school with some people who have created big names for themselves including: Josh Groban, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr, Rory O'Malley, Megan Hilty, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and the list goes on.  I am constantly amazed at the Carnegie Mellon mafia.

Since graduating I signed with a wonderful agency and began carving out my career in independent film, commercial, off-broadway, and on the regional theater circuit.  I can describe many experiences from those years when I was sneaking away from my job as a bellman to peel off my uniform in a Starbucks bathroom, get to my audition and get back to the hotel before anyone truly noticed or cared.  One time I just went ahead to a callback in uniform.  It was for Julie Andrews.  Some experiences are so memorable that looking back on it -- it seems irrelevant whether or not I booked the job.  Like the time I screen tested with Kathy Briar.  I recognized her not from television-- but from that same job as the bellman.  She was struck by a taxi in front of my hotel, the Hudson, while I was on duty.  I came to her aid and I was her key witness.  It wasn't until I was digging through old papers and found the note with her handwritten name and phone number that I realized that she was my scene partner in a screen test years later for ABC.

Since earning my BFA from Carnegie Mellon I have been lucky to have a fulfilling career in the performing arts through independent and commercial forms.

I have led productions Off-Broadway, at major regional theaters, and on National/ International tours. I have also worked in film, television and voiceover in a variety of principal roles. Over the years I have been acclaimed by the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post and many other respected (and not-respected) publications.  I am proud to say that both as an individual and as a member of a collective I have been nominated and have won awards such as the Drama Desk, Stages Edinburgh, various area critic’s--and at film festivals. Nothing I have done could have been accomplished alone...that is such an understatement.

I tend to do a lot of comedy but my most recent work is a docu-style drama. Currently I am in a co-production of a new play called Pieces of the Moon in which I play Neal Armstrong.  It is being produced by Stages Repertory in Houston and One Year Lease Theater Co (POSTPONED due to the pandemic as of April 2020). It's a new play that examines a cross-section of life in 1969 between the race to the moon and the concurrent resistance-- highlighting the rise of the Black Arts Movement through the work of Gil Scott-Heron. We are working on converting the piece for auditory programming (ala 'radio play') for a couple of venues.

I also recently completed a developmental workshop of CLUE working alongside a Broadway Star-studded company directed by Casey Hushion.

 

Another favorite recent role was as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at Olney Theatre Center. Our production was re-conceived: Higgins was younger, a philanderer. Eliza was a person of color and the show was set later-- when women had the right to vote. The result of this examination was an explosive production celebrated by critics.  Please see my press and resume tabs for full resume and  more info!


Aaaaaand...I also cross disciplines. I work as a teaching artist with One Year Lease Theater Company for their Apprentice Program in Northern Greece. I am a core member of their acting ensemble and over time I have taught myself to read, speak and write modern Greek. Through this unique opportunity I have developed a publishable technique that marries traditional English voice and speech practices with the unique demands of the Greek language. Every summer I shepherd groups of students to perform in Greek as native English speakers and we bring the show to 4 remote villages that are otherwise deprived of cultural programming. .  Eventually I would like to see this grow: An approach to tackle performance in second languages and dialects.

All of my work is driven by my love of language.

Me and my mom on stage at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab after a performance of Shear Madness

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