Give a little general information about yourself: how did you become interested in the arts?
In retrospect, I feel like I always wanted to be in theatre, I just needed the self-motivation to do so. The first play I ever saw that truly gave me the indescribable feeling of immersive storytelling was Les Miserables. I didn’t have the confidence to do anything with this passion because I inhibited myself, assuming my weight and appearance would prevent me from being successful. I didn’t have my first audition of anything until I showed up here at Charlotte. I auditioned for The Wiz just hoping to be involved and get some experience, and I end up getting a principal character. That process transformed my perception of theatre and how much it meant to me. It showed me I COULD do it, and I was willing to commit the rest of my life to this profession. I love theatre because it inspires me to not just be some entertainer that only seeks money and fame, but a true artist of the craft whose actions can change society in some meaningful capacity.
What kind of career do you hope to have?
I want to be a professional actor. What does acting mean to me? Where do I even begin? Acting allows me to be myself, to be weird, to be free. I can be a storyteller and transcend what it means to be a black man in American society and connect with every race, gender, or creed on some level. I love the theatre because it creates a space where stories can be told, where I can absorb other people’s take on the human experience. When you read or watch a play it’s the closest visual representation of another person’s imagination, their personality, and their opinions on the world. It’s intoxicating. I have always been a superhero fan (way before the fad) and they changed my life and kept me on track to be a good person. They influenced me to work out and stay healthy and to find the good in and empathize with everyone around me. My greatest dream in life is to bridge my love of superheroes and acting. I would want to be my own superhero, to inspire someone else the same way these characters did for me and inspire them to in turn help others and find what makes them get up in the morning. I want my passion to help them find purpose.
What is your favorite thing about the Department of Theatre?
I will say the aspect of the CoA+A program that I am thankful for is the diversity of theatre productions that have been produced in the past three years. In my own personal career, I have been stretched creatively and was able to be exposed to and find success in drama, comedy, musicals, Shakespeare, and even Italian comedy. I appreciate the wide range of genres because it not only makes me and my fellow actors more versatile, but it inspires the audience to see theatre is more than regurgitating lines on stage. It’s a way of being. It’s our way of life. I have been told by some people that the shows that they’ve seen here inspired them to get into theatre or at the very least appreciate the passion and hard work that goes into it.
Do you participate in any community activities or work in the Charlotte arts community?
I have been trying to get myself out in the Charlotte Arts ecosystem while I am still in school, and take every opportunity I can. I have just recently been apart of a stage production in the city known as Boys to Baghdad, and it was my first lead in a professional play. I have also been cast in an upcoming production of Fences, by August Wilson.
When you are not in class, studying, working or rehearsing, what do you like to do for fun?
When I have downtime I love to get on PlayStation, watch some anime, practice on my saxophone, and rehearse my monologues. I also love to hang out with and talk about theatre and what being an artist truly means with my friends, especially the “Black Kings”. Myself along with UNC Charlotte alumni Aaron Allen and Deandre Sanders and seniors Marcus Fitzpatrick and Derrick Jones formed this group to reach our lifelong goals together as black brothers in art. Society already has a perception of who we are and assume our intentions but are group seeks to “break that stigma” and be successful from our own volition.