(Did I just reveal my love for Disney?) My mother passed a passion for music and performance on to me. I grew up hearing her sing in my grandfather’s church with my grandmother on the piano, and my aunt directing the choir. The same passion for acting is also in my blood with cousins who are professional actors. I strive for excellence with the intention of using my platform as an actor to change the world through storytelling and activism.
What is life if not the expression of passion? What is life without love and connection? I believe the world is my family and it is my duty as a member of that family to use my gifts to bring joy, and change where it is needed.
There is so much beauty inside each of us. The beauty of this world is often overlooked. Believe it or not, as a Black, queer man born into a family of preachers I often felt overlooked. That was because I was taught not to see myself. That my existence as a queer person was less than.
I am also a Leo if that means anything to you. When I speak about passion it is because it is ingrained into the very fibers of who I am. Two things I am passionate about more than anything? My little brother and sister, who are the coolest people on the planet. Even cooler than me, and that is saying something. ;)
My maternal grandfather was an honorary sheriff in Carson, CA. Both my grandfather and grandmother were heavily involved in community outreach. Activism is part of who I am. When I saw the photo of Tamir Rice on the news I saw my baby brother and the face of every little black boy in America. I knew I had to do something. This began my personal journey into activism which later turned into becoming a DEI Consultant. I began using a term called Artivism: the meeting of art and activism. I have had the great pleasure of working with companies in the entertainment field across the country. Helping them make the workplace a safer, more equitable environment gives me great joy. I want to leave the world and specifically the entertainment industry better than when it found me.
I could tell you that as a child seeing the greats like Denzel Washington, James Earl Jones, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Jessica Lange and Judy Garland, I said “I know I can do that.” That pizza is my love language. I could also tell you things like my maternal grandmother was my best friend and her passing was the hardest thing I have ever been through. That I was intensely bullied as a child to the point of attempted suicide. That I was once homeless and put myself through college with 3 jobs, and a voice and violin scholarship. That my voice teacher, Pro. Florence Birdwell, changed my life by breaking me down and showing me how to build myself back up. I could tell you all of those things. The important part is the lesson these things taught me: I get to decide who I want to be.
A Star is Born (1954)
West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar