photo of my older brother Cliff and me by my dad
I grew up in the suburbs of Augusta, Georgia, and lived in the same house from kindergarten through high school. My dad was in the Navy, and met my mom when he was stationed in the Philippines. He is an aircraft mechanic that admits to knowing nothing about acting, but has taught me so much about generosity. I have an older brother who is in the Army. He was my role model for following my interests with total dedication. My mom stayed home to raise my brother and me, and watched the Food Network and HGTV religiously. Her first question to anyone walking in the front door, to this day, is “Have you eaten, yet?”
My first experience acting was in the second grade play. I was Dr. Brown in Get Hoppin’, a musical about a bunny that did not know how to hop. The complexity of playing a doctor burdened by the responsibility of making a living, while earnestly taking an interest in a mysterious case took me out of my regular boyhood and thrust me into my empathy for a story far from my own. I was hooked to to searching for his truth, to finding his voice, to get Bunny Sue hopping.
Instead of acting, my parents wanted me to be an architectural engineer, since I showed an interest in drawing buildings at a young age. That plan foiled when I watched Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho at sixteen years old. River Phoenix moved me in a way that I knew was special, and I wanted to reciprocate that feeling for an audience member like me. He helped me understand the motivations of a thieving, drug using, narcoleptic prostitute that wouldn’t let anything stop him from finding his mother.
“I love you, and… you don’t pay me.” -River Phoenix as Mike Waters in My Own Private Idaho
Acting is a celebration of experiences and perspective. Inhabiting stories and names that are not my own expands my humanity. It's a passion that I want to share with you.