Birth of an Actor

I was born in North Platte, NE in at Mid-Plains Regional Medical Center in 1977.  I was told that I couldn’t wait to get out in the world and was nearly birthed in an elevator heading to the maternity ward.

What’s that?

Oh!!!  They want to hear the story of how I became an actor.  Well, let’s start again.

The origins of my acting avocation actually began in childhood.  I lived in a small town called Fort Dodge where I attended Holy Rosary Elementary School.  Each December, the school would have their Christmas program which included a band concert, singing, and a Christmas play. 

In the sixth grade, I managed to snag the leading role in the Christmas program despite the fact that I was nearly tone deaf.  The solution was to let me play the role and give the big solo to another classmate which was fine by me.  I played Psalty:  an oversized, sentient hymnal who was trying to organize a Christmas concert with the Winter Worship Workshop kids. 

What I remember the most about the play was that the cardboard book I had to wear dug divots into my head like you wouldn’t believe and, since I was also in the band, I had to perform the band concert in full makeup because there wasn’t enough time to apply it between the concert and the play.  I still remember going out to the concert and got a terrific double take from an elderly gent because I my makeup made me look like the son of Ronald McDonald.

The play was a huge hit and I actually considered acting as a profession after that.  However, there was no way to nurture my newfound interest and it fell asleep for awhile.

Waiting. . .waiting. . .waiting

Fast forward to my senior year of high school.  Now I was living in LaVista, NE and I just completed my final concert.  I had played saxophone since elementary school and I had grown weary of it and decided I would find a new extracurricular activity to do in college.  My dad told me, “You know you can do plays in college.”  I thought, “Yeah, right.”

Then fate stepped in.

After the final concert, I placed my saxophone on my chair and went to change out of my tuxedo.  Suddenly a sickening crash split the air and I turned to find my horn had fallen off my chair and the headpiece had snapped off.  Well, no more music.

Dad’s suggestion stayed riveted in my mind during the summer so I decided to sign up for a Beginning Acting class during my first year in college.  One of our first assignments was to review the season opener, The Diviners.  As I watched this story unfold, a very peculiar feeling came over me.

As I watched these people tell this remarkable story, I suddenly thought, “Me, too!!!”  At that point, I vowed to be an actor.

It took over 4 years to reach that goal.

But that is a story for another time. . .