Q: Where are you from? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for theatre and the arts?
A: I’m from Shelbyville, TN, that’s middle TN around Nashville. When I was in the 7th grade, I saw the 8th graders do a play in the gym about the signing of the constitution and told myself from that point on that this was what I wanted to do. I immediately got involved with Bedford Players ( Shelbyville, TN, was in Bedford County ) and I was hooked from then on!
Q: Where did you study theatre?
A: I studied theatre at Memphis State University which has since been renamed The University of Memphis and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in performance.
Q: Where have you worked previously? What are some of your favorite roles?
A: I lived in Chicago for a few years post college and then moved to Charleston. I was a company member with Reflections Theatre Ensemble in Chicago and my favorite role with them was Wes in Fifth of July. I also performed a season with the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, WV, and did Greater Tuna and Brother Man in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof while there. Since I’ve been in Charleston, I’ve performed with Midtown Theatre, Footlight Players, What If? Productions and Charleston Stage. Some of my favorite roles over the years while in Charleston have been Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy and Greater Tuna ( again but I played the other 9 characters this time so now I’ve played all 21 characters in that show! ), Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, and of course, The Old Man in A Christmas Story!
Q: How did you prepare for playing the role of The Old Man? Are there any challenges you faced or anything you’re most excited about portraying this iconic holiday character?
A: In preparation for this role, I wanted to find the right balance between the grumpy “cursing” side of him and the caring loving Father that he is. I think that was the biggest challenge. In all of that grumpiness, I didn’t want to cross the line from what I called grumpy/funny to grumpy/mean. Also, I did try to bring some of the movie character in to play because everyone is so familiar with the film and I felt like the audience would really want to see some of those film moments brought to life on the stage.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Theatre IS my spare time! When I’m not working 2 jobs, I’m raising 2 teenage daughters, Prentice and Lila ( love you girls! ) and holding down the fort with 4 cats, 2 dogs and a guinea pig! Of course my lovely wife Marybeth is an equal part in all of the raising and holding down of the fort as well.