How did you get into your art form? I was in a college production of The Music Man when I was in ninth grade in Austin, MN, where I'm from. That's where I got the theater bug. Two years later, I started playing the guitar. I have been working on theater and music ever since. Often fusing the two together.
What is one of your favorite memories or stories from your artistic journey? My oldest brother died tragically about ten years ago. I wrote a one-man musical about him called "The Tragedy of Icarus" which I performed at The Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2010 and at Riverland Community College in Austin in 2011. I had never done anything like that before. It was rewarding to be able to talk about my brother and what he meant to me.
Why are the arts important for youth? Theater and music are great for self-expression. This is important for youth because they can't always articulate what they are thinking and feeling. Theater and music gives them a voice.
I work a lot at Stages Theater Company in Hopkins, and get to work with the best young actors in the Twin Cities. It's great inspiration for me to get to work with such talented kids and young adults. I have to work hard to keep up with them! They keep me on my toes!
I also have an eight-year-old son Jack. He's fantastic at the violin and is involved in dance at his school [Park Spanish Immersion]. He enjoys it and I think it really builds his discipline and confidence.