The Early Years
I was born in Wisconsin, and moved to Maryland when I was about one year old. Growing up, my first experience with acting came when I was 8 years old after seeing one of my friends perform in a local play, and I knew right away it was something I wanted to try. I started becoming involved in community theatre and performed in dozens of plays all the way through high school, where I continued to take advanced drama classes.
Simultaneously, I took a passion to music, and joined the school band as a trumpet player in 4th grade, and played with every possible school band, jazz band and professional group I could find, all the way through high school. I participated in several prestigious music programs, including two years at the renowned Summer Center For The Arts at Goucher College in Baltimore, and was even invited to play with the high school jazz ensemble while I was still in junior high. I also sang with the high school choir and elite chamber choir.
Not content to just play the trumpet, I started tinkering with my family’s old upright piano that had been sitting in the garage for years, and learned to play piano without any formal training, leading eventually to forming a classic rock band with my friends, and playing many community events as the lead singer and keyboard player of the foursome. We actively wrote our own songs too, and released two albums of originals (yes, they were “tapes” back in those days). And when we performed, we made a statement with our massive speaker systems, lights, and full arsenal of instruments. It was probably one of the most memorable times in my life!
My Late Teen Years & Early Twenties
After high school, I continued acting in community theatre, while also exploring other interests. My passion for music (and large investment in audio equipment for my band) served a dual-purpose as I started a recording studio, and served as the producer and engineer for over 40 local bands. I also became a web designer for a local Internet Service Provider back when the Internet was just starting, and quickly learned the ins and outs of Internet & server technology and graphic design, which planted the roots to a successful career owning a web design & marketing agency (which I continue to run today).
I also became actively involved with the local police department for over 4 years, receiving police training (including Hostage Negotiation Training from the FBI), as well as being selected for a full-time internship with the department’s Youth Services Section (where I helped teach DARE and other programs in schools, as well as serve as a counselor in various police-sponsored after school programs and Summer camps). I made my way up through the ranks of the specialized group I worked with, eventually being promoted to Captain. I also took an interest to the other side of the public safety world, and became a Board-Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the fire department, and actively worked on an ambulance for over 3 years, where I witnessed a lifetime’s worth of medical emergencies and car accidents.
The Move To LA
In late August 2001, I decided to pursue my acting career full-time, and drove 3000 miles from Baltimore to Los Angeles with nothing but a few suitcases, some books, and of course my computer. After bouncing around a few different apartments (and over 20 roommates – LA is very transient and many people would move in and back out within a month), I eventually settled in and made LA my permanent home. However, life is never supposed to be easy, and less than a year after moving to LA, I discovered I had a rare form of cancer – a tumor the size of a golf ball had taken up residence in the back of my neck (and wasn’t even paying rent!). After 2 surgeries in July and August of 2002, I quickly bounced back – vowing never to let another day be wasted.
Throughout the years, I’ve become extremely active in the acting & filmmaking community, having performed in leading roles in several independent films, as well as supporting roles in larger films and TV shows. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the casts and crews of shows such as The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, ER, Without A Trace, 7th Heaven, The Shield, Boston Public, Crossing Jordan, The Agency, and Spin City, among others. And I’ve worked as either a cast or crew member on films such as Austin Powers 3, Matchstick Men, Seabiscuit, Red Dragon, Bruce Almighty, The House of Sand and Fog, The Stevens Get Even, Biker Boyz, Like Mike, Solaris, and many more. I’ve met some amazing people along the way!
Today And Beyond
When I’m in between acting and filmmaking projects, I stay active by working with various government and non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles. From 2006-2007, I put my former law enforcement experiences to good use by becoming a Humane Officer for the Los Angeles Humane Society. A Humane Officer is a sworn police officer, who solely investigates animal cruelty and child abuse. I also actively work with the LAPD & LA Fire Department as a crisis responder, and the American Red Cross as a disaster responder.
The large variety of jobs I’ve worked in over the years have given me an incredible amount of experiences to draw from in my performing & filmmaking, and I continue to spend my days working on anything I can get my hands on, especially writing, producing & directing films through my own production company, Utopian Films.