Born July 21, 1980 in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in Paterson until, at age 4, my parents, both Pentecostal preachers, moved the family (including my, then, 9 month old little sister) to Detroit for ministry purposes. Although none of these cities are particularly easy to grow up in, love, sound teaching, discipline, support and reassurance at home made it much easier to endure the bullies, avoid the “seduction” of fast money and gang life, and to hold fast to dreams despite the naysayers (some of which were teachers).
My curiosity about acting began at a very young age. I remember watching ‘Family Matters’ as a child and thinking, “What family is lucky enough to have Steve Urkel and the Winslows in their house every week? Hmmm, what family is UNlucky enough to have to clean up after Steve DESTROYS that house every week?”. I wanted to be a part of that! (Not the clean up, of course.)
My knowledge about acting began after my brief time as a football star in high school. Ok, not quite a “star”, BUT, I did play for 3 years, and graduated from JV to Varsity after my 1st year… no applause? Mkay. As a teenager, I went on a few auditions for gospel music videos and urban stageplays, having no clue of what I was doing, and wondering why I never “got picked”. All of that changed once I declared my Major at Wayne State University. Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentration in Theatre. That whole experience was exceptional, and it’s hard to imagine going any other route; I was truly prepared by each one of my professors for where I am now, and where I’m going.
One of my biggest goals these days is to inspire others, regardless of age, ethnicity or tax bracket. I’m a Black man from Paterson, New Jersey, raised in Detroit, Michigan. I was educated in the public school system. I know about the free lunch program. I am familiar with what a book of food stamps looks like. I also know what it is to see the pride in my parents’ eyes when they saw their son in his cap, gown and class ring, graduating from college. I know what it feels like to have my immediate family calling family members out of town, telling them to watch me on TV, and hearing the screams come through the phone from across the room. I know the satisfaction that comes with taking bills from your parents and paying them with the money from the dream YOU had and that THEY supported! NOTHING is impossible.