I started acting in high school when Mrs. Sally Livingston, a profoundly gifted educator, cast me as a village member in my high school’s production of Inherent the Wind. At the time I was not a strong student. I was floundering academically, and desperately seeking a sense of belonging. Though I auditioned, I didn’t show up for a rehearsal until the day before tech. The principal had to call me into her office, because I was supposed to have been rehearsing for the last month. In tears I slumped down to the theater room to apologized to Mrs. Livingston and bow out (pun intended) gracefully. Mrs. Livingston had a code of commitment from her students, and she refused to let me blow the play off. So quite shocked I joined the cast a day before tech, lost and confused since I’ve never been in a play before. Little did I know that gesture of kindness would profoundly change my life. I found my tribe during that production. Mrs. Livingston become my mentor and advocate, introducing me to craft of theater and capturing my imagination. I would then go on to study acting and theater design at Elon University before later moving back to Washington D.C. to work as a teaching artist. After three wonderful years teaching in the D.C. I was accepted into the Yale School of Drama. It is a cliché yet I never thought I would go to an Ivy league school. Yet there I was, studying under teacher’s such as Ron Van Lieu and Evan Yionulius, all because of Mrs. Livingston’s kindness.
"The artist's role is to raise the consciousness of the people, make them understand life, the world and themselves. Otherwise I don't know why you do it."
- Amiri Baraka
Recently, I was seen in the Lab production of This Land Was Made with the Vineyard Theater. Other New York credits include: Mud (Boundless Theater Company); and Alligator (New Georges). Selected Regional Credits include Father Comes Home From The Wars Part 1, 2, 3 (co-production with Yale Rep and A.C.T); The Square Root of Three Sisters (Dmitry Krymov Lab); 9 Circles (Forum Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination); Locomotion (The John F. Kennedy Center); and The Hampton Years (Theater J). Television credits include Elementary, Madam Secretary, and High School Lover (with James Franco). I am a former member of Developing Artist Theater Company, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and former artistic director of the Yale Cabaret.
Sally Ann Livingston would pass in 2016 leaving behind a legacy that has touched hundreds of students like me. Honestly, I don’t know where I would be without her kindness. Because of that I dedicate much of my success to her.