Tell us about your background
I was born in Texas and raised in Belleville, Illinois – a suburb of St. Louis in the United States. I received a BA in Music from Yale University and worked in NYC for two years before relocating to the UK to pursue my MA in Musical Theatre at RCS.
What sparked your love of the arts?
I remember quite vividly following a schoolboy crush to an audition for Annie at age ten, having no idea what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that seemingly impulsive decision would impact the course of my life from that point forward.
Through all my adolescence, I took advantage of every opportunity to immerse myself in the world of musical theatre – whether that be at school, in the local community, or by obsessively collecting every cast recording I could find at the neighbourhood record store. I had found my tribe.
What was it like studying in Glasgow?
Having never been to Glasgow before enrolling, I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, I absolutely LOVED living and studying in Glasgow. It’s a vibrant city with amazing people. My first impression of the building on Renfrew Street was that of a bustling hub of creativity.
On any given day, I would walk down the corridor as I made my way to class and hear a xylophonist practicing, or an actor reciting Shakespeare, or opera singers perfecting a Mozart love duet. The atmosphere alone stimulated an amazing amount of development in my year group, both personal and artistic, and though we’re now all spread around the world, it’s always inspiring to see their diverse achievements and the varied work they’re all doing in their respective countries, cities and communities.
How did your time at RCS prepare you for the world of work?
RCS offers incredible opportunities to meet and work with industry professionals whilst studying, and it was these opportunities that really helped sharpen my skills and prepare me for the world of work.
One was getting the chance to meet Andy and Wendy Barnes of Perfect Pitch Musicals, who would later go on to produce the global hit SIX. Some classmates and I were tasked with devising some material during a new musical workshop week, at the end of which we presented a few songs and a couple of scenes. Andy and Wendy attended that presentation, liked what they saw, and eventually supported me in developing that material into what would become a one-act musical called From Up Here, which made its world premiere at South Hill Park in 2012 and is available for licensing worldwide via Broadway Licensing. I continue to work with Perfect Pitch in a variety of capacities to this day, and I have RCS to thank for initiating what has become a fruitful professional relationship.
I’ve also had the pleasure of returning to RCS on a handful of occasions to work with students over the years, and it has always been a joyful experience. Most recently, it’s felt full circle to step into the role of director for the BA Musical Theatre production of Violet and the MA Musical Theatre production of Urinetown. My unique set of skills and experiences have proven to be well-suited to directing, and I’ve learned just as much from my students as they have from me. It’s fitting that, after all these years, RCS continues to be a place where I learn, grow, and evolve.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
Since graduating, I’ve been based in London, working as an actor, singer, voiceover artist, writer and educator. I also run a boutique talent agency and sit on the board of a non-profit.
What have been your most memorable moments from your career so far?
I’ve had several career highlights through the years, having worked in London for over a decade now. My West End debut in Sister Act at the London Palladium was a dream come true. Not only was Whoopi Goldberg one of our producers, but she also did a short run as Mother Superior, which was an unforgettable experience.
Shrek The Musical was my first Original West End cast, so that was pretty special, as was the UK premiere of Urinetown the Musical, directed by the incomparable Jamie Lloyd and starring West End legend (and dear friend) Jenna Russell.
I did two revivals directed by Lonny Price at the London Coliseum with the ENO that were particularly memorable as well: Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close.
At present, I’m standby for Aaron Burr, George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and King George III in Hamilton at the Victoria Palace, which feels like a pinnacle of sorts.
Any words of wisdom for those looking to pursue a career in Musical Theatre?
The biggest lesson I learned during my time as a student – that I still carry with me today – is the importance of the authenticity of one’s voice. I don’t mean one’s singing or spoken voice in the literal sense, but more so who they are and what they have to say as an artist. Directors and producers and audition panels and audiences would much rather see an actor’s unique light shining authentically at its brightest than someone trying to fit in to what they assume might be expected of them. As much as I can, I try to live by the motto: “Work hard, never stop learning, and do you.”