Creative work is hard work.
But creative work is attainable.
CHRISTINE: Thanks for taking a break from performances to join us today.
SHAWN: Absolutely, I’m so excited to chat with you and your readers.
We know you’re part of the American Blues Theater Ensemble from the intro – could you tell us a little more about yourself?
I grew up in Milwaukee, WI and came to Chicago to study acting at Columbia College. Currently, I am a facilities technician during the day and an actor by night. I became a parent almost five years ago when my son, Wiles, was born. My wife and I were recently blessed with a second child, Petra, earlier this year.
How fun! My two youngest boys are right around your kids ages! Being a parent of littles can be exhausting work, but still you find time for your art. How did you come to be part of It’s a Wonderful Life?
I started as an audience member back in 2005 and fell in love with the storytelling format of a radio play. When the Artistic Director, Wendy, offered me the position of Foley Artist, I was thrilled to accept. At the time, I was also performing and hosting with Live Band Karaoke and was excited to bring my musicality to the stage in the foley art form.
Can you explain what a Foley Artist is for those of us who are not familiar with it?
A Foley Artist creates or recreates sounds for movies. In It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m creating sound elements for our live radio broadcast.
What a cool job! We’re going to transition to a couple more artistic questions . . . Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
My love of radio shows and old time movies are my biggest inspiration. I’ve also found that trying to entertain my children and keep life fun for them has helped me grow as an artist.
Who has most inspired your professional career?
My son has been my biggest inspiration. I want him to see me doing something that I not only love, but that I excel at. As a bonus, seeing his excitement about ‘going to the theater’ reminds me that I really do have a cool job.
That is so sweet. I’m sure you can’t wait for Petra to visit you at work too. What is your favorite part of being a parent?
Balance is definitely hard. How do you find the balance between career and family?