BFA Acting '01
Tell us about your current projects and career.
I can currently be seen on the CW Network's hit show The L.A. Complex, which I also wrote and produced. This summer alone I have appeared in four films: Jesus Henry Christ, The Chicago 8, 388 Arletta Avenue, and Take This Waltz as Seth Rogen's brother. Since graduating, I have appeared in over 25 films including Amelia, Flash of Genius, and Young People Fucking, a film I wrote, produced, and starred in. My television roles have included being a series regular on the Emmy-nominated series The State Within, CW's Runaway, the critically acclaimed hit series Slings & Arrows, and, most notably, the role of Donovon Boyd on ABC's hit cop drama Rookie Blue.
How did The Theatre School prepare you for your career?
When working in television or film, it's always something. Always. There's a wrench in the works, and nothing ever goes as planned. Or maybe it's just a script about a sharktopus (half shark, half octupus) that you have to deal with. My training at The Theatre School gave me an expansive set of techniques and methods to apply to any hitch I might be having with the work. The Theatre School gave me the opportunity to learn numerous techniques that I now carry around with me; sort of like a tool belt I can pull out when I'm having troubles...which is always.
In short, The Theatre School gave me the tools to succeed.
What was one thing you learned at The Theatre School that has stayed with you and that has been helpful in your current line of work?
In my experience, The Theatre School is unlike most formal acting schools in that its roots are in improvisation. For me, this was a great way into acting. It allows you to think on your feet, to listen, to be in a moment, to focus on your partner. It also gives you the confidence to trust yourself. I continue to use improvisation as a way into my work. When I'm serving as a producer on a project, I encourage actors to play that way as well.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time studying at DePaul?
The first play I was cast in was called Voir Dire a courtroom drama kind of thing. I think before I came to The Theatre School, I was mostly comfortable doing comedy. But The Theatre School pushes you out of your comfort zone while providing a safe place to play...being surrounded by great actors like Karen Aldridge, working on Voir Dire elevated me, allowing me to grow as an actor.
Voie Dire was also memorable because it was probably my first role as the fast-talking over-confident jerk-guy, which is the role I most often play in my work today.
What advice would you give to students at The Theatre School?
The Theatre School provides so many ideas, methods, and techniques to try out, while providing a safe environment to explore each one. I would say take the time to develop what works for you so that you have the biggest tool belt of your own to take with you into the world. You will acquire the skills to work through anything, even a movie about a porcubear (half porcupine, half grizzly bear).