The readiness is all. Honoring the story is paramount. I love to play roles that make audiences laugh and cry with equal intensity.
Growing up in a small Illinois farm and steel town of about 9,000 people, two hours west of Chicago, just on the border of Iowa, as a biracial kid in the 80s and 90s, before Barack Obama came along and made it more mainstream, I suffered from an identity crisis. Strong family support on both the African American and Irish sides, along with immersion in both the Performing and Martial Arts, helped me find my way to appreciate my chameleon-like state and channel it into acting. Using my diverse and colorful core as a strength instead of a deficit took me from the lovely cornfields of Illinois to the hard scrabble streets of Lincoln Center in the heart of New York City to study acting at Juilliard. Four long years later, I graduated with the prestigious Raul Julia Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Just after Juilliard, I was cast in my first Broadway production as George Murchison in the Tony Award-winning 'A Raisin In The Sun,' opposite Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad. From there, I went on to guest star in many great television series and films, from classic procedurals like Law & Order and Blue Bloods to comedies like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Master of None.On hit cable and streaming shows like Billions and The Leftovers.
Recently as a series regular for Fox/WB on Prodigal Son as Detective JT Tarmel. I've had the opportunity to work with and learn from superb directors like Lesli Linka Glatter, Mimi Leder, Steve McQueen, Kenneth Branagh, Jason Bateman, Spike Lee, Jane Campion, Carl Franklin, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Next, I play legendary civil rights leader James Farmer, Jr. in the upcoming film Rustin, opposite Jeffrey Wright and Colman Domingo. It was a gift to observe master director George C. Wolfe at work. My lovely wife, Shelley, and our two boys, Hendrix and Brixton, have been rocks of support.