a dream: deconstructed…
I was born in Florida and moved to Virginia when I was five. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area with my stepfather who was a sailor in the Navy, and my mother who’d immigrated to ‘the States’ just four years before having me. If I got anything from my stepfather it was his foul mouth and comedic timing. Any other talent came from my biological father. My mother made sure I was polite, diplomatic and that I never put anything on a credit card that I couldn’t pay for in cash. She also made sure that I knew I could be anything I wanted to be. She probably meant something more along the lines of a doctor…or lawyer, but being someone who could literally be anything they wanted to be was the direction I took from that.
As an only child, I escaped into worlds I created with stuffed animals, fitted sheets and imagination. I became fascinated with film when I’d sneak out into the living room to watch late night cable and one night Interview With The Vampire was on. There was something so forbidden yet so telling in my captivation. I first fell in love with acting in elementary school when I joined Odyssey of the Mind (OM) and won an acting award in front of a gym full of my peers. In middle school, I fell for the magic of theatre when I saw a community production of Into the Woods. It transported me into a whole other world, something I’d only done alone before. I was so present. It was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to create moments like that, for others.
Halfway through my freshman year at an International Baccalaureate (IB) high school I decided to focus less on S.T.E.M. motivated academics and transferred to the local Arts high school where I became a drama kid. At my IB exit exam the counselor said “But you can do theatre at Yale…” trying to convince me to stay in the program. She wasn’t wrong. But I went to the Arts high school anyway. I remember visiting my new school and feeling like I had just stepped onto the set of Center Stage. There was art everywhere. After graduating, I went on to get my BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. There I had the opportunity to tour children’s theater and perform abroad with The Conciliation Project in uncle tom: deconstructed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After college, I embarked upon the first national tour of Johnny Appleseed with Theatre IV under the VA Repertory Theatre. Wanting to take the next step in my TV/film career I moved to Atlanta.
Since moving to Atlanta, I’ve been bumped up into a principal role in American Made across from Tom Cruise (remember Interview with the Vampire?), auditioning for the part on-set with the star and director Doug Liman. In 2018, I supported Josephine Langford in After, the film adaption of the successful Wattpad YA novel by Anna Todd. My supporting role in Tulsa, ran for 13 weeks in Regal Cinemas across the country and the film came in 3rd for the highest grossing self-distributed films of all time. And most recently, the musical episode of Legacies, “Salvatore: the Musical!” aired on CW marking my network television debut and first ever Co-starring role. Click on the Spotify icon below to listen to the soundtrack! There may…or may not be…a familiar voice.
Acting for me is presence, purpose and freedom on film, on stage and in my day to day life. Acting came to me as an outlet to deal with a very emotionally chaotic environment, not knowing how to feel and process those emotions properly. Performance gave me that permission. It began as my personal way to escape, but quickly became about finding a way to connect. My mission as an actor is to be a mirror of multitudes to humanity, to tap into our boundless ability for creation, and to serve my audience, connecting globally through collaboration and community. Even if, right now, it’s more like, “Here’s your coffee”. Lol.
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UPCOMING: Courtney Gets Possessed with Jordan Brown…co-directed by Jono Mitchell and Madison Hatfield.
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Photo by: Jordan Desamours @jordanshootsfilm