“It only hurts if you stay down”, “There is no I in ‘TEAM’” & “God hates a coward!” are three phrases that shaped and continue to shape my life. I was born in New England to two wildly imaginative, wily and whacky parents who taught me: that wizards, elves & faires are real; that the gnomes play baseball games just before the sun goes down and if you look hard enough through the grass you can find them; that my passion for finding dead bugs or birds and having funerals for them (complete with praying and crying passionately) was an endearment. They also taught the importance of education, the beauty of empathy and the need for compassionate understanding. With doors wide open to family, friends and those in need I was exposed from a very early age to the art of hospitality and human connectivity.
Like all good Irish Catholic boys from New England, I grew up playing in the dirt. My childhood is defined by playing
make-believe, playing baseball and crushing hockey. It wasn’t until m’mum dragged me to a Broadway in Boston show that a life in the theater was ever on the radar. Experiencing the spectacle, ensemble and indeed magic of this experience provided a new and exciting outlet for the creativity, teamwork and magic I hope to fill my life with. The possibilities seemed limitless.
The two other pillars of my early days that I carry with me still are education and faith. A day well lived is a day where you learn something, whether that be from a text book or from finding a new leaf on the walk home. Faith (in ourselves, our favorite sports team, in humanity, in something), as Paulina says “is required”.
High school o’erflowing with work in professional theaters, difficult but rewarding course loads at school and a core of unforgettable friends led to a wide net being cast for college options. I planned to attend the University of New Hampshire for one year while deciding which school to transfer to in Sophomore year. In Durham, I unexpectedly found everything I was looking for in undergraduate training for a life in the theater: teachers who were willing to give extra work and tutelage outside of the minimum requirements; peers who were driven, talented and willing to hold each other accountable; a State School doctorate in consumption.
Whilst studying at UNH, I was lucky enough to take a semester abroad in London studying theater. For the first time, I was exposed to urban living: theater everyday; urban design and architecture; a cacophony of cultures colliding; late nights and early mornings; the importance of shared space. I was hooked and my mind ablaze with possibilities. The quantity and quality of theater I was fortunate enough to take in over one semester was astounding, exhausting and exhilarating.
Post college life lead to working on the Seacoast of New Hampshire, Boston & eventually a move to Brooklyn. My work brings me around the world sharing stories with audiences of all ages and sizes. When I’m not traveling for work, I get to create lifetime memories for guests from around the world who are visiting NYC and choose to brave a meal in Times Square. In doing so, I get to meet and know cultures from all over the world, get their perspective on living and live the lessons my parents taught me early on about hospitality and cultural understanding. After that, it’s back to Brooklyn to unplug, read a bit, write perhaps and continue my lifelong search for that gnome baseball game.
Life is still abounding in creativity, poetry and magic. The possibilities remain limitless.