I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington DC.
When I was a kid we were in a little suburban community surrounded by farms and now you can see the elevated highway from our former backyard, surrounded by housing complexes.
My dad worked the Department of Agriculture and my mom was an office manager for an OB/GYN.
I have a brother and a sister, one of whom is in law enforcement and the other has something to do with hospitals that I still don’t understand, but which sounds important so I nod sagely whenever it’s mentioned.
As you can see, a career in the arts wasn’t necessarily a given when I was growing up, although I did have a very dramatic grandmother, so maybe that was inspirational.
I always remark that I got into acting because I wasn’t good at football – I had (and still have) all sorts of interests that don’t involve me injuring myself, my pride, or others on a competitive sports field, although I used to run track (poorly) and love going to the gym, swimming, and staying physically fit in order to have strength and stamina to do the kinds of roles onstage that I enjoy (I love physical comedy as well as shows that demand a lot of transformational investment and physical commitment such as the one-person show “An Iliad” which we did this past fall). Otherwise as far as hobbies go, I love to immerse myself in history (American, Global, Ancient… I can get drawn into anything historical), writing, theatre (duh), the classics, politics, anything involving animals, and probably anything relatively geeky will get my attention – especially fantasy or stories that crack open my imaginative, escapist side.
I’ll happily talk to you about Game of Thrones whenever you’d like. I lived in New York City for about 20 years, mostly working on Broadway, and moved down here because we adopted an amazing little girl (we were at the hospital when she was born), and I wanted to raise her somewhere beautiful that I could make some art and have schedule that allowed me to watch her grow up.
As you may know actors tend to do a lot of traveling and need to be willing and able to be away from their family and home for significant chunks of time, which is amazing when you’re single and more of a challenge when you have a kid who you want to spend time with.
Kristen Coury and Gulfshore Playhouse afforded us the opportunity of working as an artist in many different capacities
I wrote Scapino, which is enjoying its second production in Pittsburgh this summer after breaking box office records here, I’m directing (In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play this year and The Lady Demands Satisfaction next year), I’m having significant input on the artistic end regarding our new theatre and education center that will be built off Goodlette and First Ave South, and I’m immersed in the business of the business – I keep honing my skills by bringing fantastic actors and directors down to consistently challenge me, push my boundaries and infuse my mind with new ideas. AND I get to watch my daughter grow up in an amazing place. So, unless you know something I don’t, I’m here for the long haul!
STAY, Jeffrey, stay!