I’m a professional actor based in Los Angeles.
My first favorite TV show as a child was Star Trek: The Next Generation, partly because that was important family time around a bowl of fresh, hot, buttery, made-from-scratch popcorn, but mainly because Sir Patrick Stewart’s turn as Captain Jean-Luc Picard is one of the towering performances of television history; full of intelligence, passion, humor, pathos, eloquence, and the kind of quiet strength and determination that would come to represent everything about acting and storytelling that’s important to me. Later on, Peter Jackson’s excellent Lord of the Rings films sealed the deal. I was going to do this full-time or die trying. By the time I got to college and really learned the craft, I was already a lifer.
I built myself as an actor in the theatre, first in school, and then on the stages of Chicago’s theatres, equity and non, large and small. (I spell it -re to help distinguish from movie theaters.) In my time in Chicago, only recently ended, I became known as an actor who fights. Coming from a long martial arts background - I once lived in Thailand for four months training in Thai boxing; my fight record is 1-0 - it was inevitable that I would get into stage combat, and then fighting in front of cameras. Combat on stage and screen is, I believe, an essential storytelling tool, and it’s one for which I have utmost respect. Conflict in our storytelling, whether verbal or physical, should reveal character to us. Not replace it.
I have a lot of training, including a B.A. in Theatre from James Madison University, numerous on-camera technique classes, many months of stage combat classes, and two dusty black belts. I learn best by doing, and because of the extremely active JMU under-grad program, the breadth of projects happening during my formative years in Chicago, my own hustle, and a pinch of luck, I’ve been able to do quite a bit.
My career has been blessed with a good amount of variety. I’ve done intimate two-handers (Thomas in Venus in Fur), voice-over for national commercial campaigns (Aleve and McDonald’s), swashbuckling heroes (Spencer in The Fair Maid of the West and Christian in Cyrano,) and even children’s theatre. (Always, always, always a hilarious villain in an absurd outfit. I was particularly fond of playing an evil trout, whose singular goal was to devour the frog protagonist of the play.) Then there are my own short action films, CHARGER (released 2015), and Guardian Veritas (currently in post-production.) I’m scrappy and I was taught to create any opportunities I see missing in my life. So if you leave me alone long enough, I’ll just start making something. I’m also an amateur mechanic (cars and motorcycles), photographer, cook, and all-around works-with-my-hands kind of guy. I appreciate vintage machinery and progressive values; making things right, and having a lot of fun doing it.
I’ve recently relocated to Los Angeles to better pursue on-camera and voice-over work. As of 1/1/19 I’ll be in New Zealand for 6 weeks, meeting some folks in the industry there and touring the country. Check out my journey, and marvel/scoff at my proclivity for hauling enormous swords up mountains for fun, by following me on Instagram: @lefthookz.