100 Creatives 2013: Greg Dean, Actor

Greg Dean in Endgame at Catastrophic Theater, 2012
Greg Dean in Endgame at Catastrophic Theater, 2012
Photo by Anthony Rathbun

Actor Greg Dean settled on his choice of professions early in life -- at around age seven. "When I was around four years old, my heroes were all the villains on Batman. I had no idea why they were doing what they were doing, but they sure looked like they were having fun. When I was around seven, I discovered that that was a profession and I dove in. From then on, I've been acting.

"I had a few other options.Everything else that I thought of it was really just sort of a passing thing. I heard about architects and for a while wanted to be an architect. I could've been a mad scientist. Not a regular scientist, mind you, but a mad one that would probably want to take over the world. But performing was always my first choice as soon as I knew that existed."

Greg Dean
Greg Dean
Photo by Anthony Rathbun

What He Does: "I generally say actor now, if somebody asks [me what I do]. That's what I'm doing most of lately. Sometimes I will design a set or handle props but I haven't done the Gulf Coast version of Orson Wells in a while. [As an actor], I'm a conduit, an interpreter. If I get the body right and the voice right and the lines right...if I can live there in the moment, the play just goes through me. I don't have to worry about telling a story, the story's being told.

"I'm doing a bit of film stuff, which seems to be accelerating at a slow pace, sort of snowballing in slow motion."

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Why He Likes It: "I'm an adrenaline junkie and this way I get to play around with emotionally unsafe states in a safe way. The main attraction for me is the connection with the audience. There's an electrical exchange between an actor and an audience. If you're at the top of your game, you don't have to think about all the little things you're supposed to do, they just happen. If you get really good at driving a sports car, you can take your hands off the wheel every now and then. That's pretty exhilarating."

What Inspires Him: "With some playwrights, it's like if you follow the recipe, you're going to get a pretty good cake. Working as an actor, it really is a kinetic response that I have to the words and the actions. In very, very early reads, it's that instinctive, intuitive response that lets everything else fall in place.

"After that I just have to figure out how to repeat it, how to make it so that it's not just me feeling something, the audience can read what's going on."

If Not This, Then What: "The only thing that has actually seemed realistic, like something I would actually want to do is be a therapist. There is something about it, the listening and empathy, that comes naturally to me. I don't know that if after studying for all those years, I would still love it, but it seems a worthy, noble thing that I can actually get excited about.

If Not Here, Then Where: "I don't plan on leaving Houston unless some kind of work takes me elsewhere. All my friends and family are here; I've built a life here. Like it or not, Houston's home. Too, I've learned that no matter where I go, I'm still there, so a change in location doesn't make that much of a difference."

What's Next: "I've got a couple of films coming up. One's starting in April. Another being shoot piece-meal because one of the lead actors is busy working other places. He comes home for ten days here or a week there and we shoot when we can.

"I want to do more film. I've enjoyed it and it sort of feels like I'm not too bad at it. And I don't cringe when I watch the final product."

More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Bruce Foster, paper engineer Valentina Kisseleva, painter Michael Wooten, painter Shawn Hamilton, actor Matt Adams, digital artist and independent curator Gilbert Ruiz, artist Dionne Sparkman Noble, choreographer and professor Lee Wright, artist Vic Shuttee, comedy writer and performer Robin Davidson, poet and translator Jessica Wilbanks, essayist and Pushcart Prize winner David DeHoyos, astronaut photographer Sophie Jordan, bestselling book author Jessi Jordan, comic artist, beekeeper and yeti enthusiast Patrick Peters, architect and professor Jamie Kinosian, visual artist Paris F. Jomadiao, mixed-media artist and stop motion animator Shanon Adams, dancer James Glassman, Houstorian historian and artist Lou Vest, photographer Sara Gaston, stage and screen star Rachael Pavlik, a writer mom Ana Villaronga-Roman, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum director Erin Wasmund, actor, singer and dancer Karim Al-Zand, composer Jan Burandt, paper conservator for The Menil Collection Deke Anderson, actor Craig Cohen, hockey fan and host of Houston Matters Mauro Luna, Poe-Inspired photographer Trond Saeverud, Galveston Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Khrystyna Balushka, paper flower child Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer


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