Bayou City Theatrics resident choreographer Luke Hamilton showed signs of being a performer early in his life. "When I was five years old, I was on a soccer team. I scored a goal, turned to my Grandma and took a bow. She said she knew right then and there that I was supposed to be a performer."
Soon after that, Hamilton traded soccer teams for chorus lines. Dancing, singing and acting lessons followed, all of which convinced him a career onstage was the right thing for him.
"I discovered my love for theater at an early age. When I figured out I could make a career out of playing dress-up, something I did often...as a kid, I was sold on the idea."
Somewhere along the line, Hamilton started choreographing as well as performing. His work in the Houston Family Arts Center's Fiddler on the Roof won Best Choreography for a Musical at the Houston Theater Awards in 2013. That was an especially difficult task since the show included 64 performers and there were several scenes with the entire cast singing and dancing onstage. Hamilton was only 20 years old at the time, making him the youngest Houston Theater Awards winner ever.
What He Does: "I'm an actor, a trained dancer and a singer," Hamilton tells us. "I began choreographing at an early age and I am now the Resident choreographer for Bayou City Theatrics, one of Houston's newest downtown theaters."
Hamilton also performs in many of the company's musical theater productions. (We last saw him dancing and singing in Bayou City Theatrics' production of Les Misérables.)
Why He Likes It: "I often dance in my head. I hear a piece of music, and suddenly my head is flooded with a million different ways that I could translate it onto a stage. I love getting to sit down with a cup of coffee -- or seven -- and a notebook and then fill the pages in front of me with all the different ways I could approach a single number. The planning and deliberating process of creating choreography is the most daunting, but also the most exciting."
What Inspires Him: "I pull inspiration from a variety of sources. Occasionally, I wake from a dream with a lingering image in my head that I know I have to use someday. I'm inspired by other artists, by people who love what they do.
"My main inspiration for creating a piece is the music. When I hear a dance break and I listen to the drum hits and imagine what could happen onstage in sync with those drum hits, I get ecstatic. I probably listen to the music I'm creating choreography for 20 times before I start jotting down my ideas."
If Not This, Then What: "When I was really young, I wanted to be a writer, to write fantasy novels. I wrote many stories as a kid and forced friends, family and anyone else I could to read them. It's the one other passion I...still hope to some day."
Hamilton is clear that whatever else he might do, it would have to involve creativity and the opportunity to express himself. "If I wasn't writing, performing or choreographing as part of my career, I can't imagine feeling fulfilled and happy with my life."
If Not Here, Then Where: "I was born and raised in Houston. I love it here, and I love how quickly it's growing and developing as a major theater city. I've never been to New York City, but someday I would like to. I've been told by people who know me well that if I visited there. I would never want to leave. I feel like it would suit my personality, and as it is the home of the Broadway musical, there would certainly be many opportunities for me to pursue."
What's Next: "At Bayou City Theatrics, I'm currently in Charlie Brown Christmas as Linus, and also rehearsing for Mary Zimmerman's play Metamorphoses.
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"I'm also choreographing and dancing in a Christmas concert called The 12 Divas of Christmas. Beyond that, I'm planning choreography for some exciting future projects that [I hope to] announce soon."
For information on Luke Hamilton, including his upcoming performances at Bayou City Theatrics, see his Facebook page.
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