Shawn Hamilton didn't start out to be an actor. He studied music at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, then at the North Texas State University. Hamilton went on an acting audition on a lark.
"A buddy of mine went to audition for grad school and I just went with him, just for fun, and I got in," he says sounding surprised. "I got into Juilliard, NYU and Yale." Hamilton studied at the Yale School of Drama and began acting professionally soon after.
His credits include a national tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical and several productions in Minneapolis. Currently performing in the Main Street Theater production of A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, Hamilton returned to Houston to be closer to his family, including his four-year-old-daughter. (Hamilton and his partner are currently shopping for an elementary school for his daughter, a task his partner has compared to getting the child into college.)
What He Does: "When I tell people I'm an actor, they say, 'Well, what else do you do?'" he laughs. "'Oh, that's nice, what's your other job? What do you do when you're not doing that?' Then I say, I don't have another job. This is all I do. People always seem surprised at that...I don't know why."
What Inspires Him: "Great work, great material inspires me. It's like being a jockey; you can only have a good ride if you have a good horse. For an actor, great roles are the great horses."
If Not This, Then What: "For actors, the most common answers are going to be either a lawyer or a doctor. Of course, what we think of as lawyers and doctors is based on what we see on TV. We have no idea what a real doctor or lawyer's life is like."
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If Not Here, Then Where: "I think I'm staying in Houston for now. I'm happy being here. Would I rather go on a tour with a musical and make three times the money I make locally but never get to see my daughter? No. I'm good right where I am these days."
What's Next: "I have two one-man shows coming up. The first one is [about Martin Luther King], the other one is Ronald McNair. Then I've got Cyrano in St. Paul. Then I come back to Stages for a show. I'm also doing voice-over for a [cereal] commercial."
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
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 MarÃa 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