Westfield native Danny Kingston can play any role and sing any part, but his passion for theater and acting he says stems not from the excitement of being on the stage, but the support and friendships behind the scenes.
It was in the sixth grade that Kingston discovered the theater when he performed in Bugsy Malone with Westfield High School students. Today though, he plays I.Q., one of the “Nicest Kids in Town” in Beef and Boards’ production of Hairspray. Kingston is also Steve in Beef and Boards’ children’s show Blue’s Clues Live: Blue’s Birthday Party.
“It was always in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do,” said Kingston. “I loved the theater and felt at home on the stage and with the people in the theater almost immediately.”
After his first performance, Kingston had found his home, and continued in community theater and eventually pursued acting at the AMDA in New York City. There, he received his first professional training, and gained a much stronger insight into the theater as a community, and what Kingston saw as a family.
“Theater is a community, and a tight knit group that has your back no matter what,” he said. “Theater is welcoming. Rejection is something you can’t avoid in this job, but the goal for everyone is the same: to be successful and it is a surprisingly supportive community. The recession hit actors hard and because of it, I decided to come back to Indiana.”
While Kingston said he missed the thrill of New York, he also knows that in Indiana the theater community is close and supportive. Through the options may not be the same at New York, the opportunities were not to be missed in Indiana and it was the added experience here Kingston said could take with him in the future.
“I like being at Beef and Boards and in this very close community,” he said. “Beef and Boards is family owned and they take chances with the people, and give us opportunities to grow. Often actors are taken at face-value, and Beef and Boards take risks on people, really helps us grow and learn together.”
For Kingston, just as he performs in the children’s show, he also hasn’t lost sight of his Westfield High School and Hamilton County roots. He still volunteers as a director and assistant with the school theater and musical departments, and loves working with young actors.
“A lot of my learning I had to do on my own, and I had to often educate myself,” he said. “It was just that the arts suffered with the economy and also that the theater department could only do so much with what they had. I like to help because kids still want to do this and want this for their future, and I want to help them however I can.”
To see Kingston in Hairspray through March 27, or the children’s’ show Blue’s Clues Live: Blue’s Birthday Party through March 19, visit www.beefandboards.com for information and tickets.