How To Become An Actor In Chicago

How To Become An Actor In Chicago – After making a name for himself on the Chicago theater scene with local productions such as Hamlet, Macbeth and The Looking Glass, Daniel Kyrie made the successful transition to television as openly gay black firefighter Darren Ritter. the hit NBC procedural drama “Chicago Fire.”

It’s an experience that Kyrie, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago and describes as a weirdo, described in a recent interview as “magical.”

How To Become An Actor In Chicago

“In many ways, because of how many times our stories have been told by people like us throughout history?” he said. “Obviously my story is not exactly the same as Ritter’s, but … I feel very special. It has a place of pride in my life and I don’t think it will ever end, as long as I can be blessed and breathe that character.”

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In the summer of 2018, Kyrie was cast in a recurring role in the seventh season of Chicago Fire, starring in an all-black remake of Hamlet. » The busy performance schedule took a toll on her, and she planned to take a break from acting to focus on writing, as she and writing partner Bea Cordelia had just released a web series about white and trans relationships (“The T”). A black woman in Chicago. But she was still eager to land her first TV role, even though she soon learned she was the only black person in the waiting room.

“Honestly, one of the things I remember the most is walking into the room and seeing someone in the other cast who doesn’t look like me and thinking, ‘Oh, I don’t understand this,'” Kyrie said. with a smile. “And what’s interesting is that it allowed me to play around a little bit and let go of everything I’d done. I made some edits as directed by the director and found something deeper. After that, it went straight into the fire.”

While her arc was only supposed to last two or three episodes, Kyrie has been heavily involved in the fire drama for two seasons, running for a total of 36 episodes before going on a series regular last August. During this time, he was able to work “organically and collaboratively” with very talented writers to create such a wonderful and balanced tone between comedy and drama, between mundane and adrenaline. to evoke’ – to bring some of your own characteristics and life experiences into your character.

The writers announced that Kyrie would come out as gay at the beginning of the eighth season while he continued in the main storyline. As the actor used his web series to explore the intersection of different identities, including his queer black self, he immediately understood the seriousness of the plot and felt a certain responsibility to get it right.

Jeff Lima (actor)

“Because it felt like my web series would come out, and then with this historical moment within the world of Chicago Alone, this black male character first came out as a blue-collar gay man,” The Answerer said. I wanted to do it justice for the world, that’s more important,” he said.

Chicago One is part of a trio of NBC procedural dramas set in the Windy City: Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. NBC News and the NBC broadcast network share Comcast’s parent company, NBCUniversal.

“It’s so important to make these stories — about queer, black, Asian, female characters — off the sidelines and at the center of our narratives,” Kyrie added. “It gives everyone watching, regardless of age, the opportunity to see the opportunity that’s available to them, to see how they can go about the world, and I think it can inspire, empower and motivate a lot of people.”

The perfect cherry on top was when Kyrie told Ritter’s firefighter Lt. Christopher Herrmann (played by David Eisenberg) that he had a boyfriend, not a girlfriend, and that it was “a non-event.” .

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“And because there’s no plot, I said there doesn’t have to be a whole drama about the character,” he explains. “There was nothing extra and it ended up being a very simple and wonderful moment. I look back on it and I’m very proud because I think the scene was very refreshing. It was like drinking cool water on a hot summer day.”

Since then, Kyrie has received many messages of “encouragement, support and emotion” from “people who were touched by the moment and people who felt seen in that moment.” The actor is wary of any impression of Ritter’s character, but said he would be remiss if he didn’t mention some of the backlash from netizens who “don’t want to see two men kiss.” like this”.

“If I didn’t talk about it, I’d be ignoring why it’s so important, because the negative feedback that comes from a place of ignorance and fear needs to be addressed every step of the way,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to empower these people, so I’m very proud to present it and live this story and this representation, because I think it does something to move forward and move away from a more toxic, traditional worldview. is.”

Since joining the show more than three years ago, Kyrie has grown to appreciate firefighters “in a special, non-political area of ​​my life,” she said.

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“When there’s a fire, they run, save people, put it out, do what they can and go home. Nothing could be more selfish than that, he said. “The amount of preparation, the amount of attention to detail, the awareness, the presence of mind that has to happen in the human brain so that you can be on fire – it amazes me to no end. It’s just cool and epic.”

For Kira, who admits that “the process of physically, mentally and emotionally understanding how to do the job never stops,” there are constant opportunities to learn new things from real-life firefighters, including Anthony Ferraris, who plays himself in the series. It was “complicated” and “offensive in the best possible way.”

“These are the people who have to leave what’s going on in their lives in the fire room and start acting, and even sometimes it takes a lot of effort depending on what’s going on in their lives,” Kyrie said. “That’s why I love our show, because we explore what’s going on in the lives of these firefighters. These aren’t just fires; these aren’t just incidents. It’s epic, it’s human, and it makes our characters three-dimensional, I think it is very important because it makes it complete.”

As the show heads into its 10th season, fans have teased that after Kyrie rekindled her romance with travel agent Eric Woodruff (Curtis Edward Jackson) in the series finale, “we’ll see a little bit of Ritter’s romance.” last season. But she’s looking forward to developing close friendships on Firehouse 51, including a romance with Ritter’s love interest Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) that has become a cornerstone of successful 21st-century procedural dramas.

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“Ritter has great moments that people are happy to see. Last season, we had the train series and a few other things, and I think it’s going to be bigger and more exciting,” Kyrie said. “It was fun to work together and solve the puzzle, and people are discovering the many sides and faces of the diamond that is Ritter. glad to know.”

Max Gao is a freelance entertainment and sports journalist based in Toronto. He has written for NBC News, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, The Daily Beast, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Men’s Health, Teen Vogue, and W Magazine.

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