I started my acting career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the age of 16.
At the time I knew very little about theatre, I only knew that it felt good.
The first play I ever did was called Atheneum. We were 43 young actors rehearsing for over six months in an old abandoned theater. We knew that there were only going to be 7 performances, but we didn't care. We simply loved every minute of it.
Once Atheneum was closed, I was left with an appetite for more. But how could I get it?
I didn't have to wait long for more, and an exciting and diverse theatre career began. I was a young man, a gnome, a frog, a prince, an angel, a gigolo, and so many other different things. However, I was never a doctor as my mother mistakenly took me for, when I was born.
I used to believe in the "sink or swim" method of acting until roles became more complex, and I realized my young spunk was no longer enough. I needed a craft.
In 1998 I was awarded the Nordan Young Artist Award and a full ride to study theatre at TCU, in Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States of America. In 2002 I transferred to Harvard University’s Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, where I got my MFA. From Rio to Fort Worth, to Massachussets, and then Moscow, I got quite the taste of what theatre could be, and training as rich and diverse as acting can be.
After I graduated in 2002 I moved to NYC. Signed with a strong agency and manager and was ready to hit it big. It didn't take long for me to get my butt kicked and realize I'd be playing the role of the waiter, bartender, flower guy, doorman, and a few others for a while.
My career after school started slow, but my hunger for acting was only growing - quite frustrating actually. Eventually things started picking up, and I booked a few regional and Off-Broadway gigs.
Everything came to a halt in January 2008, when, one night, while talking to a friend I suddenly went mute. Something that seemed like a cold or a flu, turned into a 13 month ordeal. The big loud strong voice I was always so proud of was suddenly gone. And I don't mean hoarse or quiet, I mean gone. Mute. Silent.
Lucky for me technology was advancing quickly, and text messages were becoming cheaper. I looked for ways to make money without having to talk; I sold my comics book collection - which thankfully was worth much more than I thought; and I waited for the doctors to figure out what it was. I also started drawing and writing children's stories. I couldn't talk, but still wanted to tell stories.
They never figured out what happened, but on the first week of February 2009, my voice started working again. I worked with a voice therapist for 6 months, re-trained my breathing and… voilà, my voice was back.
By then I had written and illustrated my first published book, STORK M.I.A., and a few other stories.
I'm back to acting now and still drawing and writing for kids. Yup, I'm a storyteller.
No matter what happens, we gotta keep moving forward.