Chris Rogers The Actor
My bio begins with my family that has owned funeral homes since the 1940’s. My grandfather (Roscoe Rogers) began the business and my father followed in his footsteps. The training for both medical doctors and morticians is very similar until their last year or two. I was born and raised in a small town, Corinth, KY (population 250). Click here for more details about my upbringing that shaped me into the actor I am today.
High School & KY Governor’s Scholars Program
I studied college-level Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics while still in high school, thru Advanced Placement. My most impressive research was on how aspirin affects the coagulation (clotting) time of human blood. I won the Biochemistry category at the State level. Due to these accomplishments, I represented Grant County High School in the first (1983) Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program and was granted a full academic Pre-Med scholarship at the University of Louisville.
All through high school, I believed I was going to become a medical doctor, probably specializing in Emergency Room medicine. I am good in emergencies. I am good at focusing on what has got to be done, regardless of all the chaos going on around me.
University of Louisville
However, when I got to Louisville, all those doors for the Arts were opened. I did the cutesy song-and-dance stuff when I was younger, but their was no real/formal instruction for that way out in the country. Many world-class arts organizations are based in Louisville. I appeared in productions at:
- Actors Theatre of Louisville (where many plays are given their pre-Broadway tryout);
- Louisville Ballet (one of the premiere regional ballet companies outside of NYC).
- Kentucky Opera (a stepping stone to the MET);
I took classes in Pre-Med, but also studied theatre, music and dance as well. My Junior year I decided I would rather pursue a career in the Arts than become a medical doctor. I thought I would rather be poor and happy than rich and unhappy. Graduating with a BFA in Acting from UofL and a “Minor” in Voice from the School of Music, my family about had a cow and it has been “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” ever since. :o)
When I first graduated from UofL, I did mostly musical theatre up and down the East Coast. I knew I wanted to make a medium sized jump before going to NY or LA. At the Southeatern Theatre Conference (SETC), I got a year contract at the Naples Dinner Theatre (now closed) in Naples, FL.
While there I met who would become one of my best friends who introduced me to a guy she knew in LA. He was President of the Art Deco District in South Beach/Miami Beach, FL. and manages several hotels there. On my days off, i would drive over and visit and ultimately decide to move there when my contract was over at the dinner theatre. This was right when South Beach was becoming THE destination for commercials and filmmaking after the huge monster success of MIAMI VICE.
While in Miami, I booked several major commercials and leads in indie films. I had the BEST agent in the world — Ada Gordon. She treated me like her grandson and sent me on auditions to gain experience in front of the camera.Unfortunately, Ada passed away. 🙁 The agency now operates under the name Martin & Donalds.
You can only go so far in a secondary market, so I had to make the painful decision to leave my first and favorite agent. I was lucky that God gave me the talent for both stage and film and wasn’t sure which city to move to. I ultimately decided LA over NYC because I’d rather be warm and hungry/unemployed vs cold and hungry/unemployed.
I found one of the last rent-controlled 1 BR on edge of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, CA – totally by the grace of God. With my own parking place, I could be anywhere in the city in 30 minutes. A great place to live, but unfortunately, i couldn’t find an agent that was as good as Ada in Miami.
I bounced around from agency to agency, but never really had any major success, like I did in Miami. I did however, learn how the business operates/how to play “the game”. A bunch of us from Miami even formed our own fake management company while auditioning for real agents.
West Los Angeles College
After getting fired from one of them for not giving someone my last pen while doing my checkout (at 3am!), I tested for and got accepted into the the intensive MultiMedia Program at West LA College where I got an excellent foundation in many of the popular software programs.
This was at the height of the Internet craze and I was selected to be one of only 5 students in this intensive program. As a group, we chose our final exam/class project to be THE FIVE AGES OF MAN. Each of us chose a different time period (birth, adolescence, middle age, etc.). I chose death because I could get the most emotional impact/response. r U rEAdY 2 diE? was my final/graduating project.
My upstairs, crackhead, neighbor-dealer set my rent-controlled apt in LA on fire and we all had to leave. A friend of mine I did shows with in Miami made the transition to Special Events and was the Director of Special Events at the Rio. He told me to come over, crash on his couch, and he would introduce me to all his friends.
I worked primarily as a video editor/motion graphics designer thru my company (CHRMEDIA) until the economy crashed in 2009. During the recession, I started working as a performer again.
Unfortunately, most of the paying musical theatre jobs are gone since “The Boys” have been forced out of LV and Corporations have overtaken the Gaming/Casino industry. There is no more Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, The Producers, etc.
I started getting back into the Web and switched my skills from html/Dreamweaver to WordPress in 2012. I launched CraftYada as a way to bridge the 2 worlds – Entertainment and Internet.
So I am moving to NYC for my acting career.
New York City
This chapter remains to be written.
Want to learn how to mix a proper martini?