Geno Moore (Fortune Society)
My name is Geno Moore and I was born in Jamaica, West Indies. I came here when I was about eight years old, and we moved to Brooklyn. I went to Brooklyn Tech High School, a specialized high school in Brooklyn, and graduated from there in ’94. Then I got accepted to Rensler College and went there for a short time. I then went to the New York Institute of Technology on 59th St. I couldn’t afford that however, and around that time I started getting into trouble. My mom and dad split after I graduated high school, and he was the disciplinarian, the rule checker. So when he left, my mom had my two little brothers to worry about, so I was kinda left on my own, and eventually I had to move out early and take care of myself. I was about sixteen when I graduated high school. I didn’t know the ways of the world, and that you actually need money and income to survive. I had a one-bedroom apartment that was $400 bucks a month, which even at that time was a steal, but I found myself with the problem of raising the money every month, and that was my first dose of actual adult life. Needless to say, a sixteen year-old looking for work is not going to find a lot of work.
Trying to meet my needs, I got involved in crime, did some time, and when I came out, I got a job right away working at a toy factory. I also enrolled in school. They were trying to send me to all these alternative programs for ex-offenders but it just didn’t make sense to me. I was already smarter than most of the guys in prison, in that I had an education and I had a strong foundation. It didn’t make sense for me to be around people who didn’t already have that as well. So I went to school at New York City Tech, in downtown Brooklyn. I was majoring in computer science, but again I was unemployed. I couldn’t do the toy factory and go to school, so I was broke for a long time. I almost got my associates, but decided to start working full time.
I first worked at a tele-research firm called Innovative Concepts. After that I started working for Dot-coms. That was when the Dot-com boom was just starting. The thing about Dot-coms is that they’re based on venture capital, just like working for a non-profit. When their funding runs out, if they don’t have a second amount of funding, you’re out of a job. So I was constantly finding myself out of work or on to another one. So then I started working for the federal government. I worked for the assistant to the assistant deputy mayor for six months, which was fun. I also started my own business eventually, sending care packages to prisoners. It was a company called Up North Services and it was very popular amongst prisoners in the last ten years. People thought it was a huge corporation; but it was just a small group of us. I also started another corporation with my friend called Sandboxes. It’s like Kinkos—we’d package and ship items like computers. Eventually Up North Services closed, but Sandboxes is still standing, with three locations in Brooklyn.
After some time, I ended up being picked up for something else and eventually found myself in a 6th month program at Fortune Society, which I finished in 3 months. They love me over there. While at Fortune, I found out about The Tempest. One of the teachers there, her name is Cammy, was like, “You have to go to the auditions. Don’t miss it!” It just so happened on the day of the audition that I’d just had my tooth pulled, but I went in and gave the best performance I could, and that’s what leads us to where we are now. Being part of this production is very exciting for me. I just turned 35 this year and I’ve never done anything like this, except for being in a play once in high school. It’s exciting.