Kenneth Bailey (Brownsville Recreation Center)
My name is Kenneth Bailey and I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I’m twenty-one years old. I went to a private school for almost eight years, and then I went to LaGuardia High School for Music and Art, majoring in vocal music. I studied theatre in college for a few years but then found my way into human services. I’ve been working as a peer advisor with the LGBT community, promoting HIV awareness and prevention. Although the LGBT community is more accepted in Manhattan, it’s still a very taboo subject in the outer boroughs. Especially from the area I’m from. So we do awareness of LGBT communities, bully prevention, healthy relationship workshops, HIV awareness workshops, outreach, and one on one care management. And we encourage people to test. I have a new interest in human services and that’s where I am now.
I do a lot of shows. I used to sing at a restaurant in Harlem, The Red Rooster—I love the food there. I had a gig there every Sunday for a year, which was awesome. I’m also in the longest off-Broadway black musical—“Mama I Want to Sing, The Next Generation”. When I got into high school, that’s when I really started performing. And I’ve sung behind a lot of cool people like Madonna, Clay Aiken, and Arsenio Hall. I’ve had a lot of opportunities.
I’ve also worked as an assistant vocal instructor in an after school program dealing with disadvantaged elementary kids. So I have my hands in a lot of stuff. I believe that theater and music are tools for social change, whether we recognize that or not. If I didn’t have the music and the arts, I don’t where I would be, so I want to give of myself while I’m here. Who knows what’s going to happen. I’m doing good and I’m doing what I love. It’s cool. It’s also a struggle.
Tempest rehearsals have been great. It’s always an honor to work behind professionals in the field. The equity actors make it more real for me and I love just being able to watch them work. It’s not so much that I want to applaud them, I’m more so watching and learning. They have such technique, and it’s amazing watching them switch tactics. When you surround yourself around people that are doing well, it always naturally makes you want to do better. I’ve come into really cool relationships with some of the people in the show. I’m so excited for things to come. I have a lot of great things happening now and The Tempest is just a great addition. I’ve gotten to make some really cool connections.