Our former Urban Improv actor-educator, Collin Knight, and his company, Live Like A Local, were recently written up in the The Boston Globe! Read about his company, mission, and motivation, and check out his website; then, rediscover his reflections from last year, as he prepared to leave Rehearsal for Life for his present pastures:

The following article was originally published in our 2018-19 Impact Report:

Collin Knight | Thank You & Live Like A Local

For 10 years, Urban Improv students have had a front row seat watching an amazing actor, Collin Knight. What they don’t know is he started as a young student from the city, just like them. Growing up in 1990s Roxbury was tough and he was a bit of a class clown. Collin considers himself fortunate to have found mentors such as activist and minister Michelle Walsh, in church programs, and eventually through private school scholarships, that helped to keep him safe, learning, and involved in the community. Most importantly, it taught him to be a part of something bigger than himself. He found his way to Freelance Players when he was 12 , where he developed and honed his acting skills.

Teaching moment: “In my second year as a Freelance Player, I missed the sign ups and Kippy told me ‘Sorry, you are late and there are no more spots. ’ She was right and I was upset. I could not believe there wasn’t even a single small background part that I could be in! The production was Who’s Who’s in the Hood. A few weeks later, Kippy and Cissa called me. The main actor had dropped out two weeks before the show. Kippy offered me the part. I was only twelve, I could have had an ego and said, ‘No you didn’t let me in the first time.’ I realized we are all family, and I had a chance to do this for them, and an opportunity to be the lead. It was a teaching moment for me. It taught me about community, if there is something we can all do for each other, we do it.”

Breakthrough moment: “Toby [Urban Improv founding Artistic Director] taught me to challenge myself to become a better actor. There was so much to learn when I was an intern. Being an actor-educator for the Urban Improv ensemble is a hard job; talent is not all of it.  I learned so much about acting from Merle Perkins, Kevin Smith, and Ron Jones. Hearing them tell me ‘Get over yourself, it’s the stuff we do on stage that matters.’ I found the focus is on how we, as actor-educators, make these kids grow, and am I being as realistic as I can be.” 

Favorite scene/curriculum: “’Imagination’ and 4th grade is the best! The scene with Bobby and his imaginary friend Dustball reminds all of us that with our imagination, there is no limit to what we can do. It’s a tough scene for the actors, but there’s a sense of accomplishment when the kids are clapping. Every year I learn from these scenes, the closing circles, and from the students.” 

Future dream for Rehearsal for Life: “I’d like to see Urban Improv grow nationwide, in every city, so all kids have this chance to express themselves in this way.” 

What’s next: “Before Urban Improv, I worked as a NYC tour guide, and learned that I liked meeting people from all over the world, and the hospitality industry. My new company is Live Like A Local, where I introduce and support Boston’s neighborhood eateries and craft breweries, that don’t get the attention they deserve.”