An artist in New York City who performs song, story, poetry, harp, electronic music, and dance. Also working on his first album.
How did you get involved in dancing?
“My parents carried me around the dance floor as a baby at the ceilis we had in at the Irish American clubs and festivals in Cleveland, where I’m from, and my dad played the tin whistle every morning to wake up my sister and I. Later on as I was working as an actor and musician in New York I realized I wanted to reconnect with those roots and began studying dance again and competed a couple times in the Irish world dance championships under the instruction of the incomparable Donny Golden.”
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
“So many wonderful moments! One awesome moment was my first time premiering my solo style of Irish dance at the Box in New York, and having Katy Perry, Rihanna and Mary Wilson sitting there watching. Also, on March 16 of this year sitting at the office of the Irish Consulate across the table from the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, with 14 other representatives of LGBT Irish America and hearing him say, ‘Ireland is about inclusion. If you're being exclusive, you're simply not being Irish.’ For years I've learned to accept that being gay and Irish American don't go together. It was a very emotional St. Patrick's Day.”
What is your favorite thing about performing?
“I love to entertain people. I really, really enjoy helping people have a great time and forget about their problems, while at the same time hopefully leading them to their own personal ‘a ha!’ moment. And since my I love to perform with so many art forms, I really get to do this with a huge playground.”
Where do you live?
“I absolutely love being in Greenwich Village because growing up I always looked up to the folk artists of the sixties like Peter, Paul and Mary, the Clancy Brothers, the Kingston Trio, etc. I get a real kick out walking around every day in their old stomping grounds.”
Tell us about your last trip to Ireland.
“My last trip to Ireland was bittersweet because although I had several offers to work in my trade, I was unable to successfully secure immigration status to work in Ireland as an artist. In the end it was a blessing because I was able to finally understand as best as I think I ever will what my ancestors went through when they left Ireland for good.
“I still had a good time though. I went with some great friends, got to see more friends in Dublin and Cork and went to a lot of sessions.”
(For more information on Brown’s work check out his website www.russellpatrickbrown.com.)