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The Life of Charles: Long Over-Due Updates – April 12, 2014

I’m way over due to post an update on “The Life of Charles.” Unless you’re a frequent visitor to “Being Jon Hamm,” you may not know that’s what I’ve been calling these periodic posts on the journey that is my life. In theory, I planned to do one every three months. Since the birth of this blog, it’s been closer to once every six. Before writing the latest and greatest, I did a quick check to review my last one – November 12… 2012. Yikes! I can assure everyone I’m still living and breathing. And, no, a bot has not been updating this space for the past year and a half – I think…

So, what’s been happening in my life? Well, let’s get right to it. Since we live in a digital world that’s dominated by lists, I’m going to spit out some uber efficient and succinct bullets so anyone can simply skim over the life and times of your truly. Skim over my life? That sounds awful…


  • In 2013, I got called in and called back at all the major casting agencies in Chicago more than any other year. I’ve been in consideration for a number of national union commercials as well as some of the TV shows filming in Chicago.
  • One of the more exciting moments was a callback I had for NBC’s Chicago Fire (as Dr. Ken Farrah). I actually wrote about it (click here) way back when. It was a nice scene in the episode that spun-off Chicago PD. They cut the role, but it was exciting to be so close to what could have been a pretty nice break. There may have been bigger auditions over this time, but TV and Film stuff is was gets me the most excited.
  • On the film circuit, I starred in a half dozen or so independent shorts and features. You can see clips from some of those projects (along with my acting reel) on my website.
  • Dhoom 3 was finally released in December 2013 and earned nearly S100 million worldwide. When it was filming in Chicago in 2012, I booked a small role in the film and earned a nice union paycheck for a couple weeks. It was a tremendous experience – you can learn more by reading this post and then this one.
  • On the stage, I had a nice run with roles in “Six Degrees of Separation” and “12 Angry Men” before being cast to understudy the lead in “Half and Half” at the Metropolis.
  • Clearly, I must be doing something right because that momentum led to the Goodman calling me in for an audition in March 2014. Pretty exciting stuff.
  • The most fun I’ve had on stage since November 2012 is hands down the “Handsome and Beautiful” improv shows I’ve done with my girlfriend. We’ve performed more than a dozen times. The reception has been great as we’ve consistently received big laughs show after show. I had an amazing run with Electric Lunchbox a couple years back, but, without question, these have been my favorite improv shows.
  • Aside from all the surface level accomplishments, I’m proud of my continued growth as an actor and thrilled for all the wonderful success my friends have had in the past year plus. A number of my friends booked their first union gigs and anytime I turn on the TV I see folks working it. To see people making it happen in this world brings a huge smile to my face.


  • After completing 21 paintings in 2012. I matched that total in 2013. Doing some of my most satisfying and fulfilling work to date
  • I created a website and a Facebook page for all my recent artwork and recently posted all the paintings that I’ve created in the past couple years.
  • 2014 has been not been quite as prolific as the previous two years. Given, well, life, I have yet to produce any paintings this year. What?! I know… It’s been killing me!


  • Wait… advertising!? I thought you were done with that world Charles? Well, in addition to rehearsals for “Half and Half” part of the reason it’s been a challenge to find time to paint so far this year is because I’ve been freelancing in my old world of advertising.
  • With the exception of a few consulting gigs, I had devoted 100% of my focus the past three years to the arts. That was by design. Now that I feel pretty established within the Chicago community I decided to have some fun in my old world – and also supplement my “lucrative” acting income.
  • I’ve been hanging my hat the past couple months at Burrell, leading the African American targeted digital media planning and buying for McDonald’s. I couldn’t ask for a better team and the gig offers some nice flexibility when it comes to my life in the arts.
  • I always enjoyed advertising, but I was a bit surprised how much fun I’ve been having mixing it up again. It’s something I may do for a little while… You know, until I have my big break.

Personal Life

  • I don’t like to get too deep here, but I’m real happy with where my life is on the personal front.
  • The two most important people in my life are my Mom and my girlfriend. My relationships with each of them have grown stronger and stronger since my last post.
  • Jen and I passed our two year anniversary in January and have had a laundry list of memorable moments together. Each day is better than the last an I’m excited to see where life takes us next.
  • I’m lucky to be surround by some great friends. Some are thriving. Some are facing adversity. To be there for them in both the good and bad times has been important to me.
  • This year, I have (at least) three close friends who are getting married – one couple I had a small part in bringing them together. I’m excited to be part of when of the special moments in their respective lives.

All right, I’m starting to run out of digital ink. I’m sure I forgot some things – maybe even some important moments. But, I’m going to trust I hit the high points and satisfied my personal agenda of documenting my journey – at least until the next post – let’s hope it doesn’t take another year and a half…

As a closing thought, whenever I do these life recaps, I’m reminded that I’m truly blessed. We all get caught up in the day to day stuff from time to time, but when you take a step back and look at the big picture it’s cool to see how far you’ve come. Here’s to all the great adventures that are still to come.


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