About the artist(s)
De’Lon Grant is an actor, singer and teacher currently starring on Broadway in the Tony Award-nominated hit musical Come From Away. He spent three years touring domestically and internationally in the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys. For more about De’Lon, read his full bio below.
Here are highlights from De’Lon’s conversation with The Enormity of Now.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m De’Lon Grant. I’m an actor who had not acted in a year, until recently. I’m a son, I’m a brother. I’m single, let the world know that one. I’m an artist who hasn’t found my voice, who’s still looking for my voice individually. I’m an actor who says other people’s words, sings other people’s songs, but I want to find my own.
How did you get here?
I hesitate to say hard but, man, it was hard work. I went to undergrad and grad school to earn the skills that I have. I think I’ve arrived at the moment I’m wading in now, not knowing the right questions to ask myself, just wanting to tell stories and wanting to perform.
So now I’m discovering what I want, and figuring out how to go and get it, or creating some of that for myself. What can I do? How can I add to the social conversation? I have so many opinions…how can I say them to more people? I haven’t figured it all out yet.
How has the journey of your art/career engaged your voice – personally, artistically, politically?
The journey has been the thing that shaped my voice, for sure. I grew up a poor, black, gay kid in North Minnesota. The trauma of being different, I don’t think that we talk about that enough. All of those things created a strong sense of empathy and awareness of who I am and my space in the world. Those frustrations, those attentions and tensions, they’ve allowed me to have a stronger point of view with my human voice – who I am in the world, what I bring to my art, to acting and singing.
I don’t think I’m a good singer. I should add this, I don’t think I’m talented. The reason I bring it up is through the journey you look at other people. I’m teaching myself guitar and piano. But I’m resentful of the people that had lessons and stuff when they were kids. My mother didn’t have the foresight or finances. That shaped my voice because I still have that chip on my shoulder. No matter how much work I do, it’s never what I want it to be. It’s never good enough. The ‘chip’, though, has sustained my career. It’s the constant pressure to be better. I always feel at a deficit. It’s a fight to prove to the world, not only to myself, my value. You leave this thing or you fight for it. I don’t always fight as hard as I’d like to but there’s a lot of pressure I put on myself. To do more and work harder.
What is the voice that you found while finding your voice?
I realized that in the last couple of years, the physical sensation of singing – it feels so good. Music moves us for a reason. So, I found the voice that I enjoy hearing. The talent, I’ve never believed in it ( not tooting my own horn) until thirty-seven years of age. I’ve realized now, I don’t need the praise, I’m good.
De’Lon Grant is an actor, singer and teacher currently starring on Broadway in the Tony Award-nominated hit musical Come From Away. You can watch him in the live capture of Come From Away on Apple TV+ debuting September 10th, 2021. He spent three years touring domestically and internationally in the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys. Some of his other credits include: Frederick Douglass in Douglass, Tod Clifton in Invisible Man, Jim in Big River, Achilles in Troilus and Cressida, Posthumous/Cloten in Cymbeline, Gaspard in A Tale of Two Cities, Kaine in Dessa Rose and Sawyer in Harriet Jacobs.
In addition to his stage work, De’Lon is also a headshot and lifestyle photographer. Website: thedelon.com | Social: @thedelondotcom