DECATUR, Ill., (WCIA) — Gavin King has a unique spark.
“It’s like I plugged in an outlet and this is what I want to do,” the acting major at Millikin University said.
It started in a middle school play, Once Upon a Mattress, where he barely had any lines. But, that was just the ignition King needed to chase his dreams like he never had before.
“I wake up, I think theater. I go to sleep, I think theater. I think I made the right choice,” he said.
It hasn’t always been a straight line to success for King. He started his journey at home in Kansas City, and then took a leap of faith and moved to Maryland.
“From there I was able to also dive myself into choreographing musicals which then led me to California,” King explained. “Then our lovely friend COVID hit.”
So, the actor went back to the drawing board, knowing he wanted to finish his bachelor’s degree. He decided on Millikin in Decatur.
He was accepted and jumped right in. He finished the four-year program in just two and was in 5-6 stage productions along the way.
His favorite? When he played Santa Claus in Elf the Musical.
Theater consumes nearly eight hours of his day, but he doesn’t mind.
“For me, it’s almost like a life force. It fuels me to continue going throughout my day,” he said. “It’s like the essence of who I am, it’s more than just words, it’s more of like an energy for me.”
His stage time at Millikin isn’t done yet. He’s one of the University’s commencement speakers.
King said as an adult transfer he was especially surprised, but hopes he can share some of his best advice to the next generation of artists following in his footsteps.
“The world is so big and broad and there’s so many wonderful people that are there for you and all you gotta do is ask for help,” he advised.
At the end of the day, King said as long as he’s able to tap his toes and sing his songs, it’ll all work out.
This summer, he’s heading to New Hampshire where he’ll be working with kids and directing. He’ll be at the New London Playhouse and lead them in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Finding Nemo Jr.