Kevin Ray Johnson
I would like you to meet De’Lon Grant. Mr. Grant is currently in Come From Away on Broadway where he is playing the role(s) of Bob and others. De’Lon has also performed in the National tour of Jersey Boys, and some of his regional credits include Invisible Man Huntington Theatre and Studio Theatre, The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage, Douglass at the Theatre Wit, and Cymbeline Actor’s Shakespeare Project. I have been a fan of De’Lon for years. It was such a pleasure to have the chance to interview him!
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
I guess I was 17. When it was time to think about going to college and choosing a major, there was nothing else that I wanted to study more than theatre. My mother, a single mom, really didn’t have an opinion about what I studied as long as I went to school.
Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today?
I got my BFA in acting from University of Michigan. Then my master's degree from The Boston Conservatory of Music. As for mentors, there is always a teacher, right? My high school theatre teacher, Liz Larson, was my first and probably my most important mentor. She not only instilled in me the passion for theatre and art but was one of the first adults in my life to show me that I could be good at something.
How has your time been performing in Come From Away? What does it mean to you to tell this inspiring story?
Oh, it’s, quite literally, a dream come true. I am living my dream. I made my Broadway debut with Come From Away, which automatically makes it special. On top of that, I get to be a part of sharing this beautiful story about kindness and generosity. I feel like I won the theatre gig lottery. I also really enjoy the people I work with and for. What more could I ask for?
Are there any shows that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
Well, Come From Away, for sure (see my answer to #3 lol). I also spent three and a half years touring with Jersey Boys, and that experience taught me so much about this career, and about myself. I will forever be grateful for the dear friendships I gained from that production as well as the love for traveling that I discovered.
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
The things or ideas that have helped me thus far are having a hobby, remaining curious and reading. A hobby: Having something that I do outside of performing has been essential to sustaining my creativity, artistry, and self-worth. It’s made me realize that as artists, we need something, be artistic or otherwise, that no one has to give us permission to do. Curiosity: As actors, we are continually trying to excavate human emotion and condition, which requires immense curiosity about life and the human experience. Staying curious about everything, especially that which doesn’t genuinely interest you, can add so much to your artist’s toolbox. Reading: None of us know everything, but the more you know and understand, or at least attempt to understand, the more depth you acquire as person and artist.