We had the good fortune of connecting with Christiön Dior Draper and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christiön Dior, how do you think about risk?
Risk has always been something I’ve welcomed. I live and make many hard business decisions with this scripture backing me. Proverbs 18:16 “Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men”. I display this scripture atop of all my documentation that I have to give to someone in authority. I’ve experienced exactly what this scripture states, I’ve been in rooms, on panels and had conversations with very powerful people/ decision makers and for some reason they’ve asked for my advice, MY ADVICE!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
ANOTHER LOADED QUESTION! I’ll try to make it concise. I’m the product of triumph over long suffering, personal addictions, homelessness (child and adult), depression, anxiety, faithlessness, torment, mental illness, grief, hopelessness, complacency, my environment, and my circumstances. Each of these, although they felt like an eternity, were just steps up the ladder to success or rather just a chisel to the marble. They each affected me but didn’t infect me. These chisels or steps, even though they hurt, they molded me into a better person, friend, brother, husband, vocalist, actor, and all around artist. I am now able to pull from each of these situations to portray a character with convincing realism due to the fact I actually lived some of those situations and documented them, so I’m able to go back to that place and say, thank you for the help or first hand look. I do what I do because You never know who is in the audience. You never know who is needing that experience. I didn’t just go through that for me but rather for someone else who doesn’t have the outlet like I do, but experiencing what I do breaks yokes in their life. Yes it is hard to be an artist, on many levels, BUT I refuse to stop. It is sooooooo rewarding when a kid or mom or student finally gets “it” or a moment that you stress worked finally becomes effortless, that’s progress. You’re that much better. I look forward to gracing stages I have dreamt about with poise, for I remember what I had to go through to get there. All in all never ever give up, you never know how truly close you are and what is for you is for you. No one can take it away.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmmmm, personally. I’m not tooting my own horn but they’d probably have more fun just being at my house! My wife and I throw the best parties and our guests are ALWAYS treated like royalty. We, in most cases, cook 3 full meals. We will have both fridges stocked with their favorite drinks and snacks. We are true theatre kids that became adults and fell in love, so our house is literally an auditorium (not really) but it is equipped with speakers and subwoofers, karaoke, color changing bulbs in each room to create “THE vibe” spot lights ARE COMING SOON! There is a TV and vintage Game systems just in case you want to get beat in mortal combat, smash bro’’s or midnight club 3 dub edition (and I reiterate “BEAT BADLY” lol) But if they wanted to look around town we have our new favorite little place in Rockwall called Fable and Fire it’s a bookstore, restaurant, bar, and coffee shop ( HOW FREAKING COOL). Then maybe rent a T-Rex or Slingshot (cars) and go for a drive around the Harbor with some cold stone to take in all those Lake Ray Hubbard views. If we have time take them back stage to the Winspear Opera House where I work, or climb the set after catching a show with Lyric Stage or Family Music Theatre. Then head over for a pint or 2 at The Playwright Pub in downtown. Honestly, it also depends on the friend that’s visiting because we would tailor it to them.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is a loaded question but I have to first say God for giving me the gifts, my tribe/village/ family for their continuous support, then to Mrs Dunn at Byrd Middle School for the seed, then Ty Shaw and Susan Kheshtinejad for pushing me vocally at Duncanville High School, Dr. Kuhnert aka Brother Dr. Kuhnert at WBU for Challenging and mentoring me in my early years of vocal study, Elem Eley at Westminster Choir College for affirming me, The Dr. Sam Germany of FMT & GIFCA for believing in me, PUSHING ME TO MY LIMITS putting all my trainings together and giving me opportunities to showcase my talents AND To my wife Melissa Waters Draper for believing in me when I couldn’t, holding me accountable and introducing me to new art forms.

Instagram: @Christiondiordraper

Linkedin: Christion Dior Draper

Facebook: Christiôn Dior Draper

Youtube: @ciknote

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