Our interview with
What exactly are you into? What is your business all about?
I am the founder of Electric Avenue Arts Academy where I am a Teaching Artist. I focus on teaching youth acting, film-making, and creative design. Electric Avenue Arts Academy was designed to provide high-quality arts education and reinforce the creativity among the youth of Memphis and the Mississippi Delta through performing arts, film-making, and creative design. I also created Digital Dashboard which provides creative design solutions, such as websites, graphic designs, photography/video production, to nonprofits and community organizations.
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Follow @orpheummemphis to learn more about the #MendingHeartsCamp, a performing arts camp for young people who have experienced the death of a parent. Learn their story and help create joe through the performing arts at orpheum-memphis.com/mendinghearts ? #PerformingArts #Theatre #OrpheumTheatre #Memphis #BealeStreet #DowntownMemphis #HalloranCentre #SaintAllenAustin #Acting #Actor #Musical #Broadway #Dance #Design
Please, can our readers get to know you?
I have some years of university. I studied psychology and theatre arts at a university in Mississippi. I also studied Meisner technique, an actor’s technique, at Playhouse West in Los Angeles. I’ve taken college courses for others in recent years and I spend a lot of time educating myself, for I understand how and why knowledge is power.
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Interactive Field Trip: Broadway Sampler – Welcome to Acting with Saint-Allen Austin where young people learn the fundamentals of acting and put on some of the best performances of their lives. I am so fortunate to experience all of this energy. Thank you, The Orpheum Theatre-Memphis for the opportunities you constantly provide me with.
What are your motivations?
I am motivated by the youth of our communities. I am motivated by the teachers and mentors I’ve had throughout my lifetime. I understand the impact they’ve made on me and I see myself aiming to make the same kind of impact in the lives of others. It’s quite profound. I am motivated by the idea that the grass is green where you water it. This helps me take responsibility for creating the life I want with the resources around me.
What advice do you have for other people who want to do this same thing?
Be honest with yourself. Always. There are people who will hear your vision, but not see it. If you are totally honest with yourself first, you won’t need the validation of others to achieve your vision. In the beginning of your journey, there might be doubt because you’re doing something unheard of or unconventional. When you realize that you are capable and you get it into your mind that you must do it, accept that as a truth and grow with that. You will attract all the right people who will see your vision and because of your honesty and faith in yourself, they will selflessly be ready to help you achieve your success.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In five years, I will have a seat on the Board of Directors for Electric Avenue Arts Academy while an ensemble of Teaching Artists bring about the vision and mission. In five years, I will have provided over 25 creative career opportunities through Digital Dashboard and Electric Avenue for young people who excel in their skills.
Any present or future projects?
Yes, I am currently working on an educational series for curious kids to learn about the bizarre oddities of the world we live in. It is hosted and produced by Electric Avenue Arts Academy students. I am working as a Teaching Artist with the Memphis Orpheum whose goal is to also expose more youth to high-quality arts education. There, I teach acting and design. I am developing a workshop to teach youth creative design (web design, graphic design, and brand design) in a effort to provide employment to youth in the technology field through Digital Dashboard. I am currently working on songwriting mentorships with David Porter and Chrisette Michele with the goal of writing original music for emerging artists.
Are you Married or Single?
I am single.
How can we readers connect with you on social media?
Readers can follow me on Instagram @SaintAllenAustin and on Facebook as Saint-Allen Austin. Your readers can also visit electricavenuearts.org and subscribe to stay updated with what our students are doing with their talent in the community.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is intentionally going out into the world to discover myself as an artist and human being. It has led me to some of the darkest places where I found some of my brightest light. I have been able to make a difference in the lives of others through wisdom, through art and I will continue to, simply because I know who I am and what I’m supposed to do.