Like most young actors, when I first started out I had to augment the pittance I was making with work on the side.
From 2001-2003, I was an actor in a young company at The Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina under John Woodson and Monica Bell. I also acted and designed with the Upstate Shakespeare Festival and The Distracted Globe w/ the terrific Jayce & Anne Tromsness.
As Benedick in the UpSF production of Much Ado About Nothing. I also designed the outdoor stage.
It was a really exciting two years where I matured as an actor and was prepared for graduate school at the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware, which I began in 2003.
Off-topic a bit, but a chance to brag, since I just found these reviews again from my two seasons at the Warehouse:
“John Knauss turns in a showstopping performance as the dastardly, brilliant servant, Truffaldino… Knauss explodes onstage with perfect comic timing.” (Ann Hicks, The Greenville News)“
“John Knauss… is a marvelous physical actor… No matter what risks he takes, and he takes many, he never goes over the edge. His is a rare talent.” (Bill Bruehl, The Greenville News)
“John Knauss leads the troupe… he handles the verbal and physical demands of the role with ease while also refreshingly managing to inject a note of pathos into his final, reflective moment on stage.” (Neil Shurley, Metrobeat)
“John Knauss plays the quiet Antoine, and he plays him beautifully. I wonder if this isn’t the hardest of all the characters to portray because he is the most simple.” (Daneen Schatzle, Metrobeat)
During my time in SC, I taught as a substitute in the public school system, worked at the Fine Arts Centre under Roy Fluhrer, and helped develop a week-long Shakespeare residency in the county school systems which continued for some time.
Beyond this, I also started doing faux painting and mural artwork, which was both fun and fairly lucrative, though the work was sporadic.
I would typically do faux painting of new dining rooms; two to three simple textures on top of a previously painted base coat.
Later, in 2007, upon graduation from the PTTP, I raised funds and spent a month in Hangzhou, China leading a public mural project at a state orphanage.
Here is a portfolio of some of my mural paintings.