Charles Norris

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? Currently, I’m a producer for 14/48 Hollywood: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival. In the past, I helped produce the Silverlake Picture Show, a free, community, outdoor event that screens movies in the park. As a performer, I’ve been featured on television and commercials locally and nationally, as well as been on stages from Washington to California. I’m an actor, producer, writer, cartwheeling puzzler and overall, wannabe Mcgyver.

How did you first become interested/involved in the arts? Any interesting early experiences? Honestly, it started as an ultimatum! My dad was the handyman at my elementary school and I was already becoming a little bit of a misfit. My choice was to join an after school activity or sit in his office until he got off work every day. Anything but leaving me to my own devices. After School theater was the only thing that sounded remotely interesting and after my first performance in front of an audience, (lip syncing to New York, New York by Frank Sinatra), I was hooked! I knew I wanted to be an actor from that day on. My mom used to say I wanted to be a lawyer and I would always reply “I just wanted to play one on TV”. The goal through high school was to be a movie star. I enrolled in Cornish College of the Arts to study acting but I didn’t think theater was something meant for me. Seeing a touring production of TopDog/UnderDog my freshman year was the first time I witnessed people who looked like me on a theater stage and it was a jaw droppingly amazing awakening. It was the first time I realized I could, and wanted, to be a theater artist first and foremost.

With regards to acting, etc. (your various specialities), what might be an interesting tidbit or two that regular citizens might not realize about your process?
Being present is the key to art! Both as an audience member and performer. Enjoying the moment for what it is. Understanding that no two performances are the same. No two takes are the same. You, as an observer, can only watch something for the first time, once. Every other viewing after will be influenced by the first viewing. What you anticipate, what you missed. Every viewing has a different tone and hits a different note. “Often imitated, never duplicated” is one of my favorite mottos, especially about live shows. You can say all the same words, tell all the same jokes, perform all the same notes but no audience can truly see the same show twice. So my “secret” is I like to read audiences. I’m constantly listening to your energy. The audience’s energy is important and does impact a show. Pretty sure every acting coach and director is yelling “Don’t say that!” but if we’re all being completely honest, all artists are constantly listening, adapting. Holding a moment for maximum impact, changing a beat to make room for laughter. It’s not about changing intent or the story, it’s about keeping you, the audience, involved. I truly believe listening to the audience and feeling how they’re receiving the story can really inform how my character breathes. In that regard, I like to think the audience is a main character in the play. The unspoken truth is that the audience isn’t a NPC bystander but instead a principal participant who is in constant conversation with us, the performers.

How do the Arts enrich a community, and what are some of your favorite ways people can engage with art in Burbank?
Art is the great unifier. It’s always present, always happening. Take a restaurant for example. When you walk into a restaurant and you take a look at the decor, the ambiance, the menu, the food. You’re viewing multiple disciplines all at once. A designer has designed that menu and layout. A chef has artistically crafted the menu. The decor has been made to be aesthetically welcoming. The art on the wall, the drink presentation. The music that plays unassumingly while you have drinks and dine with friends or family! You’re surrounded by art and without it, the world would be very gray and boring. Burbank in particular has so much to offer, artistically. The murals, the architect. Modern houses mixed with houses that are a hundred plus years old. And that’s just the visual. Stagewise Burbank has so much amazing stuff to offer. From the theater stages that have featured so many talented actors, to comedy clubs that have launched the careers of a huge number of comics still working today. Burbank, artistically, is a destination. The place you hear about in your small town and dream of visiting one day. And more than likely when you arrive, something art based is how you’ll remember the city.

5) If you could share with our community one piece of advice about making art / being creative, what would it be?
Don’t talk about it, be about it. Okay, I mean yes, you should definitely talk about it BUT don’t let talking about it be the great hindrance in actually starting the work. Runners will tell you the hardest part is putting on your shoes. Same with art, just picking up the pen or paintbrush, just starting the process can be intimidating. Not to say there won’t be hard parts ahead, very rarely does something worthwhile come on the heels of smooth sailing. But once started, keep going, the scariest part is already behind you!

Learn more about Charles at,, IMDB, and on Instagram.