LIghts, Camera.... SOUL!
Meet DiMonte Henning. You may have seen him on stage playing a different character, that's because DiMonte is a dedicated, highly sought after actor and performer born and based in Milwaukee, WI. He recently launched his very own theater company Light , Camera, Soul a non-profit that according to their facebook page provides a diverse audience with soulful, interactive, and captivating entertainment across a variety of performing arts platforms including Theatre, Dance, Poetry, Music, and Visual Art. We pride ourselves in artistic excellence in these categories and presents educational opportunities to help nourish our community and artists.
This is a "Cipher Starters" conversation piece. We encourage sharing on social outlets, comments and healthy discussions. It's about to get real....
Your are very active in the performance arts community playing lots of different characters on stage , what is one fun fact people would never guess about DiMonte Henning?
Some people may already know this fun fact about me, but I really enjoy watching documentaries and old t.v. interviews of U.S. Presidents and historical events. I find it very interesting-I’ll be sitting at home relaxing and sometimes find myself coming across a interesting documentary on the 2008 recession. I’ve learned that the world can be an extremely complex place, but we’ve got to believe in humanity and the greater good, right?
What was the motivation behind starting Lights , Camera , Soul and who is it for?
Lights, Camera, Soul! began as an organization dedicated to the development of emerging performing artists. After beginning in 2013 as a student organization at UW-Milwaukee, we became a non-profit in June of 2015. Our mission statement has shifted over the years, but moving forward into our growth as a non-profit performing arts organization our mission statement now reads:
Lights! Camera! Soul! is a two-pillar, theatre arts organization, dedicated to the development of performing artists and producing events that enrich the community.
We want look forward to Milwaukee being one of the greatest hubs for talent, live events, and access to all arts.
Why are you so passionate about acting?
Since I was a little kid I’ve always enjoyed watching a good show. Whether it was on t.v. on film or in person. The fact that you, as the performer, can take an audience member on an experience with you and allow them to forget about the argument they had with so-and-so at work or how much they just paid for popcorn and parking. That’s nothing less than captivating and I’m blessed to be able to be in a position where I can work at my craft everyday, because it’s what I love to do.
What is one of the most alarming things you have learned in your line of work as an actor/performing artist in Milwaukee?
That we as performing artists have got to believe that we can do it. This thing we have an itch for. This desire to tell a story, to throw a few bars, to paint a picture. We have to enjoy the process of our work. This field is a very interesting line of work. I’ve been a professional actor for 7 years and am fresh to Actor’s Equity Association (the union for professional stage managers and actors) and I continuously remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Positive thinking.
What are your hopes for the future of Milwaukee's theater/arts scene?
I mean, I would love to see more access to the arts; something that Lights, Camera, Soul! is planning to provide for theater artists. More diversity on and off the stage for artists of color. More stories that are reflective of Milwaukee’s rich diversity. I’ve always been an advocate for advancing the stories being told on stage in Milwaukee theaters. I think theater companies and the community will benefit greatly with these diverse and cultural stories being told. I also hope that my city will keep will keep aspiring for greatness in the arts. I hope to see more organizations like TRUE Skool, that reach out to our youth. Like Signature Dance Company, who has an academy devoted to dance instruction of our youth. And I know my city is more capable in doing that.
What would be your words of wisdom to young people interested in pursuing acting as a professional career path?
I think back to what Sterling K. Brown just said when he won his recent Screen Actor’s Guild Award. He said “The fame won’t sustain you, the money won’t sustain you, the love — keep that love alive. It will keep you going.” That speaks volumes. Understand that this is a business. One of the biggest pieces of advice when I graduated from high school and somehow this advice that continuously kept recurring was to: network. Network, network, network! It’s how people get to know who you are and what you’re capable of. There are so many opportunities that are in the grasp of your fingertips, you’ve just got to learn how to catch and secure them. Keep working at your craft and study the greats. The more you practice at whim, or in rehearsal, the stronger your skills will hone as an actor. But not only that, Trust God. He’s kept me anchored when I’ve felt lost or just need to be at peace. With God, I know everything will be ok.
"The Scarecrow is really lose and just a fun loving guy, so that was like, my foundation," said Henning in a recent Fox 6 News interview about his performance in "The Wiz"