Bruce R. Nelson
Bruce was born in New Jersey into an Army family. Although from an early age he and the family moved several times, Bruce was fortunate enough to settle in the Baltimore-DC corridor and put down roots. A high school production of Grease sealed his fate…a lifetime in the theatre. What he did not expect was that he would develop a love for teaching and specifically waking people up to hidden abilities, greater personal awarenesses and deeper truths. A recurring theme in his life has been to teach people what he wants to know for himself: How is it all connected?
Bruce has been a professional actor and teacher in the area for the past 25 years. He is a member of the acting company at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore where he has been seen in several productions including: Our Town, The Mystery of Irma Vep, I Am My Own Wife, ‘Art’, The Turn of the Screw, The School for Scandal, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Drawer Boy, The Pavilion (Baltimore City Paper, Best Actor), As Bees in Honey Drown, The Crucible, Hedda Gabler and Watch on the Rhine. In Columbia he is a favorite at Rep Stage and has been seen there in Hysteria, Bach at Leipzig, Stones in his Pockets, Santaland Diaries, Neville’s Island, Kimberly Akimbo, The Lonesome West, Travels with My Aunt, The Violet Hour, The Dazzle, and Faith Healer. Bruce has been nominated 5 times for the Helen Hayes award of Washington, DC and won twice for his roles in The Dazzle and The Violet Hour.
Bruce is also a member of the acting company at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC where he was recognized as an Outstanding Emerging Artist in 2000. Favorite productions there include: Wonder of the World, Big Love, Dead Monkey, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, After Ashley, Wonder of the World and Fuddy Meers. Bruce has also enjoyed work at the Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Center Stage, Signature Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company, The Shakespeare Theatre and Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. For three years Bruce toured with Olney Theatre Center’s touring branch The National Players in Much Ado About Nothing, Animal Farm, Midsummer, Nicholas Nickleby, The Taming of the Shrew and The Elephant Man.
From 1997-2000 Bruce was a professional book narrator for the Library of Congress, and in 2002 he received the Torgi Literary Award for his recording of As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto. Bruce has taught Basic Acting and Comedy/Improvisation at Howard Community College (2001 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty), Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Stevenson University, Project Access, Baltimore Improv Group and Catapult Improv Group.
During his career as an actor and a lifetime of closely observing human behavior in preparation for his stage roles, Bruce has developed a keen sense of what it means to present oneself in a powerful way. Further, his experiences teaching improvisation have taught him the importance of developing meaningful “in-the-moment” connections, be it one-on-one or in groups. He combines these sensibilities and brings them to the corporate arena where, for the past five years, he has offered teambuilding, facilitation and presentation skills workshops for corporate executives, working with Cho Benn Holbeck Architects, IMRE Financial Services, Howard Community College Entrepreneur Program, PW Feats Event Planning, Community Conferencing Center Family Mediation, Friends of the Family Support Network, Howard Community College Presidential Team, Howard Community College Library Staff, Howard Community College, Broadridge IT Services, Korean Resource Center, Human Genome Sciences, Ryland Homes, Grimm and Parker Architects, XL Healthcare Programs and ING Financial.
For nine months Bruce studied Applied Healing Arts (now Transformative Leadership) at the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, MD. Through their Eastern-influenced curriculum, Bruce was reminded of what can be learned by gently seeing a subject from all sides and not being afraid to apply a nurturing pressure to get at the larger picture, the greater perspective. He has since incorporated these studies with what he has recently learned through MentorCoach in Bethesda, MD and offers private Life Coaching career guidance to over 25 fellow artists. In addition, Bruce enjoys helping local actors prepare for auditions by coaching them in their monologue presentations and over the years has worked with hundreds or performers.
Bruce is a 1988 graduate of the Theatre Program at Towson University where he received the Theatre Humanitarian Award in 1986 and in 2001 was recognized as an Honored Theatre Alumnus. In his spare time he has recently read three books that have nuanced his perspective on life and what it means to be human: Blink!, The Tipping Point and What the Dog Saw, all by Malcom Gladwell. He highly recommends these works for anyone interested in how little things can make a big difference.