"Turn your pain into art"
An actor, writer, theater/performance artist and educator, Cornelius is living LIFE out loud and turning pain into art. Born in Richmond, VA, he considers himself a pure-bred east coast baby; having lived in cities such as Washington, DC, Syracuse, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and New York City.
He holds an M.A. from NYU (Dramatic Writing, Educational Theater, and Performance) and a B.F.A in Theater Arts from The University of The Arts. He is a 2010 Lorraine Hansberry – Nia Award Recipient, and a Leo Bronstein Homage Award recipient and the creator of the performance piece HomoAffection and FlagBoy, an autobiographical one-man show. FlagBoy earned him a 2008 Midtown International Theater Festival Nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Solo-Show, a Capital Fringe Festival 2009 “Best of Fest” award and has been featured on NPR. He has also appeared in television and the Broadway stage in shows such as “Law&Order: SVU” and The Lion King. His poems “Momma Said…(A Hard Life),” “Chicken N Shrimp Gumbo,” and “Still Swimming (I remember)” appears in the 2008, 2009, 2011 Writers Place Poetry Review, “Momma Said...(A Hard Life),” also appears in the 2011 Off The Rocks, Volume 15 anthology of GLBT writing, and his essay “pianissimo: Memoir of a Black Gay childhood” appears in the 2010 MIGHTY REAL: Anthology of African-American Same Gender Loving Writing. Embracing all of who he is, Cornelius is featured in the Logo and Gilead sponsored PSA: “I AM LIVING MY TRUTH”, which aired on MTV’s Logo Network.
With acting, writing, storytelling, movement, and vocal visceral support as his wings Cornelius's uses these elements in the performance space and on the page as a vessel for positive social change. Additionally he is actively involved with various non-profit organizations mobilization efforts that use the arts to allow and engender change around local and global community and youth-based issues.