Tim O’Connor; A Humble and Gifted artist creating from the Heart.

Tim O’Connor; A Humble and Gifted artist creating from the Heart.

Tim O’Connor [Photos provided by Che Holloway]

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews (1-11)

Tim O’Connor; A Humble and Gifted artist creating from the Heart.

I am so very fortunate to have received a chance to interview this humble, funny, extremely talented individual. Working alongside Tim O’Connor has been an entertaining and enriching experience I will always value. His ability to be witty and in the moment is so admirable. It’s truly a learning opportunity to work with such an artist; it’s an honor to call this talented artist and fellow star of Dark Justice Show, friend.

# 1

(l-r) Tim O’Connor, Che Holloway, Mike Gerbino

I asked Tim O’Connor a series of questions. Here is what we discussed.

Q.  Tell us a little about yourself, where your from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

I grew up in Summerville, a small neighborhood north of the city on Lake Ontario. I spent a lot of time outside; playing sports with the kids on the block and meandering around the beach. I was homeschooled for most of my childhood.  My mother was flexible with the curriculum and it wasn’t uncommon to let us take a day off and pick up the work later. It was an invaluable experience, having that level of freedom at a young age. However, at 16, having taken full advantage of this freedom and finishing up one school year days before starting the next, it was thought that I might benefit from a more structured environment.

I started at West Irondequoit high school halfway through the 10th grade. It was a totally alien experience for me. Everyone knew I was the homeschooled kid, so there was this implication that I was a total weirdo (the tucked in t-shirt and dad sneaks didn’t help me, I’m sure.) It wasn’t a bad thing though, people were curious and this led to conversations which led to friendships that I still maintain today. Also, leaving homeschool allowed me to partake in acting and writing projects that I never would have encountered or considered otherwise. The best thing is, I’m still doing projects with these people I met over 10 years ago. I met Mike Gerbino, the writer/director for Dark Justice in my junior year scriptwriting class.

Q. What inspired you to be an artist/entertainer? Early experiences worth sharing?

# 4

Che (left) in Dark Justice with Mike Gerbino

Laughter, first and foremost. Early on, I was fascinated with those who had the ability to induce uncontrollable laughter in me. The act of a unique expression or insight producing this feeling in me that was beyond my ability to suppress was a kind of mystery to me. As a kid, I spent a lot of time studying stand-up comedians; watching Seinfeld, King of the Hill, The Simpsons. To me, the way they saw the world was all at once new and instantly recognizable. It was the sharing of perspective that created the experience, in this case a joyful one, that stuck with me as my first realization of with the possibilities of artistic expression.

Q. Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

It’d be hard to give a specific example. Knowing who I am and what I want for myself has been indispensable when dealing with conflicting and adversarial elements. It enables me to communicate effectively in interpersonal conflicts and keeps me centered and true to myself in difficult times.

Q. What do you believe sets you apart from other artists/entertainers?

Oh man. Probably some elements of my individual experience specifically. Also, outlets, skill levels, etc.…I am always excited by similarities I have with other artists/entertainers though. There’s something beautiful about realizing that other people have independently arrived at the same place as you, regardless of where you started. Like you were both just meant be there. It’s very life affirming for me, even if it’s just a brief meeting before taking off in totally different directions. Two ships passing in the nightclub or something like that.

Q. Do you have other interests or hobbies?

Reading books for sure. Anything regarding physical phenomena, history from the beginning of time up to yesterday, religious mythologies, spiritual texts; whatever can teach me more about who, what and where we were, are and are going to be. Fiction fits in there, but I’m the type of person that turns into a recluse whenever I find a good story, so I’m careful about that. I also like to run a lot, but never while reading; that would just be reckless.

Q. Any projects you have out or currently working on?

# 2

(l-r) Mike Gerbino, Elisa Peebles, Tim O’Connor

I’ve been writing some music for the first time in a few years. In the past, it’s been a useful way for me to find an expression for some concepts and emotions that are difficult to convey using only words. Not that there isn’t any nonsense going into it too, I just don’t usually try to write a song if I don’t have something that I feel needs to be expressed. Hopefully, I’ll have them finished by the summer’s end.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

In the tinted partition of my limo, the waters of my Olympic-sized swimming pool and the eyes of my fashionably-dressed greyhound. Or just sane, grateful and surrounded by the people I love…when it’s convenient for them though; like at a barbecue or something, not literally all the time.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers?

I would say that whatever it is you are compelled to express, find the medium that gives it it’s truest expression to yourself. If it is personal and profound, pursue it beyond fear. Boredom and fear can be challenges to try something new. Try to spend at least an equal amount of time listening and absorbing as you spend talking and projecting and look both ways before crossing your fingers. That’s just my biz though. Know yourself, love yourself and be true to yourself and you may never have to seek advice.

Q. How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?

On a clear day, watch the skies for smoke signals. For now, check out the new episodes of Dark Justice: Season 2 at darkjusticeshow.com

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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