We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Guyton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daniel, why did you pursue a creative career?
As a child, I was often sick with earaches, sinus infections, allergies, etc. These weren’t just minor illnesses. I was very familiar with the inside of a hospital room before I was 10. I still have scar tissue inside my ears and nasal passages from countless surgeries and infections I’ve had over the years. Real life was often not very fun for me, so I immersed myself as often as possible in my imagination. I loved movies, cartoons, books, comic books, storytellers, poetry, any musician who could tell stories with their lyrics, action figures, joke books, family members who told stories, and more. I loved listening to stories, watching stories, creating stories, and immersing myself into as many stories as possible. I was fascinated by the very concept of stories. Real stories, fictional stories, it never mattered. Anything to keep me out of my own body and what I felt was an unhappy reality. As I got older, I began to get healthier and feel less afraid of my reality, but my preference for my imagination over the real world remained. To this day, I often find myself lost in a daydream more often than I care to admit. Thankfully, however, I’ve found a way to make money with my daydreams, by telling stories of them. I have attempted numerous careers in my life, but any job that doesn’t involve storytelling in some way holds little fascination for me. I grow bored easily. As a college professor, I thrive by viewing every lecture as a chance to tell stories. These are true stories, of course, based on research and historical fact, but I still deliver each lecture as if I were a storyteller, which keeps it fresh and fascinating for myself and (hopefully) my students. As a playwright, I tell stories. As an actor, I tell stories. As a director, I tell stories. I did not just pursue an artsistic career, I chose a storytelling career – because, in my view, there is nothing more fascinating to me than stories. They are my lifeblood. They keep me going.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and teacher. I view all of these various careers as an opportunity for storytelling. As an actor, I can tell one character’s story. As a director, I can tell the story of an entire cast of characters. As a playwright and screenwriter, I can tell the story of an entire world that I’ve either created or that I’ve discovered and researched and am now sharing with the world. As a theatre teacher, I have the honor of sharing hundreds of stories of history, of icons who have come before, of lessons learned, and, more importantly, I have the honor of helping young people craft and tell their own stories. I believe that storytelling is an innate human need, and that those who are able to tell their stories often thrive; whereas those who are unable to tell their stories often suffer. If I can help someone tell their story in a unique, engaging and compelling way, I believe I can help that person thrive, and that means something special to me.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of the best places in Atlanta to visit are the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Fox Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, the Georgia Aquarium, the MLK JR Historical Park, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and more. There is so much to do in Atlanta – for children, for adults, the whole family. Tons of great restaurants, amazing theatres, etc. There is no shortage of fun and educational stuff to do in this city.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to OnStage Atlanta and to Merely Players Presents – two theatres in the Atlanta region who love storytelling, and who have allowed me to share my stories with them many times over.

Website: https://danguyton.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dguyton21

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-guyton-34277

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dguyton21

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dguyton21

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/danjuan21

Other: https://newplayexchange.org/users/849/daniel-guyton

Image Credits
Photos of “Clybourne Park” and “The Last Lifeboat” are by Jayson Crawford.

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