AVON, OH (WOIO) - Patrick Wolton is an exercise specialist at HealthSource in Avon. He enjoys working and interacting with patients who are recovering from injuries.
But when it comes to speaking in front of a group of people or performing, Patrick goes into a panic. It puts him way beyond his comfort zone.
But he's challenging himself to "step out of the box" by doing something he has always been afraid of but wished he had the courage to do: acting.
"I've always wanted to do plays in high school and the fear of forgetting my lines and possibly ruining the play was always on my mind," Patrick said.
Patrick confronted his fears with the help of Kenny Parker, a professional actor who has been performing for more than 15 years around the Cleveland area, including at the historic Karamu House where the two met for an acting session.
"I feel like I'm getting a little bit tense, a little bit stressed out," Patrick said. "A lot of shaking."
Kenny teaches Patrick a technique to try to calm his nerves.
"Breathe through your nose and out through your mouth," Kenny said.
Then they jumped right into improvisation. Patrick acting out a pregnant woman.
"Uh, I'm not sure what to do next," he said.
Then onto the more serious topic of AIDS.
"You're waiting for your results," Kenny coached.
Patrick acted out a reaction to a negative test result, then it was time to tackle reading lines using a monologue from Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the first traffic light.
It's something Kenny has performed many times for walking tours downtown.
"Welcome everyone, gather around. Take a gander at one of the greatest accomplishments... and I forgot the rest," Patrick laughs.
Kenny challenges Patrick to memorize the lines.
"My name is Garret Morgan. You may also know me... ahhh, I had it," Patrick said.
Bit after a few tries Patrick really got into the role and gained confidence.
"It feels so empowering. It feels like a real sense of accomplishment to overcome," Patrick said.
"The transformation was amazing. It was really awesome and now he's bitten by the acting bug," Kenny said.
Patrick's fears began fading away thanks to a step out of the box and into the world of acting.
"I want to be in a play," Patrick said.