Christian Thompson is a 30-year old actor, dancer, singer and writer from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Growing up, his mother moved them across the street from North Andrews Elementary School of the Arts in the hopes that he would be inspired. “Little did she know…” Thompson says with a smirk. He recalls seeing a touring production of Cats at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and that’s when he decided he wanted to be an actor at the young age of 8 years old. “I was sitting in the aisle and I saw an actor dressed as a cat and they get paid to do this?! I want to do that,” Thompson continues, “And that was all I needed, it was a wrap… so I set my mind to it.”
Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Thompson went on to do just that. He has appeared in Thoughts of a Colored Man, Ain’t Too Proud (Original Broadway Company and First National Tour), and toured in the Rent 20th Anniversary Tour as Benny and Roger understudy. His regional credits include the world premiere of The Devil Wears Prada and Catch Me If You Can at Arena Stage. Now Thompson is living his childhood dream as Fiyero in the national tour of WICKED as of February 7th of this year.
“Fiyero wasn’t even a role I thought about because I didn’t think it was possible.” Thompson says, “There’s not a lot of people that look like me that have done this role, so it’s kinda crazy but very exciting.” Thompson is living proof that no matter where you come from, where you go to school, or what your situation is… you can make your dreams happen. “I’m just one of the Oakland Park Kids,” says Thompson, “And I just hope that they see it’s possible and that they feel represented.”
For Thompson, performing back in his home state always feels like validation. “I had so many teachers and community members growing up that always made sure that I was okay and out of harms way,” Thompson says. “To be able to come back home is just a reminder of that.” It seems like the stars aligned for Thompson as he joined the Land of Oz for his first performance as Fiyero in his home state just last month.
WICKED tells the story of what happened before Dorothy fell out of the sky, some like to say that this is the “real story of the Wizard of Oz”. Audiences are taken through the journey of how Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch become best friends and the challenges they face together. Fiyero, played by Christian Thompson, is a Prince transfer student who’s only goal is to have as much fun as possible before he is inevitably kicked out of another school. Fiyero ends up meeting Elphaba and Glinda and they change his life in unforeseen ways.
Thompson’s dream was always to make it to Broadway and he thought it would take him his whole life, but it didn’t. By age 25, he reached his dream. “A lot of people don’t prepare you for when your dreams come true, I don’t think anything can ever prepare you for that,” Thompson says. “The next thing I had to do was allow myself to dream of getting those lead roles.” Thompson strongly believes that if you’re honest and you continue to do the best you can everyday, then you will be more than enough.
Don’t get it twisted, Thompson has faced rejection just like everybody else. “The tough thing about rejection is that it can feel very personal,” Thompson continues, “It’s a very easy spiral to go down because as an actor, our instrument is us, it’s who we are and that’s really tricky.” Thompson’s advice to younger actors is to have confidence in the work and to have confidence in knowing that what YOU bring is more than enough. It’s all about timing, but it might not be YOUR timing.
Thompson shares the story of when he was in the final callbacks of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. He was just as confident as any other young actor is graduating college. This was his big shot and it was perfect timing. Thompson had all the tools and training he needed to book this role, he thought this was it… but he didn’t get it. “It’s all about timing, timing, timing and it was perfect for me,” Thompson says, “But I realized that these things happen on their OWN timing.” This is possibly the last dream role on Thompson’s list that he hasn’t achieved yet. “I still firmly believe that the day they call me for an audition for Hamilton is the day I book the role,” Thompson says. “That hasn’t happened yet… but hopefully they read this,” Thompson says jokingly.
Thompson gives a lot of credit to his mom for having such a great appreciation for the arts. “My mom always said do everything with 110%.” Thompson continues, “For me, acting has always been it and I took the steps to put myself in the best position to make that happen.”
“How it all started” Instagram @christianthompsonactor
What’s next for Christian Thompson? Well, he is happy living in the Land of Oz! You can follow Thompson and his journey on Instagram @christianthompsonactor.
The national tour of WICKED has already touched the hearts of many all over South Florida, starting at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on February 15th – March 5th! Click here to stay updated on all the exciting events and shows happening at the Arsht Center!
Lissa deGuzman as Elphaba and the Company in the National Tour of WICKED, Photo by Joan Marcus