He stood off-stage looking on. The lights hurt his eyes as he tried to make out the other actors yelling helplessly to each other in their exaggerated anger. The line was "Come quick, the orphanage has burned down!" It bounced around his head in an endless loop. There it was, the cue, the line he was waiting for. The eleven-year old frame sprinted on the wooden floorboards. The audience held their breath at the sight of his fake bruises and soot-covered body. He looked around and felt the lights burning his pupils. His heart beat so loudly in his chest, he thought the microphone might pick it up and announce it to the world. He yelled something and miraculously the words he had practiced came out with such meaning and force that all the movement in the theater suddenly ceased. He had done that. His words, his emotion, his focus, his passion had brought about that all-encompassing shutter from the audience and the other actors. He ran off-stage breathing heavily. A moment passed, and he looked back just as the curtain came down for the end of the act. His heart slowed. His face transformed from the facade of pain to a genuine smile. He wanted to do it again. He wanted to deliver soliloquies. He wanted to stand under those lights, bathing in their power while an audience hung on his every word. He wanted more than anything to be an actor.
Burt Grinstead moved around a lot as a child. He lived in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, and good ol' Massachusetts again all before he graduated high school. He was the classic American kid. In fact, most of his childhood photos look like Norman Rockwell paintings, his brother, sister, and him playing in the backyard, making their collection of freckles stretch across their cheeks with each smile. He loved sports. He played them all the way through high school. He earned varsity letters in Football, Golf, and Lacrosse. Burt always had a desire to perform, whether it be on the football field by making the game winning sack, or whether it be on stage.
When Grinstead was ten-years old, the family packed up and moved from small town Central Massachusetts to the suburbia of Southern California. The lack of grassy fields and forests to create imaginary battle fields or space forts grounded Burt in a whole different form of creativity. He joined an acting class and found a release of energy that few things could replicate. Grinstead jumped into the acting world and performed on stage, in commercials, and even one small stint on a popular day-time drama. There was nothing else in the world he wanted to do more.
At sixteen, the family packed up again and moved back to the small-town Central Mass. His dreams altered slightly upon being stuck in a town that had and has no hope of connecting to the entertainment industry. He grew a passion for writing and continues to experiment with it to this day. However, upon completion of high school, Burt fell right back into the world he had almost forgotten. Grinstead attended the two-year acting conservatory at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. There, he learned an incredible amount about creating and story-telling, and he reconnected with his love of the theatre. After graduation, he jumped back into the industry and has performed non-stop since. He wouldn't change this life for the world.
All credit for anything good about Burt Grinstead comes from his lovely parents and his awesome siblings. He had such a diverse and happy upbringing, and he thanks God everyday for it. His parents are avid supporters, and his mother has never missed one of his shows. His sister and his brother have completely different passions and are pursuing them, but they continue to inspire Burt in everything he does. Burt Grinstead is one hell of a lucky guy.