Dan Rich is an out gay actor in Philadelphia

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Dan Rich is an out gay actor in Philadelphia. His resume starts in 1999 in the Dynamic Duo performance at Allentown Symphony Hall. “I’ve been acting since high school, and I’m now 29, so it’s been a good 14 years or so. I graduated DeSales University in 2000 with a BA in theatre, and I have been pursuing a professional acting career since.”

Though Dan is out, he doesn’t want his sexuality to define his work, “I am ‘out.’ I do not go out of my way to keep my sexuality a secret, nor do I ever deny it if questioned, but I try not to make it an issue. To me, my sexuality is my business, and I share it with people that I am comfortable or become friends with. I have recently seen it used against me. Unfortunately, once some people know that you are homosexual, that is all they will let you be. It is an issue that bothers me deeply because the performer gets ‘typed’ by his or her personal life and not by his or her skills and abilities.”

Dan is currently in an improv group, The Ninjas. This is his first endeavor into improvisational work. “My friend Jana introduced me to the world of long form improv a few years ago by taking me to the Del Close Marathon at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan. I was so amazed and inspired by the performances that I saw that weekend that I began reading up a little on it. The Ninjas is my first group. There was a posting for auditions on the Theater Alliance listserv, so I went and was invited into the group.”

Dan describes the Ninjas as very unique, “I was actually just thinking the other day of how distinctly different and individual we each are, and how we each add our own uniqueness to the work we do as a team. I haven’t experienced a collaborative effort like this before. It’s absolutely brilliant.”

His work spans from improve to voice overs, commercials, theatre and print media. With all that impressive exposure, he occasionally gets recognized. “I have been noticed from a stage performance or a commercial every once and awhile. Currently, I’m in a Blue Cross commercial and I get some recognition from it. It’s great to hear people’s responses to my work. The attention is also nice, but it can be a bit awkward because you have a complete stranger approaching you out of nowhere and sometimes in weird places, like the locker room at the gym.”

With his work spread over all in an acting cornucopia, he really has no genus preference, “I enjoy every genre because they each have their own uniqueness and skills required, but there is nothing more rewarding or exciting than performing in a theater, baring your soul and sharing that raw human experience with an audience. When an audience and performer bond, it is truly the greatest sensation ever.”

But sometimes even the greatest sensations can have a downside, “My family attends some of my stage performances. Some, due to content, I’ve advised them not to attend, but they make it to the shows that they can. A funny story, I was in a production of Angels in America: Part One, playing Louis a few years ago, and if you are familiar with the show, there is an infamous scene with Louis in the park engaging in anal sex. Meeting my family in the lobby after the show was, well, a quiet and awkward experience.”

Dan’s performed in his favorite piece of work to date, last summer, “I think that my favorite thus far would be Two Gentleman of Verona as part of the Young Professional Company for Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival. The director, the costumes, the cast, everything was fantastic. Every now and then, I find myself missing it.”

The Ninjas will be performing at FERGIE’S PUB on August 19 th. Currently, Dan is working in the historic district as a storyteller for Once Upon A Nation.

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