Perhaps Charles Dickens could have gotten away with starting my life story with something like, "On October the twelfth, in the year of our lord Nineteen Hundred and blah blah blah, Ken Sandberg was born in the frozen plains of Minnesota." But I am not Mr. Dickens, and as delightful as it was growing up chipping ice and shoveling snow to try to make it to school, it makes for a dull and lengthy tale. So the shorter version will spare you the details of my youth and begin, as so many adventures do, with leaving home.
Things did not work out with the girl, but Philadelphia is where I finally started making some headway as an artist. It's where I learned the truth behind the saying "work begets work." It's where I was finally able to say, "I will no longer work for 'great exposure' or 'experience'."
I found two artistic homes, met some amazing people, and even cowrote and starred in an award winning musical as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival: Zombie! The Musical.
But for all I was having reasonable success and consistent work, I was starting to feel a little artistically unfulfilled. The stories I was telling weren't as meaningful to me as I wanted them to be. So, I decided to get more training. At 27 years old I enrolled as an undergraduate student at Community College of Philadelphia. After getting my associates degree I transferred to Temple University. For the record, University is WAY cheaper if you go back as a non-traditional student.
My first stop was New York City. I went there to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), and, of course, to become wildly famous and successful by the time I was 23. Oops.
I learned a lot at AMDA. Dance classes, voice classes, acting classes. I studied theatre history, music theory, and speech anatomy. Most importantly, though, I learned just how much self discipline and dedication it takes to bring this storytelling thing from a passionate hobby to a career.
New York was good for me, but eventually it came time to leave. I went on a very low budget children's theater tour. When it was over, I hadn't really decided where I was going, I just knew I needed to try something else. So I did what many of us have done.
I followed a girl.
And she brought me to Philadelphia.
Much to my surprise, I found myself applying to, and then being accepted to, Graduate School. After wading through the offers, I settled on the University of Missouri/Kansas City.
After three years in the MFA Actor/Director training program, I graduated in May of 2018. Next stop was a return to New York City. And that has caught us up. I live in New York where I act, sing, write, play music, train for and run Spartan Races, build things in my little home wood shop, and continue looking for new stories to tell.