Happy New Year! We hope that your 2022 is off to a great start. This time of the year is a great moment for dreams to begin to take shape, maybe yours are like those of David Furr.
This theatre, film, and television actor remembers watching his friends on stage when he was a student at Page High School. “It’s funny, because I really wanted to get into acting when I was at Page, and I even went to many of the school plays where everyone seemed to be having such a great time; but whenever it came time for auditions I chickened out. Fortunately, I had friends who were also interested in the theatre in college, and their influence finally gave me the courage that I needed to give acting a try,” Furr recalls. At Appalachian State University he found his courage “and found my passion for it,” he says. “It was at this time that I was also led to the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival (NCSF), which gave me my first professional home; and it is also where I found my passion for Shakespeare.”
Furr wasn’t on stage in high school, but he found another way to express his creativity. “I played and took piano lessons throughout my childhood and throughout high school,” said Furr. “This quickly led to a passion for music where I played in garage bands and eventually began writing music for plays at Appalachian State University. This musical background also became an important resource that served me as an actor thanks to giving me an instinct for rhythm and musicality.”
After college and touring with NCSF, Furr made his way to New York where he became a sought-after name on Broadway. He eventually landed parts like that of Garry Lejeune in the on-stage production of Noises Off. “This was actually one of my favorite movies growing up with an early comic that I looked up to,” said Furr. “John Ritter really inspired me and knowing that I was playing a character that he once did, made this part one of my most memorable.” This part would not only skyrocket his on-stage career but would also lead Furr to a Tony Award nomination. While making a name for himself on stage, this Guilford County native was also beginning his on-screen acting career.
“While I was living in New York, I decided to take some classes in television acting and before long I was auditioning for parts on soap operas like Guiding Light, As The World Turns, and All My Children,” said Furr. These parts eventually led to parts on shows like Law & Order SVU and The Good Wife. “I was also in a few episodes in NCIS: Los Angeles, Bull, and many others, he said.” This popular actor has even made it onto the silver screen in movies like Evening with Claire Danes, 13 Hours with John Krasinski, and The Highwaymen with Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner. “Knowing that I had opportunities to act alongside talented actors and actresses like this, both onstage and on camera was and continues to be a very humbling experience,” said Furr.
Today, this actor and devoted family man is back in his hometown of Greensboro where he and his wife dedicate time to their careers and raising their family. “Fortunately, I can still audition for parts, using technology like Zoom, self-taped auditions, and self-recorded voiceover,” said Furr. “Although the practicalities of doing a long Broadway run might be a bit more challenging until my kids get a little older, I am grateful that I have had this experience and will certainly never give up the stage.”
So, what advice does this talented actor have for all those aspiring actors out there? “Learn to love learning and love the detective work of learning something new,” said Furr. “No discipline or avenue of learning is out of bounds for an actor. We all play a wide variety of characters in our careers, so learn to love learning, be prepared and most importantly be kind.”
We thank this Guilford County Schools alumnus for sharing his success story with us. If you are a Guilford County graduate who would like to inspire others with your story be sure to contact Say Yes Guilford today at firstname.lastname@example.org.