Chris grew up in Savannah, Ga., was graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, and quickly abandoned any thoughts of a legitimate career when he jumped headfirst into stand-up comedy. After years of touring and a little bit of acting here and there, he relocated to Los Angeles and transitioned into voice acting, where he can be heard on episodes of “Dreamworks’ Dragons” tv series, “The Simpsons”, Cartoon Network’s “Clarence” and various commercial campaigns and video games. Chris is a founding member of Edgy Brothers, a small design company he created with his wife Geraldine and his brother David. They seek to express themselves by pushing ideas a little past their comfort zone. So far, they’ve re-imagined custom playing cards, coins, dice, t-shirts, even socks, all through the Kickstarter platform and on their website, edgybrothers.com.
What do you do best?
I think I’m best at being creative, at expressing myself through different mediums and connecting with others.
What makes you the best?
The years of performing have certainly helped. I spent ten years touring as a professional stand-up comic, and you learn how to read audiences and adapt. I’ve spent the last fifteen years as a professional voice actor, and you’re constantly adapting your voice and your performance to suit different characters. So, I’ve kept in practice being creative in different professional settings for the last twenty-plus years. When it’s time to give notes to David (who does the art for our products) I can quickly give him ideas as to where to go with a concept, and imagine how our customers might receive it.
How will you stay the best?
Just like I mentioned - always be in practice, always challenge yourself. If I spend too long without pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I get soft. Soft may be comfortable, but it doesn’t nourish you.
That’s easy - convincing my wife to marry me.
What are your aspirations?
Personal: To be the best husband to my wife, and the best father to my two children.
Business: To continue to expand our customer base with Edgy Brothers without having to compromise. Recognizing what the buying public wants is one thing - being able to give it to them without forgetting who you are is another.
Most challenging moment?
When I realized that I had others relying on me. I spent so much of my life just taking care of me, it’s been a real eye-opener to know that I have a family that depends on me and others who are in business with me. I have a lot of influence as to our direction, our connection with our customer base, and how we develop and deliver what we create. If I drop the ball, very little will get done. Dave can create the most magnificent piece of art (as he frequently does) and if I can’t help us figure out how to get that across to potential customers, it’s not going to go over. But it’s nothing more than most adults have to deal with in some shape or form. You’ve either got a family or a business or both. Very few people are islands.
What fascinates you?
What doesn’t? I love to learn, whether it’s about science, history, art, or just talking to a person and learning their story. Everybody has a story.
Happiness is a choice.
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Shakespeare, Einstein…I realize these are boring choices, but can you argue with their output? As far as people who are alive today - my wife. She’s the best person I’ve ever met.
Madrid-Barcelona-Paris-London (our honeymoon itinerary), Monticello, any great restaurant, any place with a great view, anywhere my family is.
My iphone, my Apple desktop and laptop, a good pair of Levi’s jeans, Redfin’s home finder app for my phone (though we’re in escrow now so we won’t be using that much in the future.)
I’ve recently discovered Khan Academy online, and I love it. The Crash Course history lessons taught by John Green are highly entertaining. Any good book can hold me in thrall, and the more I’m able to absorb, the more I can use it to fuel Edgy Brothers’ creative expression. But to be honest, nothing is as fascinating to me right now as watching my children grow. One’s a toddler and the other’s in preschool, and the exponential development they go through at this stage is unbelievable. Every day they show me some new facet and you realize that you’ve helped shape who they’re becoming. It’s a great way to remind yourself to be the best version of yourself possible.