Justin was born in Los Gatos, California to Robert and Karol Powell. His first introduction to acting was when he and his friends would shoot “SNL” skits in his backyard. At age sixteen he began acting in theatre and became passionately obsessed. He continued to pursue acting and moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Afterwards he began working with Elysium Conservatory Theatre and found a home where he would get to explore his artistic soul and learn to master his craft. Justin loves acting and how art allows him to connect with aspects and impulses in all of humanity that can hopefully wake something in those that watch.
Tell us about a transformative educational experience.
The most transformative educational experience came when I was working with Christopher Cannon. I had always enjoyed acting but never really realized that it was something I may be able to do for a living. That changed when I met Christopher Cannon who challenged me throughout classes and productions to push myself deeper and deeper into roles. He was the first acting teacher that made me believe I can do this and I am eternally grateful for that faith.
What about transformative professional experiences?
I was auditioning for everything when I first came to Los Angeles. I ended up being cast in a short film that was essentially a reverse 50 Shades of Grey where an Older Woman was using me. The director purposefully misled me during the audition and on set and while working would physically move me on set when she wanted me in a different spot. I had never felt so used and manipulated in my life and at that moment I made the decision to only engage in projects that I felt my heart and soul needed to be apart of. If my heart and soul do not line up with the project than I am doing a disservice to myself and to anyone involved with the story.
Why I do what I do...
I do what I do because of how much I enjoy the connection. I never feel more connected to others than when I am performing. There’s this beautiful connection between audience, and between my fellow actors, and when I do a show I feel this connection with all other actors that have performed that show. I mean, we are doing Romeo and Juliet now, a story that has been around for centuries. When I think about how many other artists have lent their hearts and souls to these characters and brought them to life and how now I am given an opportunity to do the same I feel incredibly humbled. I love getting to connect to aspects of our humanity that we don’t get to everyday. I love that when you truthfully connect to these impulses you have the opportunity to awaken an aspect of humanity in someone else. There is nothing else in this world that brings me the same joy as this.
What about ECT inspires you?
I enjoy the risks that we take. I enjoy how deeply we delve into the human soul to speak our truths. I’m inspired by the people I work with everyday who strive for that raw honesty and their undeniable courage that makes me want to give the best of myself. Most of all I’m inspired by the art we strive to create and the work that makes my heart sing.
Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit?
London, New York, Paris, Rome, Boston, Vancouver. I would like to travel to Zion, Venice, Alaska, Russia, Germany, Japan and China amongst others.
My favorite "day-off" event would be...
Not as much an event as a person. Any day off I have I would love to just spend the day with my girlfriend. We could spend the day hiking, or biking at the beach, or even just watching Netflix on the couch.
If I had one million dollars I would...
I would immediately put 50 thousand into my savings. Ten thousand would be spread out to family. Twenty thousand would be used for a giant world trip. The last twenty thousand would be used for acting things.
Did you know...
Was nearly killed by a cab in London because his hacky sack strayed too close to the road.