Vibe Updates and Announcements Archives for 2015-11

Ivan Ellis Interview on KZKO




Actor and vocalist, Ivan Demond Ellis, was born October 31, 1991 in Chicago, IL. Ivan experienced a traditional upbringing as the third of four children of Brenda Ellis, homemaker, and Isaac Ellis Jr, a mechanical supervisor for the Chicago Transit Authority. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Englewood to be exact, Ivan was exposed to some of life’s harshest realities. His parents were successful at keeping their children from making undesirable life choices through heavy involvement in church and extra curricula activities. Ivan was dedicated to piano lessons, drum lessons, choir rehearsal, and martial arts training.
Ivan’s talents peeked at an early age. His parents discovered his vocal abilities when he was 7 years old as he sang bits and pieces of “The Star Spangled Banner” during bath time. From that day forward, his father made sure Ivan’s voice was heard and ensured he sang at any given opportunity; karate tournaments, weddings, church services, and community events. Ivan’s involvement in music increased his musicianship as well. He mastered the drums and was appointed lead drummer at his church at 12 years old. Ivan found himself engrossed in music. He desperately wanted to see himself from the audience’s perspective; so, he would sneak and use his father’s hand-held camcorder to record himself singing. This led to the discovery of a new love- acting. At 9 years old, Ivan and his cousins started re-enacting scenes from their favorite movies and sitcoms, on camera. Over the next few years he directed and starred in a repertoire of home movies which deepened his passion for acting. He was heavily involved in the drama department of his high school starring in various school productions. He still frequently visits the school to share his journey with the students hoping to motivate them to keep reaching for the stars.
Ivan Ellis’ experience spans across a broad spectrum of theatre, on-screen, and stage performances. At 17 years old, Ivan was cast in his first leading theater role as John the Beloved in the Refuge production of “Jesus of Nazarath” under the direction of Steve Munsey and Winter Dojcinocski. In 2010, he signed with the infamous Chicago-based Gray’s Talent Agency. After the twelve month contract expired, Ivan used the time to fine tune his acting techniques. His first major on-screen appearance was in the 2011 award-winning short film, “L Train”. In the same year, Ivan made an appearance in Jennifer Hudson’s music video, “Where You At?”, which is where he met his soon-to-be music manager, Jelani “Jay” Jones. Determined to stay connected to his musical roots, Ivan signed to Dreamer Management in 2013. After gaining small roles in various movies, stage plays, and music videos Ivan earned his first leading role as Troy in the 2013 movie “You & Me”. 2013 proved to be a major year for Ivan, the singer, as well. He opened for LeToya Luckett at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington DC, performed at various notable events such as African Fest and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and shared the stage with headliners such as: Brandy, Tweet, Syleena Johnson, Amerie, and Raheem DeVaughn. Another milestone presented itself in 2014 when Ivan landed his first prime-time principle role as Vic on episode 207 of the NBC hit series Chicago PD. This achievement led to Ivan being signed to Chicago’s Paonessa Talent Agency.
With a passion that increases with every professional experience, Ivan Ellis has an undeniable commitment to entertainment. He aims to succeed in both industries earning Oscar, Sag and Grammy recognitions.


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