Steve & Wood Harris: Brothers Work It Out

brothersAt home on the West Side of Chicago, Steve and Wood Harris’ parents wouldn’t have ever guessed that two of their sons would become professional actors. “We had a very normal, sort of ghetto, urban upbringing,” Wood Harris recalls. “My father was a bus driver and my mother was a seamstress and a substitute schoolteacher, off and on. So, that all adds up to no money.”

Their parents stressed to him and his older brother: education over his love for football. Steve attended St. Joseph High in Westchester, Illinois, a private school known for developing star athletes such as basketball star Isaiah Thomas and was featured in the documentary Hoop Dreams (1994).

Steve played running back. He then played linebacker for Northern Illinois University, where he also studied drama. His football career ended with a torn ankle ligament. He completed his studies with a Master’s degree in theater from the University of Delaware. Best known for his role as Eugene Young in ABC’s Emmy Award-winning series THE PRACTICE. Since THE PRACTICE Steve has made numerous guest appearances on television series and films.

Wood, on the other hand, had his first break in the film, Above The Rim with Tupac Shakur.  Since then he’s been in many classic roles as Avon Barksdale in The Wire and the lead character in Paid In Full.

“We were sports kids. Wood was actually rapping when we were in high school,” Steve said.

“I was following in my brother’s footsteps when it came to academics,” admitted Wood.  “My brother went to college and I was thinking that I needed to go too. But I only thought that scholarships were only given out to athletes. It was a new thing for me when I got an academic scholarship.”

“I took an acting class because I thought it was going to be an easy grade,” Steve confessed. “But it was a real acting class…and I enjoyed it!” Steve said. “It gave me the same high that I got when playing football.”

The skill the brothers learned in the arts is priceless. Here are top 3 benefits that every child can take from arts programs:

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to…