Writer, Director, and Actor Richard Gallion is not a stranger to the set or stage. Richard has been in several TV shows and movies. In 2020 RGE released, what is now the highly requested and sought out stage play, 1800 vs 2020.
As a writer, director, and actor, Richard Gallion stumbled upon these hidden talents after obtaining a basketball injury in college. Suffering a broken wrist and unable to fulfill his dream of being a professional athlete, he was chosen to travel as a runway model for Ebony and JET magazine Fashion Fair. While on tour, and during his downtime in-between shows, Richard developed a passion for writing. He began his acting career under the directorship of playwright John Ruffin, starring in the GMC-televised film “Love Me or Leave Me,” where he acted alongside Clifton Powell, Elise Neal, Carl Payne, Terri J. Vaughn, and the legendary Shirley Murdock.
As one who understands discipline and consistency, Richard was fortunate to garner roles in FOX’S newest show APB, Transformers 4, USA’s Sirens, and FOX’s Empire directed by Lee Daniels, featuring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard has opened up massive doors for him. He has also starred in Black Coffee, which was recently in the AMC Theaters, Chicago PD, which airs on NBC 5, and the new movie Halfway featuring Quinton Aaron. Most recently, Richard was a principal actor in the movies Soul Sessions by Vincent Gaftney, and Nothing Like Thanksgiving, directed by Mark Harris. Some of the other projects he has been a part of have been Black Butterfly, available at Walmart, Redbox, and Netflix; as well as The Good Life has also been a blessing to him.
While Richard’s acting career continued to soar, his development as a writer came into full fruition, as he made his co-writing debut in the “Hard Knock Life”. Soon after Richard followed up with the stage play “Living Without Love, loosely documenting dark moments in his father’s drug-infested past. Having the confidence of writing under his belt, his second stage play, Voice of a Child, was his true-to-life story of the reconciliation between him and his wife. In Desperate 1 &2, Richard was challenged to write about the many issues of family betrayal, life after incarceration, the misdiagnosis of prescription drugs in children, and much more. Richard Gallion’s transparency allows his audiences to connect to real-life stories and characters and showed that there is hope after failure.
Honorably Diss-Charged is his show that honors Veterans for all of their sacrifice in a world that doesn’t acknowledge it. And his new show, I CANCERvive, was birthed out of his desire to bring awareness to so many women that are battling breast cancer, and the grief they and their families suffer as they look for hope when none is offered.
To date, Richard Gallion has written/directed and produced five highly acclaimed stage productions, and ghost-written/directed for numerous others stage plays, television series, and films. Although his national acclaim has resulted in a high demand for his scripts and acting, he is determined to invest in the blossoming theater scene in Chicago. As a child that grew up very poor on the Westside of Chicago, he has been announced dead twice, and most recently almost lost his life again in 2014.
Through this adversity, he knows that God has a great call on his life to reach out and help as many as possible. Richard enjoys providing a platform for others in Chicago who endeavors to someday experience the joys of writing, directing, and acting that he has. Richard’s mission is to provide Broadway-quality scripts that will not only entertain the whole family, but endeavor to change the lives of others by showing that there can be hope after a traumatic experience.
Richard Gallion’s scripts have created many opportunities in the Chicagoland area by giving free writing and acting workshops, mentoring programs, and offering work opportunities to youth and adults alike. His ultimate goal is to create scripts that will uplift, and help restore confidence in the Arts as a way to combat the violence that has hurt so many around the world. It gets to a point—especially in Chicago—that violence, misfortune, and injustice are accepted as a way of life. Richard is compelled to write because his work changes lives. He is currently turning all of his productions into sitcoms and screenplays to reach even larger audiences. Richard looks forward to continuing a legacy of screenwriting in the Arts! The first of these great ventures is Desperate the TV Series coming to a network soon!
You have worked alongside some of the most notable names in the entertainment industry. Who have been some of your favorite people to work with and why?
Richard: Some of my favorites were Detective Voit from Chicago PD. He’s very humble and will naturally bring out the best in you without even trying. Darren Henson is also a joy to work with. He loves to rehearse and perfect the scenes and anyone who’s worked with me before knows that’s my favorite thing to do. To this day we are really good friends. Jacob Latimore from The Chi was great to work with! He always makes work fun. Ethan Cutkosky from Shameless is the man and I could work with him any day. I hardly ever watch television, so I didn’t know who he was but after running lines he just started talking to me on set and we literally talked and ran lines most of the day. All this time of talking to him I didn’t know he was the actual lead until we made it to a film location, and it was about one hundred people trying to meet him and take pictures.
What keeps you motivated to bring your talents to the world as a writer, director, and actor?
Richard: I understand that this is a God-given gift and any gift that I have does not belong to me. It’s extremely selfish to hold on to your gift or even make it all about you. True enough the bible tells us that our gift will make room for us but it also tells us about the “Parable of talents” One man received five talents, one received two, and the third man received one. The third man buried his talent because of fear and had to give an account for that. I won’t bury any talent and I won’t be selfish by not polishing my gifts so God could put the super on my natural and continue to use me to bless the world.
Please tell us about some of your latest work and projects that are currently in the works?
Richard: I’m still working on my TV series “Desperate” which can be seen on Amazon Prime as well as my YouTube channel. October of 2022 I’m running my live show “I Cancer-vive”. In December of 2022, my youth department will be producing a show. And in February of 2023, I’ll be running my newest show “1400vs1800” where I’m going to take everyone on a journey back to Africa when we were Kings and Queens. I’m also writing “1800vs2020 reversed where whites will be oppressed, and blacks are the oppressors. I also plan to film “1800vs2020” the movie really soon.
Tell us about your experience as a stage producer and what does bringing live theater to audiences mean for you?
Richard: I love it and live theater will always be my first love. Television is good because that’s exactly what you’re doing, telling a vision. But the live theater feels, ambiance, and connection can’t be denied. It also makes you better and more prepared as an artist. I believe theater actors are some of the best actors in the world (Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and many more) They also make superb film actors as long as they could make the acting adjustments from big to subtle.
What would you like to see more of from Black creators in the entertainment industry?
Richard: I would like to see us tell our own stories and give the real why behind certain storylines. For example, if talking about the struggles of black families, do some research and start from the root of the problem. Then the world may be a little more forgiving to people that look like me. It’s easier to forgive what you understand. But I would love to see more movies and shows like the Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Belair, Martin Lawrence, Black Coffee. Things that show us in a positive light.
Happy Black History Month! What does this time of the year mean for you and how do you celebrate it?
Richard: Honestly, every month is Black History month for me. I do wish we could’ve gotten a longer month and not the shortest month of the year. Talk about being intentional lol.
What is a super fun fact about yourself that many people are not aware of?
Richard: I’m afraid of heights.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Richard: Harlem Nights/Life
What do you hope for yourself in 2022?
Richard: To be better and further than I was in 2021
How can we keep up to date with all you have going on?
Photo credits: Jen Stankyo and Brianna Myles