Alum Kevin Patterson Returns Home to Saint Patrick


Jonas Dargis ‘22, Sports/Entertainment Editor

Last Friday, Saint Patrick alum Kevin Patterson ’12 came back to visit Mr. Arndt’s Advanced Acting class. 

Patterson started out as a football player at Saint Patrick, but quickly found he had a passion for acting. After trying out for his first play, Patterson was hooked. He became an active member of the theatre department as well as the International Thespian Society during the rest of his time at St. Pat’s. 

After graduation, Patterson attended Wilbur Wright College before transferring to University of Illinois at Chicago to study Acting. During college, he participated in his first professional production and has since done a number of shows and appeared on the popular television drama Chicago PD. Patterson has also won numerous awards for his acting, including one for his work in Jesus Hopped the A-Train awarded by the Kennedy Center American College.

Patterson was happy to be back on campus and was warmly welcomed by Mr. Arndt and his students, who introduced him to the class and then opened up the floor for questions.

When asked for his advice for anyone who wanted to become a professional actor, Patterson said, “Be a go-getter, never stop trying. It’ll take trial and error, but you’ll get there.” He went on to explain that it’s so important to never give up. “The industry can be tough, but if you keep going at it, you can really do anything.” Patterson also spoke about how in an industry all about being other people, other characters, it’s most important to “know thyself.” Patterson said without keeping your own identity, you won’t find success. 

Patterson paid homage to Saint Patrick, explaining the biggest attribute he carried over into his professional career. He shared that without growing up with the Brotherhood of St. Pat’s he wouldn’t have had  as strong of a foundation going into college or his professional life. “Being able to find camaraderie and Brotherhood in different productions always made them more memorable,” Patterson said. “And I never would have found that without St. Pat’s teachings.” 

Finally, Patterson spoke about being an African American actor. He shared that many of the roles he pursues are related to history. These roles are interesting to him, not only because of their place in history, but also because he can relate to them and how they “spark conversation.” 

One of the most personally impactful roles for Patterson was his role in The Scottsboro Boys. The play surrounds nine black boys falsely accused of raping two white women. He loved this role in particular because of its message related to mistreatment of black people by the justice system and Jim Crow. He connected to the role as one of the boys involved in the trial because, “That could easily be me or one of my friends stuck in jail for something we didn’t do.” 

Patterson clearly inspired the students as many stayed back after class hoping to continue the conversation. Junior Jack Kelly remarked, “It was really interesting and exciting to learn what it is like acting professionally outside of high school and all the hard work it takes,” he said. “I was definitely encouraged by Patterson’s perspective to look more into professional acting and was inspired to potentially become an actor after high school.”