Owensboro native Timmy Barron is the definition of a man of many talents. While he claims music was his first love, Barron quickly found his home on stage. The little boy who got his start comedically waking up a sleeping Jonah during a childhood performance at Owensboro Christian Church is now poised to appear in his first episode of primetime television.
On Oct. 2, Barron will appear on the second episode of the hit television drama series Chicago Fire, which is now entering its eighth season on television. While this experience has been a long time in the making, Barron has learned many lessons along the way, many of those from his former high school.
“DCHS gave me the opportunity to be on stage in many ways and I have a lot of tools in my toolbox because of those opportunities,” Barron said. “It also gave me the opportunity to compete in solo acting and improv duo. Kentucky’s Governor’s School For The Arts is where acting actually clicked for me. That training took the fun of being on stage to a whole new level of character development.”
From the age of 15, Barron had his eyes set on acting and eventually moving to Chicago to study at The Second City.
“All of my favorite comedic actors went through their training program — Steve Carell, Chris Farley and Amy Poehler, just to name a few,” Barron said. “Growing up doing skits at church, I loved the SNL format and found out that Second City was a common avenue to be seen by Lorne Micheals. I always thought I’d make the move after graduating from college, but of course, there were a couple of curveballs thrown my way.”
Barron received two separate full-talent scholarships to two separate universities for theatre performance after graduating from Daviess County High School in 2005. With a stronger focus on performance than academics, Barron left each university and soon found himself cast in small productions and playing bass guitar for the band The Usual in order to make ends meet.
“During my two years with The Usual, I learned more than I did in my short time in college,” Barron said. “I learned how to market, budget, began vlogging and got real-life experience on the business side of being an artist. I wouldn’t trade that time for the world.”
After his time with The Usual came to an end, Barron decided to shift his focus back on getting to Chicago and The Second City.
“While trying to lock down my Chicago housing, I applied for the Improv for Actors program at The Second City, but was a little nervous I wouldn’t get in because a college degree for theatre was a requirement,” Barron said. “But, instead, I sent the comedy videos we were making and asked that they look at my experience rather than my lack of a degree.”
While sitting inside the Starbucks cafe located inside The Second City building, Barron received the news he had been waiting to hear his entire life — he had been accepted.
Barron graduated from both Second City conservatories and went on to write and perform sketch comedy on stage throughout Chicago and for Norwegian Cruise Lines. During his eight months at sea, he met his wife Tara, who is also an actor. The two have now been married for five years and have an almost-two-year-old daughter.
Once Barron returned from his time at sea, things began to click. He was cast as a writer and performer in one of Chicago’s biggest comedy shows, where one of his shows was noticed by a producer who turned it into a sketch comedy pilot.
“I was cast in show after show on many stages around the city, but was itching to break into film and TV,” Barron said. “I signed with NV Talent and began booking commercial work. I’ve done Best Western, Gildan Underwear with The Onion, Illinois Lottery, Alka-Seltzer and a few more. I also starred in three short films — all of which gave me the opportunity to play dramatic roles.”
In June, Barron joined the Screen Actor’s Guild union (SAG-AFTRA), which he said was a huge step for him as an actor.
“This allows me to play with the big players and get taken even more seriously from casting directors and producers,” Barron said. “Since attending these workshops, I was able to begin a relationship with the casting directors and show them what I can do and I’ve seen a huge jump in the quality of auditions. I was immediately pinned to play a recurring role on a new Netflix series and I also recently read for a feature film by Jordan Peele.”
Barron’s most recent audition was July 30, where he received the role as a one-day co-star on Chicago Fire.
As for the future, Barron said he intends to continue pursuing acting full-time.
“While times between jobs can be long — I’m always writing and performing on stages and making video content on the internet,” Barron said. “I’d love to have a lead role on TV — streaming or cable, doesn’t matter. A dark comedy or comedy in the style of the office would be awesome — and then film — I’d love to star in movies.”