The Chicago Journal

Rising Music and Film Artist Kenny Peters Opens Up About His Life Experiences to Inspire Dreamers

“It is never too late to chase your dreams.” Musician and theater-film artist Kenny Peters is living proof of this inspirational quote. At almost 55 years old, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in audio production at the Institute of Austin as his second degree. But this artist has much more up his sleeve. He has taken on so many endeavors to pursue his dreams. Throughout his journey, he has endured deeply painful experiences that nearly pushed him toward suicide over ten years ago. Fortunately, he was able to pull through, and today, he continues to reach for his dreams. 

Kenny Peters is a singer, songwriter, actor, and soon-to-be author. Growing up, he had a passion for performing, and music played a big role in his life. He found himself playing the violin for the school orchestra and eventually,  even the orchestra’s piano despite the fact that he only learned to play the instrument by himself. 

Music and theater became Kenny’s refuge from the pain and difficulty brought about by his parents’ divorce in 1976. While living with his non-biological father, he endured physical abuse as his father figure drowned in alcoholism. In the early 80s’ , he also started to embrace his real sexuality and took the courage to come out as a gay man. In 2008, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental illness that took its toll on old friendships that experienced its effects when Kenny was still undiagnosed. 

Despite losing old friends and facing people who found it difficult to accept the diagnosis, he continued to push forward in life. He chose to live an open and vocal life about his journey toward recovery. He educated more people about mental health issues, correcting misconceptions and, ultimately, striving to break the stigma surrounding mental health illnesses. 

Music continued to be Kenny’s support system. Today, he has over 35 years of experience in music. Over the years, he traveled coast to coast and performed. He even landed 4th place in a nationwide music contest in Las Vegas. In the mid-90s, he was a part of a music project with an unsigned singer. Reaching high notes and being a “belter” helped him make a name for himself in the local music scene. His singing ability was inspired by classic male voices such as Gino Vannelli’s. After being inspired by Gino’s music style, he was able to meet the singer whom he hopes to work with for a private workshop in the future.

After leaving the corporate world in 2008, he worked on an album containing songs that helped him through his illness, which landed 65,000 streams on SoundCloud. Later on, he explored television and film, which brought him supporting roles in TV series such as Friday Night Lights, films like Shiloh and Frontier Freedom, as well as commercials. Kenny also served as an operations manager for actor Terry Kiser’s The Actors Arena school, which he initially had just attended for an 8-week coaching session.  

In recent years, Kenny has focused on a weight issue caused by certain medications, which led him to weigh over 315 pounds. The determined artist, however, managed to lose 130 pounds in just ten months, and his new appearance inspired many others. The eventual death of his father figure also helped Kenny make peace with his past. Now that he is free, he is back to doing what he loves.

He has been working on a very personal album that details the events of his life. The project, called Worth the Wait, is scheduled for release before the year 2020 ends. The first single of the album “No, Father,” which delves on child abuse, was released in November 2015 with positive reviews coupled with a call to improve technical issues that he is now working on.  

Kenny also manages a personal blog website that seeks to inspire others who have gone through life’s roller-coaster ride as he did. For Kenny, believing in one’s self is the key for people to survive whatever life throws at them. He is dedicated to proving that no one is ever too old to reach his dreams. 

For more information about Kenny Peters, check his website.