Though he wasn’t named for the Spanish explorer, Columbus Short has discovered, explored and conquered just about every area of the performing arts. Captivating an audience as early as the age of 3, Columbus entertained his family by putting on shows, dancing and doing impersonations. It was clear to others that Columbus had a light. And shine that light has! While appearing in numerous commercials like Mountain Dew, Denny’s and Pizza Hut by his early teens, Columbus landed his first leading role in his junior high school production of William Inge’s Bus Stop. It was with this performance that he knew entertaining was what he wanted to do. Balancing a busy commercial audition schedule while taking lead after lead in numerous stage plays throughout high school, Columbus got the chance of a lifetime to travel the world performing with the famed dance troupe STOMP. Columbus would go on to be a back-up dancer for Brandy and choreograph Britney Spears In the Zone tour. His extreme talent in dance would later land him a role in the movie You Got Served, staring opposite Marcus Houston and Omarion, Save the Last Dance 2 and Stomp the Yard, as the lead role of “DJ”, his big break. Stomp the Yard went on to earn 25.9 million its opening weekend and grossed 73.4 million worldwide. But don’t think this man of many talents is all about the dance moves. He has much more to offer. Coming from a musical family, Columbus not only dances but produces and writes, plays keyboard and drums and he’s a talented vocalist. If you caught Cadillac Records this past Christmas in which Columbus co-starred as Little Walter alongside Beyonce Knowles as Etta James and Mos Def as Chuck Berry…, you know what I mean. He also co-starred in This Christmas, with Chris Brown, Regina King, Lauren London and Loretta Devine, where it’s all about his acting abilities, dancing aside.
When speaking to the laid back, relaxed actor, he reveals other musical legends he’d like to bring back to life on the big screen, “Tupac, Sam Cooke and Wilson Picket are some roles I’m interested in, and this is currently in the works, so we’ll see.”
But when conversing about his accomplishments to date and the many talents he poses, one might think that the next natural move or interest would perhaps be a career in the music industry, especially with him already knowing how to sing, dance and write. “I’ll probably put my pen to the pad for other artists.”
Regarding family, he credits his success in balancing career and parenthood with a great support system. But with such a heavy, yet successful career in film, one must wonder if there’s any time left for romance. Well, if there is room for love there’s only one thing that will grab the attention of Columbus Short. “A woman’s swagger is very attractive.”
As a dancer, choreographer, actor, musician, writer, producer and vocalist, Columbus Short has truly put his “stomp” on the world, but I think we’ll be seeing lots more of this renaissance man because there is so much to him.
In store for another busy year, Columbus will be starring opposite Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in John Singleton’s Tulia, which is about a 1999 drug bust in Tulia, Texas which results in 10% of the town’s African Americans being arrested. The film’s release date has not yet been set, but it is slated to come out in 2009.