Gerald C. Rivers, grew up in Compton, California. Studied at the Sheenway Theatre Arts Repertory in Los Angeles, Earned an Associates of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts from Los Angles City College, where he also served two terms as the ASO President and was a 3-time National Gold Medalist in Dramatic Interpretation with the National Forensics League. He then continued his education in Theatre & Marketing at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
After college he joined the Academy Theatre (at that time, Georgia's oldest existing professional theatre), where he toured and performed for several years before going on to become the Associate Artistic Director. As a classically trained theatre actor, Gerald has performed with The Georgia Shakespeare Festival, the Hippodrome State Theatre in Florida, Tony Plana's East L.A. Classic Theatre and countless other regional theatres and is currently a company member (where he has performed for the last 20 years) at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Gerald portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in several Los Angeles theatre productions as well as a several national tours and received critical acclaim for his performances in Maurice Kitchen's "Voices - A Legacy to Remember", the Theatricum's "Carry It On", his show with Broadway Voclaist and author, Charles Holt "Martin & Music" and his one man show "What Do You Dream Of?"
He is a tremendous voice over talent as well, doing everything from cartoons and video games such as the voice of M. Bison on "Streetfighter" the voice of Ex-Death "Final Fantasy X & XI Doudecum & Dissidia" along with the voice of Jackson 'Jax' Briggs in "Mortal Combat" and Drakuru in "World of Warcraft", Immortal in Starcraft, just to name a few, to California and Georgia State Conservation spots. He can also be heard on the 'Tobacco Free Florida' Television, Radio & Internet Campaigns. McDonald's & Bacardi Radio ads, and the Academy Award Nominated 3D animated Disney movie "Wreck It Ralph." For kids Gerald is also the voice of Jaguar in "Pacha Pamas Pajamas," an environmental animated program for kids and he is "Murphy the Math Guy", as well as, the primary narration on the educational website ABCMouse, sponsored by The Age Of Learning. And he can be heard as "Pua" as well as other characters on Disney's, "The Lion Gaurd" on Disney and Disney Jr.
His biggest vocal success has come from being the voice of the late great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Gerald has earned accolades performing, speaking and touring all over the country and abroad as this resonating voice from the past. Almost thirty years as the same character and dozens of King speeches fully committed to memory has garnered him recognition from the King family, the King Center, NAACP, SCLC, National Baptist Convention and he has been a part of the National holiday celebrations in Atlanta, DC, Oakland & Boston, LA and Bermuda.
Gerald performed live on ESPN Radio Los Angeles on the Dr. King Holiday also the Cake for King Celebrations at the California African American Museum, Agape International Spiritual Center under the direction of Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith and the Olandar Gallery in Malibu. He has appeared live in the Los Angeles King Holiday Parade. He has performed at The Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, The Carson Black Chamber of Commerce, Lynwood Community Adult School, El Camino College Compton Campus, , L.A. City College, Florida A & M University Alumni Association, countless schools, colleges, universities and churches across the country, The 5th Annual Unity Festival in Santa Monica, Hillside International Chapel & Truth Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He has performed at Rust College Mississippi, Oregon State University, Ferris State University, Michigan, Dallas Center for Spiritual Living, Unity Church Nashville, Innerlight Ministries Soquel, Huntington Beach Church of Religious Science, The MLK West Side Coalition and St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood. He was invited to Washington D.C. to speak at the Dr. King Memorial Dedication celebrations where he spoke at the Convention Center, the King Memorial and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Gerald has spoken at Guidance Church Los Angeles, Compton Senior Citizens, The California African American Museum for Assemblyman Mike Davis, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The University of Utah, Dallas Black Academy of Arts & Letters, Greater Framingham Church Massachusetts, Salt Lake City Center for Spiritual Living, United Nations Council in Claremont, Greater Phillips CME in Compton, Wichita State University in Kansas, Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, Temple of Light in Lake Forest, New Prospect Baptist Church Los Angeles, Sylmar High School, Campbell Hall School, West L.A. College, Topanga Library opening, celebrations in Culver City, Campbell Hall School, Pepperdine University, Terminal Island Correctional Facility, Neutrogena Corporation and The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, CA, just to name a few.
Mr. Rivers has dedicated his life's work to keeping alive the spirit and inspiration of the late great Dr. King through his awe inspiring renditions. We know the messages of Dr. King are as relevant right now as they were over 50 years ago and Gerald's passionate renditions dramatically bring them to life and remind us all of these timely and universal words.
He has committed to memory, verbatim over 20 of Dr. King's speeches in their entirety. However, one of Gerald's unique gifts is his ability to combine several of these speeches which flow seamlessly together to support a specific theme. As a result of years of study, Gerald was inspired to create a One Man Show called "What Do You Dream Of?" The show highlights Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech and culminates with "The American Dream" speech a lesser known version which truly speaks to world peace, unity and brotherhood. This show tours across the US.
Sitting in an audience listening to Gerald literally become Martin Luther King Jr. is an experience everyone must have at least once in their lifetime. To hear these words and have them delivered with such passion and urgency, propels the listener to a higher level of consciousness. He speaks to that part of us that says "Stand up, do what you know is right, take action now!" The lives of everyone who hear Gerald speak are truly altered in the most deep and profound way.
This connection with Dr. King has led him to a life of service working with young people of all ages in schools, prisons, detention facilities both in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Gerald particularly enjoys his work in the schools, homeless shelters, senior citizen facilities, after school programs, violence prevention and conflict resolution in the community.
Gerald is passionate about keeping Dr. King's messages alive in our thoughts and actions on a daily basis......"Now is the time.... and the time is always right to do right."