Born and raised Brooklynite, Lemon Andersen known as the American poet, spoken word artist and actor Lemon, is the son of Milagros “Mili” Quiñones from Puerto Rico and Peter Andersen, a Norwegian-American from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.Growing up in poverty, as a teenager Lemon experienced the successive deaths of his stepfather, father, and mother from complications of heroin abuse and AIDS, leaving him and his older brother orphaned and forced to fend for themselves. Lemon became involved in serious crime, but his growing compassion first for hip hop and then acting, and a succession of gifted mentors who recognized and nurtured his theatrical talent, resulted in his development into the powerful artist portrayed in County of Kings and Lemon. Today a much-lauded “wordsmith who thinks deeply about the sounds of syllables. Lemon Andersen’s writing and live performances have received widespread popular and critical acclaim. In his November 2011 Ted Youth Talk “Please don’t take my Air Jordans”.

In film, Lemon appeared in The Soloist (2009), directed by Joe Wright and starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx. He has shot four movies with Spike Lee including Sucker Free City (2004), She Hate Me (2004), Inside Man (2006) (appearing opposite Denzel Washington and Clive Owen), and Miracle at St. Anna (2008). More recently, he is featured in the internationally acclaimed documentary film Lemon screened in 2012-2013 at film festivals and performing arts centers across North America premiered on television as the fourth episode in America’s PBS’s Voices series on October 19, 2012.

Lemon Andersen’s theater credits include Slanguage, directed by Jo Bonney, The Ride at PS 122, and U at the Mark Taper Forum, as well as teaching Performance Art workshops at different colleges, universities and institutions including Harvard University, Princeton University, The University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Sing Sing Prison. He has recently starred in a touring solo show titled County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle, which was developed and produced through The American Place Theater’s Literature to Life program. Since its premier in 2009, performances have been staged to rave reviews at campuses and theaters across the U.S. and on three continents] This coming-of-age memoir, which mixes poetry and prose, was the grand prize winner in the 2010 New York Book Festival.

As a Baryshinkov Arts Center Resident Artist from November 26-December 1, 2012, Andersen worked with director Elise Thoron and sound designer Robert Kaplowitz on the score for his new play ToasT, focusing on African-American poetic narratives in the setting of Attica Prison at the time of the 1971 riots. ToasT was commissioned by the Sundance Institute and recently showed, as ToasT (Work in Progress), in Off-Broadway Under the Radar Festical at The Public Theater in New York.

Please don't take my Air Jordans

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