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Q&A with Tim Paggi: Actor, Poet, Writer and Ghost Tour Guide

Actor, poet, & writer Tim Paggi - Photo by Arianne Teeple
Actor, poet, & writer Tim Paggi - Photo by Arianne Teeple
If you ask Tim Paggi what he does for a living, you’ll get more than one answer.

He’s applying to graduate school to study poetry. He acts. He writes plays. He is co-founder of the Baltimore Annex Theater, which still puts on performances though it shut its physical space last year. He leads tours for the Fells Point Ghost Tour. He also writes advertising copy.

But there are two things that unite all of these divergent interests: a love for Baltimore and public speaking. During a recent interview at a Charles Village cafe, he was quick to read aloud a recent Bmore Media column as though it were text for a speech.

The Vermont native moved to Baltimore in 2000 to attend Goucher College and now lives in the Seton Hill neighborhood with his dog Otto. While he tours the country for his acting, he loves Charm City most of all.

“This is my favorite city in the country if not the world,” Paggi, 29, says.

He sat down with Bmore Media recently to talk about his interest in theater, the supernatural and how the arts can boost a neighborhood.

Bmore Media (BM): What made you interested in leading ghost tours?

What drew me to apply would be my background in acting. It’s street performance and live interaction without the stage involved. It comes from an interest in speaking and communicating. It’s an art form that I’m always developing. It’s a process of getting to know yourself better and how you relate to others.

And I have a real interest in the unexplainable.

BM: How did you get that interest?

I’ve had many unexplainable experiences. Sometimes I just have this fanciful thought that there is more to reality than what we understand. That’s the question I always get on the tour “why are you a ghost tour guide?”

BM: Why do you like Baltimore?

It’s the arts scene. And I’m drawn toward conflict. I see the conflicts in Baltimore analogous to my own conflicts in a poetic sense. I find that makes it a very interesting place to live.

BM: Where have you acted?

I just finished my last Baltimore show of the “3 Penny Opera” at the Autograph Playhouse on 25th and Maryland. Earlier this year I was in a short play called “Bathtime is Fun Time.” I played a rubber ducky in that. It was for a company called Un Saddest Factory. I wrote a play called Baltinoctus. It’s based on a poem I wrote with the same name. I wanted to explore concepts of self and society.

BM: Tell me about the Annex Theater.

I met Evan Moritz who was interested in starting a theater company and together we set up our own theater in the Greenmount West neighborhood called the Annex Theater. It does take money to do theater. We had no budget so we had to make sets and costumes with what we could find.

BM: What sort of impact did the theater have on the area?

It was on the corner of Greenmount and Oliver in what is considered a “rough neighborhood." It was interesting how once we started, other groups were attracted to that building another cabaret space opened in that building and a lot more people became attracted to that area.

And with that interest we literally saw the birth of the City Arts building. It’s an artist residency building modeled to look like a much friendlier version of the Annex Building. I saw the immediate impact of the arts on neighborhoods because it brought people in who would otherwise never be in the neighborhood. All of a sudden there was foot traffic and the area had a desirability for people looking to get involved in the arts.

Bmore Media Managing Editor Julekha Dash loves theater, the Man/Woman sculpture near Penn Station, Argentina and ABC's new drama "Revenge."

Photos by Arianne Teeple
Actor, poet, writer Tim Paggi
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