Growing up, Kevin Maynard was more interested in football than the arts, and thought he might someday go pro. “But what they don’t tell you in Junior Football League is that as you get older, it becomes less about your enjoyment and more about winning,” he explains. After quitting football in the eighth grade, he started doing theatre to fill the void.
He went on to attend Western Illinois University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA, managed the campus box office, and ran a student organization tasked with bringing entertainment to the community—skills that would prove essential in the years to come. He also met his future wife, Lily Blouin, and the couple married in a Peter Pan-themed wedding. When Maynard became executive director of Galesburg’s Orpheum Theatre in 2013, it was on the brink of closing. Five years later, the theatre is thriving once again—a turnaround he describes as his greatest achievement.
- Person who’s had the greatest impact on my life: My father, Ron Maynard. Both of my parents worked hard to make sure we didn’t “miss out” when we were younger, but I know my father made lots of sacrifices to ensure that. He is also responsible for my drive, work ethic and honesty.
- Words to live by: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” —President Harry S. Truman
- Famous person I’d like to meet: Terry Crews. This may seem like an odd choice, but he is fascinating and inspiring: went to art school, played football in college and professionally (while selling his artwork to teammates), became an actor and recently designed his own furniture line. Check out the Lilypad chair!
- Favorite journey: My relationship with my wife. Everyone says marriage is hard because people and circumstances change over time, but it can be a lot of fun figuring those things out together. As time goes on, we get better at communicating and navigating life. It’s pretty cool.
- Quirky habit: Before a performance or speaking engagement, I use rap music to help me enunciate. If I can effectively communicate all the words from Tech N9ne’s “Speedom,” speaking at a regular pace will be easy!
- Favorite sport: I love racquetball. I’m not the best player, but I have lots of fun playing. Need a partner? Call me!
- What app can’t you live without? “The Rock Clock” from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He wakes me up daily and it is effective.
- What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day? With a good craft beer, preferably an IPA, or a good scotch. My current go-to is the Auchentoshan Three Wood.
- Secret ambition: I secretly want to run the National Endowment for the Arts someday.
- If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? Can I say me? I think I would be good at it and I’ve always wanted to be the star of a feature film. If not, I’m hoping for John Krasinski. a&s