QC native Curtis Lewis overcomes fear to write traveling play

The first stop for Beauty Inside & Out is in Davenport

DAVENPORT, Iowa - There's a traveling play in town this weekend. It's called Beauty Inside & Out, and it was written by Quad Cities native Curtis Lewis, who overcame the odds to become an actor, director, and now, he owns his own theatre company called Journey Live Production. 
 
Lewis says when he was younger, people would always tell him how quiet he was, and how shy he was. He said for a while, he believed them, but then one day, he realized he didn't have to let other people define him, and he turned his fear into something productive: Play writing.
 
"I always used those little negative things, as motivations. It gave me growth," Lewis said. 
 
Lewis started writing plays for his church, which led him to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he studied theatre. He produced his first play in 2007. 
 
He also wrote a book titled, Fear Saved My Life, 10 Ways to Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Distractions, which comes out next month. 
 
"Oh, okay I've got this fear, let me use that fear, and let it become my story, so I've written a book called Fear Saved My Life, 10 Ways to Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Distractions, and it's part of my journey, and I'm sharing stories where mentors came into my life and encouraged me, and said, 'Never give up,'" Lewis said. 
 
His latest play. Beauty Inside & Out, follows the stories of people from all different walks of life: A model, a store owner, an aspiring beautician, and a bum who all demonstrate how to find the beauty in life.The play runs at the Davenport Junior Theatre Friday and Saturday only.
 
"I hope they just see that it's something deep within, that the beauty is really deep within too. It's not only about the outer. It's also within too," said Chenelle Ross, Curtis' sister, who plays Rachel in the production. 
 
"I hope it inspires a lot of people, Just because plays are something that not a lot of people interact with, like a lot of people aren't too fond of going to plays, and everything like that, but it's definitely something strong." said Alex Ross, Curtis' brother-in-law, who plays Timmy in the production. 
 
Beauty Inside & Out tells the story of beauty from different perspectives. Curtis himself plays a character in the production.
 
"Mr. Ernest, which I play, he's a bum. The other character, she's a model, and their lives, they intertwine with each other, and so it's centered around happiness," Lewis said. 
 
Beauty Inside & Out will be at the Davenport Junior Theatre Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Next, it travels to St. Louis. 
If you want to buy tickets for the show in advance, visit journeyliveproduction.com, where you can also pre-order Fear Saved My Life
 

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