John Slade is a professional actor, director, teacher, and song maker.


He had some exciting years in Los Angeles where his wife Betsy and sons Demian and Max were also film actors. John fronted a rock band in the 1980s, acted in plays at The Odyssey and the Mark Taper Forum, played an array of bad guys, cops and doctors on TV during the “L.A. Law / Hill Street Blues” era, and supporting roles in movies including Titanic and L.A. Confidential.


In 2001 he began life anew with a second marriage (to actress Laurie Walters) and a new job as theatre and American literature teacher at Nordhoff High School in Ojai. Loving best helping kids find their own voices, he now volunteers as a coach and advisor. John retired in 2012 to pursue his dream project, a solo play-with-music called “Whitman Sings”.


To learn more, visit

Walt Whitman

Using a great author’s own words in the tradition of “Mark Twain Tonight” and Emily Dickinson in “Belle of Amherst,” actor/singer John Slade embodies another titan in American literature, Walt Whitman. Twain was the funniest; Dickinson the wittiest; but Whitman was the most inspiring. His times were more divided than our own, but he never lost his faith in America, in life, and the possibility of things getting better.

In his youth he wanted to be an orator, like Daniel Webster, and to “sing” his poems like opera diva Marietta Alboni. Whitman never had a chance to fulfill that dream. Now he’s back to sing, chant, and rap his amazingly modern world view, preaching from the Gospel According to Walt.


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Walt Whitman






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  • UC Berkeley – Berkeley, CA • October 9



  • Elgin Community College – Elgin, IL • October 14 & 15

      Performance and Residency

  • Arts Midwest – Milwaukee, WI • September 13 @ 9:15 p.m.

      Hilton Milwaukee, Wright-A, booth 202

  • Western Arts Alliance – Los Angeles, CA • August 30 @ 7:00 p.m.

      Marriott at LA Live, Salon J, booth 124

  • Metropolitan Playhouse – New York City • January 14~23
  • APAP/ NY Hilton Midtown – New York City • January 15~17


  • Laguna Playhouse – Laguna Beach, CA • November 21-22
  • Arts Midwest – Kansas City, MO • September 9
  • Shakespeare Orange County – Garden Grove, CA • August 23 & 30
  • Unitarian Universalist Church – Ventura, California • June 28
  • North Carolina Presenters – Cary, NC • June 15-17

Send a message to John:


To book or inquire, contact Shantel

Dow Artists, Inc.,

tel. (641) 931-6777 email:

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