Michael Cortez was born December 14th 1978 on the Southeast side of Chicago, Illinois. His introduction to the stage was made under the watchful eye of this godfather, who dutifully brought him to see musicals on the city's North side.In his sophomore year of high school, Michael made his transition from fan to full-fledged actor. He first stepped on to the stage as Chino in West Side Story, and has been dedicated to the craft ever since.Michael spent his nights singing and dancing with numerous theater troupes on the South side. All the while, taking up independent studies in the evenings, honing his craft and pursuing his big dream.In the spring of 2002, Michael landed a lead role in the award winning independent film On the Downlow, where he portrayed a South side Chicago gang member grappling with his sexuality. Three years later, he moved to New York City to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.While in New York City, Michael was an active participant in the theater scene.