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Danny Hoch

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Subject: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, Taking Chance, Hip-hop theater, November 23
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Danny Hoch

Danny Hoch
Hoch on the set of His & Hers
Born (1970-11-23) November 23, 1970
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Occupation actor, writer, director
Years active 1996-present

Danny Hoch (born November 23, 1970) is an American writer, director and performance artist. He has acted in larger roles in independent and art house movies and had a few small roles in mainstream Hollywood films, with increasing exposure as in 2007's We Own the Night. He is best known for his one man shows, which he would like to be considered theatre rather than performance art.


Two of his three one-man-shows, Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop and Some People, were published together in 1998. In both pieces he explores the multi-cultural (and multi-lingual) New York he grew up in, providing adept monologues in the languages of the people, Cuban Spanish, Bronx Dominican Spanish or Nuyorican, Jamaican Patois or Trinidadian English.

A prevailing theme in Hoch's work, within its spectrum of unification and deep similarities under superficial differences, is the power of hip hop. Naive or street-wise white youth believing or dreaming that they are black, African-American kids dreaming of making it as a rapper, a Cuban street vendor's love of Snoop Dogg.

Some People followed his first endeavor, Pot Melting, and was broadcast on HBO in the mid-90's, which granted Hoch more national exposure, allowing him to tour more cities to greater crowds. Hoch founded the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2000. Together, his three plays have won many awards, including two Obie Awards, a Sundance Writers Fellowship and the CalArts' Alpert Awards in the Arts in Theatre. In 2010 he won a Fellow award granted by United States Artists.[1]

In 2008 Hoch's solo show Taking Over addresses the issue of social imbalance as viewed by people who are pushed out by gentrification in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[2]

In late 2011 to early 2012, Hoch appeared in Ethan Coen's one-act play "Talking Cure" presented as part of Relatively Speaking.

Appearances in other media

Like the subject of most of Hoch's monologues, his writings often examine topics in hip hop, race and class and he has been published in The Village Voice, New York Times, Harper's, and The Nation.

He has been featured on HBO's Def Poetry, in addition to his Some People being broadcast on that station. The film version of Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop has recently been released on DVD.

Hoch was cast in a guest role on a 1995 episode of Seinfeld, (season seven, "The Pool Guy"), but he objected to what he felt was ethnic stereotyping in the way his Hispanic character was written and tried to convince Jerry Seinfeld to change things. Hoch was eventually re-cast with another actor.[3]

He is also known for writing Whiteboyz, a limited-released 1999 film directed by Marc Levin in which Hoch also stars with Mark Webber and Dash Mihok as three white Iowa teenagers who long for a gangsta rap life. The film also stars Piper Perabo and Eugene Byrd and rappers as luminous as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Big Pun, Fat Joe, dead prez, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh.

Danny Hoch was part of Robert Small's MTV Unplugged Spoken Word series.


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Safe Julius Barkow Also starring Jason Statham
2011 Violet & Daisy Man #4
2011 Nurse Jackie Mr. Digby Television series; episode ...Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test
2010 Blue Bloods Billy Leo Television series; episode Officer Down
2010 Henry's Crime Joe Also starring Keanu Reeves
2009 Taking Chance TSA Agent Also starring Kevin Bacon
2007 We Own the Night Jumbo Falsetti Also starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg
2007 Lucky You Bobby Basketball Also starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore
2007 Blackbird Pinchback Also starring Michael Shannon
2007 Bam Bam and Celeste Neo-Nazi
2006 Wyclef Jean in America Television series; writer
2005 War of the Worlds Intersection Guy Cop Directed by Steven Spielberg
2003 American Splendor Marty Also starring Paul Giamatti
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kracker Television series; episode Soulless
2003 The Other Shoe Abraham
2003 Washington Heights Mickey Award-winning independent film [4]
2001 Black Hawk Down Spc. Dominick Pilla Directed by Ridley Scott
2001 Prison Song Harris Also starring Q-Tip
2001 3 A.M. Father
2000 Bamboozled Timmi Hillnigger Directed by Spike Lee
2000 Jails, Hospitals, & Hip--Hop Writer, Director
1999 Whiteboyz Flip Also writer
1998 The Thin Red Line Pvt. Carni Directed by Terrence Malick
1997 SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground Edward (segment "Honey-Getter") Made-for-television film
1997 His and Hers Lenny Also starring Liev Schreiber
1996 Sureshot Also starring Mekhi Phifer


  1. ^ United States Artists Official Website
  2. ^ Cole, Williams (November 2008). "The Mea Culpa of Gentrification: Danny Hoch in conversation with Williams Cole". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  3. ^ *"Season 7 DVD features at Seinfeld’s Official Site". Sony Pictures. Retrieved March 20, 2008. 
  4. ^

Further reading

  • Robert Torre: 'Hoch, Danny (1970-)', Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature, edited by Tarshia L. Stanley, Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press (2009),121-122.

External links

  • Official website
  • Danny Hoch at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Hip Hop Theater Festival's Official Site
  • The CalArts Award Official Site
  • Hoch's account of the Seinfeld experience
  • Interview with Danny Hoch (MP3 link) on The Sound of Young America
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