Emmanuel Elpenord

An actor's memories of growing up in Sea Rise apartments and a souvenir of the Wonder Wheel

Emmanuel Elpenord
Interview Date:
June 10, 2020


Born in Brooklyn in 1988, Emmanuel Elpenord is an actor who grew up in the Sea Rise apartments in Coney Island's West End. He describes the unique design of the high rise building, where he played games with boys from his floor on the terrace outside their apartments and they had rivalries with the boys who lived on other floors. The kids on his floor were a multicultural group: Puerto Rican, Polish, Nigerian, African-American, Russian, Dominican and Haitian, recalls Emmanuel, whose parents emigrated from Haiti and still reside in Sea Rise.

A magna cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College with a BFA in Acting, BA in TV/Radio Production, and BFA in Creative Writing,  Emmanuel has performed as Othello and Oberon in Shakespeare in Bryant Park and as a puppeteer in Off Broadway,and national and international tours of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  He recalls auditioning for Luna Park's Nights of Horror Halloween event in 2012, in which he was cast as the Devil. "I still treasure the experience as like my little badge of carnydom in having worked at Coney Island," says Emmanuel. "I'm one of the freaks too."