York City government officials, economic-development pros and businesspeople are hoping to reinvent York through the talents of creative people. Allow us to introduce you to the folks who could be the key to unlocking York's future. Using video, photos and text, we're putting together a database of sorts, showcasing local artists of all stripes. Check out the other artists we've tracked down and featured. We call this section "I Art York."
The stage is probably not the first place Elijah Cross, a self-described "nerdy" introvert with a healthy dose of anxiety, expected to find comfort.
Yet, his many talents have delivered him exactly there.
Cross, 32, is a well-traveled California native whose childhood desire to discover an outlet for self-expression has earned him nearly every identity of a performing artist.
Cross is a singer, a songwriter, a musician, an actor, a magician and a comedian. He's also working on a book.
"As somebody who grew up not really knowing how to connect to people very well ... it's something I want to always be doing," Cross said. "It's not always just for the fun of it. It boils down to the fact that I feel I need to be doing this."
The York City resident said he considers music his primary focus, but his education in a performing-arts school exposed him to many other art forms.
His first job as a teenager, Cross said, was performing as a magician at private parties.
Cross grew up in a small city near Sacramento. After high school, he lived in states including New York, Georgia and Florida.
His wife is a York County native, and that's why he moved here three years ago.
"I'm staying, basically," Cross said. "My days of moving around, as often as I did, are pretty much behind me."
Cross said he's begun to connect with other local artists and perform in York venues.
The stage, he said, is "the one place I feel most like myself."
HOW HE WOULD IMPROVE YORK'S ART SCENE: "From my own experience, I have found that it can sometimes be frustrating to wait to hear from someone about booking" a gig, Cross said. "That can sometimes be painfully slow, and that can be scary to someone who's trying to make this their primary source of income."
WHERE TO FIND HIM: Cross will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7 at New Grounds Roasting Company, 248 W. Market St. The show will feature music, comedy and magic. Cross said he also frequents downtown open mics, including the Holy Hound Taproom, 57 W. Market St., and Maewyns, 110 N. George St.