Martin Dorsey wanted to become an actor and moved out to Las Vegas for college in hopes of scoring a couple of gigs after he graduated.
Dorsey’s father, Rory, of Lake View, said that his 20-year-old son could have made it in Hollywood.
“When you see his smile, you’ll know what I’m talking about,” his father said.
But Martin Dorsey won’t have a chance to fulfill those dreams. On Wednesday evening, he and some friends went swimming at Lake Mojave in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area outside of Las Vegas.
A current swept Martin Dorsey under the water, officials said, and bystanders who pulled him out said they could not find a pulse and that he was not breathing. Paramedics were called as someone performed CPR on Martin, officials said, adding that park rangers also provided advanced emergency medical care.
But despite their efforts, Dorsey died.
His father said his son would have turned 21 two days later.
“It was the hardest day we’ve had with this. … We had plans to go see the Batman movie. So to wake up and see that massacre didn’t make things any better,” his father said, referring to the shooting at an Aurora, Colo. theater that killed 12 people.
Martin Dorsey grew up on the Far South Side and attended Columbia College Chicago for two years before heading out to Las Vegas, Rory said.
“He enjoyed his time out there,” his father said, adding that Martin planned on returning to Chicago after he gained experience from working on productions in Las Vegas.
His father said his son always displayed a knack for showmanship. When he graduated kindergarten, Martin said he was going to sing a “children’s song” during a ceremony, his father said.
The boy instead sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.”
“It was like he was telling me he got his wings,” his father said.
A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Leak and Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave.