Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into acting.
My interest in the arts was birthed as child. As a child, it was the only thing that was as intriguing to me as sports, playing tag, or hanging out with family at birthdays, reunions, etc. I discovered early on as a younger brother what competition was about. Competing with my older brothers and younger sister, in swimming, basketball, football, and baseball, It lit a fire in me. One that would push me farther than I imagined. Ironically, it pushed me closer to the creative discipline. I realized that I was merely pushing my own imagination, my vision to write a short story, then perform it better than I did before. I came to understand that I was cultivating a gift. One in which I was only competing against my own abilities. There was admittedly a form of healthy balance. I believe it came from being raised by two strong, hard-working parents. So I grew up seeing my role models within my own house.
They empowered me and encouraged me to think about how I could improve aspects in my life rather than waiting for others to do it for me. Having that pedigree and foundation in the household was invaluable. My father’s relentless worth ethic and determination was something that resonated with me. I sought to apply it to whatever I could while making it my own. My Mother’s intellect, vision, and inherent ability to be as loving to a stranger, as she was her own, captured my heart. I’m forever grateful for these virtues. Early on in life, I stuck close to my younger sister and brothers. They became the guiding force in my decision to explore a less traditional path, coming out of Detroit in the early 90’s, I has experienced what being on both ends of the spectrum was like. Having all of my needs met and running towards my passions. While on the other hand, not having the essential resources to excel as a young writer. I found solace in spelling bees, math & chess tournaments while my sister (Aurea) followed suite.
The evening that My Mom and Auntie Esther took us to Toronto, to see “The Lion King”, live in theater, I knew that I wanted to take all that I had seen and learned, and become a practitioner of the arts. My sister started modeling, as I started to attend more drama classes in elementary and middle school. Those were our moments of excitement. Rather than revel in our misfortune, My parents kept us all working, attending sports camps, visiting family and traveling. No matter where I was, I kept the notebook my father gave me and continued to watch films.
Q: Who or what inspires you in your craft?
The evening that My Mom and Auntie drove us to Toronto, to see “The Lion King”, live in theater, I knew that I wanted to take all that I had seen and learned, and become a practitioner of the arts. I kept the notebook my father gave me and continued to watch films. I saw it as the most intricate, yet indisputable way for a young boy to foster his imagination. I want my work to proceed me. At the end of the day, my gift is to share all that I am. So I hope to spark humanity to harness what is inside of them. Needless to say, I’m enjoying the process!”
Q: What kind of change do you think YOUR voice can inspire?
I hope my voice reaches audiences that seek to do what hasn't been done before. I intend to advocate for artists who want to not only create; But further their knowledge of the entire filmmaking dynamic. Being a multifaceted will encourage many to seamlessly collaborate, without limits.
Q: Tell us about your experience working on PROWLER and what the film and its themes mean to you?
Working with Umar was an honor. His empathy, understanding, and compassion for humanity, is inspiring. He allowed me to be vulnerable, and trusted me enough to imbue what it feels like to be a black man in a society that attaches pre-determined labels. His forward vision and cultural awareness resonated with me from the moment we met. The entire process allowed me to be myself without filtering myself. Thank you!