Philipé “Philly” Weeden is an award-winning playwright from Cleveland. He has produced several stage plays since 2012 including “If You Knew” (a trilogy), “God’s Gift To Women,” “Standing in the Need,” produced a film, If You Knew Better, You’d Do Better and has written two books (REALationship Breakdown Philly Style: Based on Real Life Experiences and The Black Man’s Guide: If You Knew Better, You’d Do Better). His three-minutes-older twin brother, Phillip “Phil” Weeden, is the founder of the smash hit cardio step class Xtreme Hip Hop with Phil.
Rolling out recently caught up with the identical pair who’ve curated this fascinating concept, the #WeedenWeekend. They’ve managed to team up for a tour while staying in their own professional lanes. Philly is bringing his current stage play Soulmate? A True Love Story to Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at 7 p.m., which will be followed by Phillip’s Xtreme Hip Hop movement on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at 2 p.m.
Atlanta’s own Latrice Pace from the Anointed Pace Sisters will make a special guest appearance in Soulmate. Soulmate stars actress and singer Taral Hicks (Belly) as Sabrina and singer and songwriter Alvin Frazier as William. William and Sabrina meet in high school and for them it’s love at first sight but their paths in life lead them to be separated. By sheer coincidence or as some call it fate, they are reunited. As their union together grows so does the urge for Sabrina to tell William a life-altering secret.
Atlanta is the fifth stop on the love train tour that has already hit Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, selling out venues. Tickets are now on sale for $21.99 online at www.phillyweeden.com. Get your tickets to the fitness event via ticketleap.com.
Here’s more insight on the dynamic Weeden duo.
While the Weeden brothers didn’t admire any superheroes growing up, they identify their maternal grandmother, Margaret Johnson, as their heroine.
Phillip ‘Phil’ Weeden: My grandmother is the one who impacted us. She really made us strong and really believe in what we believe in.
Philipé “Philly” Weeden: One time, when I was coming home from school, she met me at the back stairs and told me she knew who I was because I always stood up tall as I walked.
Phil: She was very stern with me because I was a troubled teenager. She helped me keep my head on straight.
Favorite subject in school?
Philly: German and mathematics. I had a choice between German and Spanish. I didn’t choose Spanish because everyone was doing it. Looking back at it now, I would have benefited more from Spanish.I was in the Army. When I returned from Iraq, I traveled through an airport in Germany and it was the only time I used the language … a good 13 to 14 years later.
How did you come up with this idea to present your talents in this manner while operating on different platforms?
Philly: I was in a new relationship at the time and following a divorce. I used my status updates on Facebook as a tool to speak about love, relationships and heartaches. People kept commenting and commanding me to write a book. I finally did it and the spinoff was plays and a movie.
Phil: I entered the fitness world as a bodybuilder. I did two shows. After that, I started personal training. Five years later, I opened a facility … a fitness center. My step aerobics instructor quit. I had to step up and teach the class using old-school hip-hop music.
Where do you see your respective brands in the next couple of years?
Philly: I want to be a household name internationally. I want to impact this nation with my gift.
Phil: I am a household name. I am all over YouTube. I am touring from state to state. My vision for the next five years is to certify trainers so my program can be taught by others.
Would you agree that social media has had a major impact on your career trajectory?
Phil: When Instagram started, I could only showcase 15-second videos, which wasn’t a lot of time. Once I created a new routine, which was longer than 15 seconds, I uploaded it to Facebook and it went viral. Friends and fans kept encouraging me.
Philly: Social media has definitely helped. I would add that my consistency has kept my name in people’s mouth.
What makes your bond special?
Phil: One, we’re twins. Two, we raised each other to become who we are right now. We stand behind each other 100 percent. Our support system is strong between each other. I expressed to him that I only wanted to open the gym with him, because he was the only person I trusted. He has the business knowledge. I needed his expertise. People says it’s hard to run a business when family is involved but we don’t see it like that. We have fun. We don’t bicker. We see eye to eye on everything. When we have a disagreement, we don’t tell anyone else. It doesn’t last long. We get over it.