Celebrities like Roger Bobb and actress Demetria McKinney
defy the popular but erroneous perception of Hollywood
celebrities as self-absorbed, neurotic and shallow individuals who spend more
time in the mirror than in the community. Bobb, the supervising producer for
all of Tyler Perry’s films, joined McKinney of “House of Payne” with Yung Dro,
Killer Mike and former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield in a star-studded panel,
“Creative Careers Panel Discussion,” to give insight to eager young college
students about how to carve out a successful career in music, arts,
entertainment and sports.
Put on by iNetwork, Inc.’s Rasheeda Jenkins and hosted by
radio personality Beyonce of 107.9 FM in Atlanta,
the august body of panelists dispensed invaluable instruction on how to get in
and thrive within the artistic career of their choice.
How important was education in helping you get to this stage of your entertainment careers?
Rapper Killer Mike:
Most people will never be an entertainer. But most people can study hard enough
and discipline themselves long enough to become lawyers. Most of the best
sports agents are associated with and are lawyers. Most record company owners — not the little owners, the big owners — are lawyers or [have a] law background.
Cannon Kent (S.E.
regional promotions manager, Atlantic Records): You can be a stylist, a
business manager. I mean managers make a lot of cake. Jason Jeter ain’t doing
bad is he? He’s a millionaire. … While I was in
college I had a video show that was on CAU TV. So, I think, in regards to my
career, going to Clark Atlanta was very integral in my progress as a
businesswoman in the industry.
What did you have to
sacrifice to arrive at this plateau in your careers?
Roger Bobb (supervising producer for Tyler Perry Studios): If you love what you do, and
you’re passionate about what you do, yeah there are things that you would want
to do, but you can’t. But I don’t really look at it as a sacrifice because to
me the biggest sacrifice is NOT doing what I love and NOT pursuing my
goals and my dreams. You know, I feel like I’m the most blessed man in America. I go
to work every day doing what I love to do and [I] get paid to do it.
What are your thoughts
about the age-old adage that ‘You are the company you keep?’
actress, dancer, singer, songwriter: I think you should have a good balance
of yes friends and no friends. Not everybody who say they are for you are for
you so you have to be a good judge of character from that standpoint.
Killer Mike: I’m
honestly where I am today because I went to Morehouse. I had a full arts scholarship
to Morris Brown but I had an academic [scholarship] to Morehouse. And I said I don’t want to
sit around and sell drugs. My first year there, I met a dude named Cee-Lo. We
were only two people from Atlanta.
It wasn’t cool to be from the South. Cee-Lo was cool and let me hear this new
group called OutKast. I said, ‘wow.’ That stuff was amazing. –terry shrophire