“My biggest hurdle in the entertainment business has been getting stereotyped into certain roles because of my height and size. ”
What gave you the desire to be an actor and model?
My desire to be an actor/model came right after my pro basketball career ended. I was in a sheer state of depression from my career being over, and my agent called me out of the blue and said that a modeling scout had contacted him about me and I’m like, ‘Why?’ My agent just said they saw my basketball profile posted online. They liked my look and said that I have a very marketable look and could be successful as a model. So I said, ‘OK, Why not?’ Let’s give it a try. And, they set up a photoshoot for me a week later. The pictures came out to be incredible. They start shopping me for work. The next thing you know I was booking a lot of print jobs all over the country for brands like Nike, Gatorade, numerous clothing lines, cologne ads, sports ads, etc. And, that became my new love, my new job. And as far as acting, I kind of stumbled into it by accident. I was tagging a long with a friend of mine who was an actor. He was going to his acting class one day. I was sitting in the back watching him do his thing in class and the acting coach asked me to participate so I did. And, I completely fell in love with it at that moment and decided to start pursuing it full time. I caught the acting bug from that moment on.
What happened that made you realize that you have an actual chance at being a successful actor/model?
The thing that made me realize that I have an actual chance of being successful as a model was when I started immediately booking jobs on a consistent basis, all over the country, for so many different brands. I was really building a name for myself as a working model and it was fun, and easy. I was making money doing something that I had fell in love with which made it all the more satisfying.
And, the thing that made me realize that I have an actual chance of being successful as an actor is the moment that I realized that I was going to put my all into it. I was going to go extremely hard and put 110 percent into it. I fell in love with the art. It wasn’t about the money and fame and all of that. I really loved putting on a mask, if that makes sense. I enjoy becoming someone else. I enjoy the experience of taking on another person’s persona, characteristics, body language, speech, etc. It just gives me such a rush and its something that I plan on doing for the rest of my life.
The entertainment industry is tough. What keeps you motivated?
Yes, the entertainment industry is definitely tough and you have to have very, very tough skin in this business. You have to be able to accept the word ‘no’ way more than you will ever hear the word ‘yes.’ I tell people all the time that this is by far the toughest industry I think that anyone could be in. If you are not willing to come in and work your a** off constantly, daily, consistently, then you will not survive in this industry. What keeps me motivated is having the ability to continue to go above and beyond. The ability to keep challenging yourself to get better and better than the last performance. The ability to test your own limits and see how far one is willing to go to completely take on another being. It’s almost like an obsession or an addiction.
What acting roles have you landed lately?
The acting roles I have landed lately has been on the popular TV Show “Devious Maids” as a SWAT team commander. Also on the new TV Series on TVOne “Born Again Virgin” as the character Omari, which happens to be a retired NBA player, go figure. Also I have a film coming out this fall titled “Rated Atl” in which I star in as a retired gang banger that is brought back into the gang-banging lifestyle by an old friend but things get quite interesting. Being released this fall is “The Hills” which I play a security guard at a prison. I’m about to start shooting another project in which I am producing and starring in called “League of Distinguished Gentlemen” this fall. I’m starring in and co-producing called “It’s A Dirty Game,” which shoots this fall. And, my team and I are working on quite a few other projects as well in the development stages.
What has been your biggest hurdle in the entertainment business?
My biggest hurdle in the entertainment business has been getting stereotyped into certain roles because of my height and size. I’m not a small person, in which 90 percent of actors in movies are. I tend to tower over a lot of actors. I get called in for a lot of security guard roles or a role as a bouncer. I may get lucky and get an athlete role at times. But I see myself as being a very diverse actor that can pretty much take on any given character that is available because as Will Smith once said, “I have an absolute sick work ethic.” And, I will do whatever is necessary to bring out the most believable character that I am playing or auditioning for.
What has been your most proud accomplishment?
My most proudest accomplishment has been honestly to still be in the game. To still be in this industry after being told so many times that I wouldn’t make it. Or I wouldn’t be successful, people telling me to give it up over and over and over because I’m too tall, or I’m too big and I will never get work or whatever. I’m just still proud to still be here on this day with over 60 film/TV credits to my name and with a lot more movie magic to happen because I’m still young, still hungry, and I still want this as bad as when I first started off. That passion and fire is still burning because I strive to be the absolute best in this industry and whatever else God has for me. And believe me, I guarantee you that you will see my name on the big screen very soon in movie theaters worldwide.
Outside of the entertainment world, you have committed yourself to help charities. Please tell us about the organization and event.
Yes, I do a lot of charity work outside of the entertainment world. I do a lot of volunteer work at Feed the Homeless shelters and providing food, toiletries, etc for them and I also work with a non-profit organization called Twin of A Kind in which they work with the youth of today in anti-bullying, instilling self-esteem, self-empowerment into these kids. There are so many kids out there that feel unloved, unwanted and feel like they have nothing or nobody that cares and its up to us to show them that yes, we are here and we care and we are going to do whatever it takes to help you succeed in life. Right now, we have a Feed The Homeless event scheduled for Labor Day in Atlanta in which we will be serving over 150 homeless people hot meals, donating clothes, gifts, entertainment, motivational speaking and a lot of other things for them because we genuinely care about the condition that this world is in and we want to do our part in making this world a better place.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years, I see myself pretty much as a household name. I see my name in lights. I see myself on the main stage, the big screen, doing the biggest blockbuster films, speaking to and encouraging, inspiring and motivating multitudes of people to go after their dreams and to never give up. I see myself having and owning several businesses all over the world, both national and international. And, I see myself continuing to be a loving husband and father and being the best man that God has made me to be.