Posts tagged with "acting"

Tyler Posey Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tyler Posey

By: Ally Brewster

Tyler Posey is a Santa Monica born, Santa Clarita raised actor and pop-punk/rock musician best known for his roles as Scott McCall on Teen Wolf and the lead role of Aidan the zombie-horror movie Alone (2020). In addition to his successful acting career, he’s been striving for an equally successful music career.

Throughout the last decade Posey has been in multiple bands, including Lost in Kostko (You’re Gonna Need A Towel [EP] 2011), PVMNTS (Better Days [EP] 2018), and Five North (Scumbag [EP] 2020). During the pandemic he made the decision to go solo with his next EP, enjoying the artistic freedom that came from being on your own. Posey has been working alongside the record label Big Noise Music Group, the same label his band Five North (Tyler Posey and Kyle Murphy) worked with, for his debut solo EP titled DRUGS.

Before those two singles for his debut EP, Tyler released the single “This Luv Sux” with artist’s Phem and Audio Chateau. “This Luv Sux” was his introduction to solo music, a song about a bad relationship, the alternative punk sound heard throughout the rest of his music.

DRUGS, to be released later this year, is the EP that is home to the two singles Posey has released so far this year, “Happy” and “Shut Up” (feat. Phem and Travis Barker). The two singles set up the tone and theme of the EP, which is a raw, honest story about Posey’s struggle with drugs and becoming sober in the form of pop-punk songs.

In the single “Happy,” during the second verse he sings, “Yeah, I know how to nod / Nodding, I’m half awake / With my eyes rolling back, can’t you tеll I’m okay?” Posey told NME that this is a reference to the “drug term called nodding out,” stating the verse is, “a very violent visual of somebody [who’s] really fucked up on drugs.” These types of experiences and feelings are what Posey is bringing to his debut EP, using as a way to explain his struggles and emotions.

Watch the “Happy” music video here.

This Fall Posey will join his fellow Big Noise artists Mod Sun and girlfriends on the Internet Killed the Rockstar Tour. The tour will travel to 15 cities around the US beginning September 5, 2021.

Internet Killed the Rockstar Tour Dates

Sun, SEP 5 – BottleRock Napa Valley 2021 – Napa County, CA [SOLD OUT]

Thu, SEP 9 – The Roxy Theatre – Los Angeles, CA [SOLD OUT]

Fri, SEP 10 – The Roxy Theatre – Los Angeles, CA [SOLD OUT]

Sat, SEP 11 – Popcon Retreat Festival 2021 – Las Vegas, NV

Tue, SEP 14 – Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN [SOLD OUT]

Thu, SEP 16 – House of Blues Cleveland – Cleveland, OH

Fri, SEP 17 – Park West – Chicago, IL

Sun, SEP 19 – Saint Andrews Hall – Detroit, MI

Tue, SEP 21 – The Fillmore Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA [SOLD OUT]

Wed, SEP 22 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA [SOLD OUT]

Thu, SEP 23 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY [SOLD OUT]

Sat, SEP 25 – Black Cat -Washington DC

Sun, SEP 26 – The Underground – Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

Thu, SEP 30 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

Sun, OCT 3 – South Side Music Hall – Dallas, TX

Buy tickets here.

Be on the lookout for Tyler Posey’s EP DRUGS that will be released later this year!

Billy Ray Cyrus via Adkins Publicity

Billy Ray Cyrus Signed by UTA

Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA has signed entertainment icon Billy Ray Cyrus for worldwide representation in all areas. Throughout his nearly three-decade career of Billboard chart success that put him in the same company as Carlos Santana and Louis Armstrong, Cyrus has achieved global success as a singer, songwriter, actor, producer and philanthropist.

Most recently, he celebrated the highest RIAA® 14x Diamond-certified song in recorded music history with Lil Nas X on the worldwide smash, “Old Town Road.”

When asked about his genre-bending approach to music, Cyrus recently shared, “My philosophy to making music is no limitations. No rules, no limits, no preconceived notions. Don’t try to think inside the box or outside the box, just think like there is no box.”

The critically and commercially acclaimed superstar has established himself as a household name across multiple areas of the entertainment landscape, including music, television, theater and more.

When one scopes out Cyrus’ trophy case, the awards are represented across all genres: GRAMMY® Awards, Billboard Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, MTV VMA Moonmen, Country Music Association Awards, American Music Awards and Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Juno Awards, among many other accolades.

The Flatwoods, KY native exploded onto the music scene when his first album, Some Gave All, debuted on the all-genre Billboard album chart at No. 1 and stayed there for a record-breaking 17 weeks in 1992. The lead single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” became a phenomenon and went multi-platinum. After “Achy Breaky Heart,” Cyrus followed up with back-to-back hits “It Could’ve Been Me,” “She’s Not Crying Anymore,” “Wher’m I Gonna Live When I Get Home?” and “Some Gave All.” Cyrus knocked himself out of the top Billboard position with his second No. 1 album, It Won’t Be The Last, featuring smash hits “In the Heart of a Woman,” “Words By Heart” and “Somebody New.” His success continued with dozens more singles that redefined country music.

Jeff Cehn image via Jodi Jackson at JJ Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine

Jeff Chen To Star in Plum Town

Talented Young Actor Jeff Chen Announces His Latest Staring Role in the Short Film “Plum Town.”

Talented young actor, Jeff Chen, is scheduled to star in the film short “Plum Town.” “Plum Town: is on *The Blacklist. Shooting is to begin in May 2021. “Plum Town” is a heartfelt story about reconciliation between a father and a son after years without seeing each other. Jeff loves his craft and always delivers amazing performances. He is super excited about this upcoming opportunity.

Jeff Chen hails from China. He moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to pursue his acting career. Since, he has made worked in film, television, and commercials. Jeff Chen comes many goodies in his acting tool-box– he is fluent in both English and Mandarin, has a bachelor’s d­­­egree from American University, and has a master’s degree from Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Jeff Chen has done scene study with The Ivana Chubbuck Studio. He has studied audition technique with the world-renowned Margie Haber, as well as Chris Holder.

Jeff Chen’s acting credits include commercials for NBA Chinese New Year, and Chevrolet.  His film credits include “Kiss of the Rabbit God,” a short film about a Chinese restaurant worker who falls in love with an ancient Chinese god. This god leads our hero on a journey of sexual awakening. The god is called Tu’er Shen (Rabbit God) who is an actual god from Chinese mythology who blesses and protects gay people. In this production, Chen played Shen. This film was directed by Andrew Thomas Huang.

In “Shanghai Sole”, Chen played a lawyer. “Shanghai Sole” presents a story about an American businessman who has to overcome culture, self-doubt and a toilet to close the deal of his life in Shanghai. This production is directed by Eli Stern.

In “I for I,” Chen played Jeremy, directed by Ash Coffelt. In “White Collar Lie,” Chen played Troy, directed by Rong Hou. “Almost American,” features Chen as Bruce, directed by Kunyou Lai, In “Home for Dinner”, as directed by Jiayu Liu, Chen he played Ken.

All of his various characters are thoroughly researched, and Chen brings a certain charismatic portrayal to everything he touches. Jeff says, “I find the character through the writing, every time I get a script, I look at something in my own experience that is relatable to the character, but each one has a large part of me wrapped up in it, you have to find it inside yourself, it’s a process”.

Jeff Chen has a huge heart, and he covets many charities. These charities include an NGO called Saving Promise which helps raise awareness for domestic violence. Chen feels strongly about the mission of Doctors without Borders, which he consistently supports. He is always thinking about giving back and wants to help anyone who is not as lucky as him.

Jeff Chen’s family means a lot to him. His beloved mother, a super successful businesswoman, carved the way for him to be confident, and to brush off any doubts and keep striving to the top.

Jeff Chen has got all of the goods, he is one of the most promising young actors in Hollywood. Jeff Chen’s time is now– don’t you want to be part of this phenomenon?

The Black List is an annual survey of the “most-liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced. The Black List comes out in December and has been released since 2005, by Franklin Leonard, a development executive who subsequently worked at Universal Pictures and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.

Jeff Chen spoke about this acting career:

How has your family inspired you and your acting?

My family actually discouraged me from pursuing acting. They are the typical Chinese parents, which means they want me to be a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. But since I was a kid, I loved entertaining them and make them laugh. The idea of being seen and heard inspired me to pursue this career.

Where do you see your career going in five years?

I want to have more on-screen presence in general. I want to do more films and explore roles that I haven’t gotten to play before. Also, I have always wanted to do a fun show that requires extremely good chemistry, like Friends or Modern Family. Doesn’t every actor want that though?

[Can you] talk about any directors you have worked with? 

I had the honor to work with Andrew Thomas Huang. He is known for his iconic visual style. Working with him on set is an eye-opening experience. He has a clear picture in his head and he communicates with me with trust. I enjoy[ed] every minute of working with him.

Where do you get your ideas for character development? 

Art imitates life. Observing people in real life just gives me so many resources to work with. I like observing people: watching how they walk, how they behave, how they talk. I also like to play with my imagination. I like to read the scripts and have the word stimulate my imagination. There are no rules of how to approach something. Usually, my instincts tell me what to do and I follow them.

What charities are you aligned with, and why? 

Years ago I worked for an NGO called Saving Promise. We helped raise awareness for Domestic Violence. I also donate to Doctors without Borders through my Amazon purchases. It’s not much, but every bit counts.

What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

I just finished working on a short film that’s adapted from a Black List script. I am also talking to Andrew for a possible collaboration on a feature film in the future.

Who are your biggest influences?

So many people have influenced me and it’s impossible to just pick out one. Great movies are the reason that I want to pursue an on-screen career. I admire directors such as Pedro Almodovar, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Wong Kai Wei, Ang Lee, etc. I look up to their work so much.

What advice would you give to a young actor starting out?

Listen and learn from all the teachers, and challenge what you’ve learned. You have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Most importantly, dare to fail.

Talk about your acting training–who have you trained with and why?

I am currently training under Margie Haber and Chris Holder at Ivana Chubbuck’s studio. Margie teaches me to use my imagination, and Chris teaches me to draw inspiration from my personal life.

How do you take care of yourself? [What’s] your health regime? 

Well I try to exercise as much as possible. I need physical activities to calm my mind.

If you could collaborate with another actor, who would it be?

Anya Taylor-Joy. I am a huge fan of Queen’s Gambit and her performance is hard to forget. I also love her work in the VVITCH and Split. Timothee Chalamet is another actor that I really want to work with.

What shows are on your DVR right now, and why?

I am finishing up Six Feet Under. The Sopranos and Handmaid’s Tale are also on my list.

Who are your favorite actors right now and why?

Well, there are just too many. Olivia Colman, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino…All these great actors just inspire me to be better. I love actors.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor? 

About when I was one years old, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I just loved to watch movies and I knew this is what I wanted to do.

What actor/actress did you admire as a child?

I didn’t really admire any actors or actresses when I was a kid but I did want to be friends with Emma Watson and the entire Harry Potter gang. I was such a fan of Harry Potter.

What types of characters would you like to play in the future?

I want to play a really bad, sexy villain. That could be really fun. I also want to play a young artist, a poet, a loner, rebel without cause. These are characters I would love to dive into.

What’s your fashion style?

I honestly don’t know what my fashion style is. I do care about what I wear, but I don’t know how to label it. I know what vibes or feelings I want to give out, and I dress accordingly.

What do you do to relax?

I do yoga and rock climb. I also love hanging out with my friends.

What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

Right now I am just focusing on my acting.

What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

Put yourself in others’ shoes more.

What would you be doing if you were not acting?

I think I would go to law school and be a lawyer. Or go back home to help my mom with her business.

What was your first memory of seeing great acting?

I remember watching “Cold Mountain” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” in high school. Renee Zellweger brought me into tears and Mr. Brando presented so much power through his performance.

What’s your favorite film, and why?

It’s impossible for me to pick one favorite film. Right off my head I can think of Chungking Express, Little Miss Sunshine, Brokeback Mountain, Toni Erdmann, Kill Bill, Amelie.

What are your first steps in taking on a new role?

I put on my detective’s glasses and look for all the information I could possibly find to help me live truthfully as the character. I want to know everything about them: social class, where did they grow up, what’s their physicality, etc.

What do you want to leave as your legacy?

Hopefully 50 years after I left this world, somebody will still watch my movies and go “hmm, I really believe him.”

Talk about your last 3 acting projects.

I just finished shooting for a short film called “The Plum Town”. It’s a heartfelt story about reconciliation between a father and a son after years without seeing each other. It’s adapted from the feature film script that was on the Black List.

Kiss of the Rabbit God” is a short film about a Chinese restaurant worker who falls in love with an ancient Chinese god. This god leads our hero on a journey of sexual awakening. The god is called Tu’er Shen (Rabbit God) who is an actual god from Chinese mythology who blesses and protects gay people.

“Shanghai Sole” is a story about an American businessman who has to overcome culture, self-doubt and a toilet to close the deal of his life in Shanghai.

How do you overcome challenges in your career?

Certainly there have been difficult times on this journey. At the end of the day, the love and passion for cinema just moves you forward. So you pick yourself up, dust off your shoulders, and move on.

Is there anything in your career that you wish you could do again?

I don’t really have any regrets. I do wish I could of come to LA earlier and had started this experience earlier.

What are your hobbies?

I like bouldering, hiking, and working out. I also love traveling. Karaoke is a big part of my life.

Fondest memory as a child with your family?

My mom is a strong businesswoman who has been busy with her business for the past 15 years. I don’t really get to spend a lot of time with her. When I was about 10 years old, she actually planned a one-day vacation for our family. We went to this amusement park for a day. I still smile every time I think about that trip.

Film festival illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 Magazine

Jenna Elfman QxA

Jenna Elfman Talks Marriage, Nuclear Disarmament & Fear the Walking Dead

By Allison Kugel

AMC’s hit series, Fear the Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic spin-off series of The Walking Dead– is now in the second half of its sixth season. Actress Jenna Elfman brings a tour de force performance as former ICU nurse and apocalypse survivor, June Dorie. Her character carries significant trauma, and Elfman plays each note to perfection amid a flawless ensemble cast.

What makes Jenna Elfman so interesting to watch on screen are her exotic blue eyes that dance wildly during her comedic roles, and simmer with intent during heavier, more dramatic onscreen moments.

Having come into our homes in the late 90s and early 2000s as spirited Dharma Finkelstein on the Chuck Lorre created sitcom, Dharma & Greg, and later in romantic comedy films like Keeping the Faith and EDtv, audiences got to know the funny, platinum blonde livewire that embodied younger Jenna Elfman. As Jenna puts it during our conversation, “young ingénue” roles were her specialty for many years. Whether playing opposite Matthew McConaughey or Ben Stiller, her characters were somebody’s wife or somebody’s girlfriend.

Jenna Elfman had yearned to tackle the kind of self-contained, multi-dimensional character work she now enjoys with her role in Fear the Walking Dead.

Allison Kugel: What parallels do you draw between 2020 and your apocalyptic show, Fear the Walking Dead?

Jenna Elfman: Good question. We really got to see what people do when their survival is threatened (laugh). You see the ones that tend to help, and you see the ones that tend to hoard, and everything in between. I think with the extreme example of what we do on Fear, which portrays a true apocalypse setting, it is an extreme version of the homeopathic dose we saw manifest amongst ourselves last year.

Allison Kugel: And your take on our current society and culture?

Jenna Elfman: Changing, and hopefully evolving…

Allison Kugel: What do you think the upside would be if we needed to rebuild our society from the ground up, like in Fear

Jenna Elfman: There is always a greater opportunity for harmony and tolerance, and a broader and enlightened sense of each other, and respect. I would always hope that as a culture changes, it would improve in those ways so that we could [collectively] expand our culture in a way that is safer and more fun to live within.

Allison Kugel: I first became aware of you years ago from your sitcom, Dharma and Greg. I remember seeing you in different settings, on red carpets, and thinking, “What’s the deal with this woman?  Why is she so happy?” I don’t know if that is your 24/7 being, or if that is what you portrayed publicly. But there is a lightness to you. Where does that come from?

Jenna Elfman: I love living life. I think life is fun and people are interesting, I have always been that way. I don’t know if it is my 24/7. I certainly move through all the human emotions like a normal person, but I do, as a general living condition, enjoy living life. Even the problems I tend to enjoy, because I like to try to solve them. You feel so kickass when you solve problems, and that’s part of the adventure and I enjoy that. I also genuinely enjoy and love people.

Allison Kugel: Did you want to take the role of June in Fear the Walking Dead to explore a darker, grittier side of yourself?  Is that what attracted you to this show?

Jenna Elfman: As an artist, I was craving a new opportunity to express myself in a different way. I love comedy! Comedy always comes from, to me, a sense of the tragic and the absurd. That comedy is a result of tragedy and exposing the humor of it. There is a certain kinetic rhythm to comedy which I love, but I was craving a change and I was craving a way to express myself as an artist, in a different way, and looking for that opportunity. Then Fear came along and offered me this great role, and it was exactly what I was craving. I also wanted to express myself in a more mature way than how I had been seen, previously. I felt the bulk of my career had been expressing myself kind of through a young ingenue’s viewpoint. Having aged a bit and lived life, and had so many experiences, I now wanted to express myself, artistically, through the viewpoint of a woman and bring that to my work.

Allison Kugel: I get that. This show is heavy and intense at times. Do you bring parts of it home with you?  

Jenna Elfman: I do not bring parts of it home. It is not a very mushy, psychological situation for me. When the cameras are rolling, I am June. All my preparation at home, spending hours working on the script, researching it, and working through the scenes prepares me for when the cameras are rolling so I can wholly and fully be that character. When they say cut, I’m back to Jenna. For me, the story lives in me as just that, a story. I am always contemplating the story and how I want to play tomorrow’s scenes as far as understanding my character more deeply. But I don’t bring the character home. I have too many hats to wear at home as it is, and that would make things way too difficult (laughs). You and I are both boy moms… and your son is very handsome by the way.

Allison Kugel: Aww, well, thank you. And your boys are so cute!

Jenna Elfman: And you know they want their mama’s attention, so when I’m home I kind of have to take off one hat and do that.

Allison Kugel: Is there a fellow actor who has given you great advice?

Jenna Elfman: Garret Dillahunt and Lennie James (Jenna’s castmates). When I first came on the show and I was in Lennie’s trailer, we were talking about this job on Fear and about the mythology of the storyline. He said, “What I’ve learned is, you can’t play the whole thing all at once. You cannot play the whole of the apocalypse, the whole of the mythology. It’s always there, but you can’t play all of that at once.” As an actor, getting to know this mythology and this universe I was in, that advice was very helpful to me. When we were working on episode five of season four, called “Laura,” where our characters meet and we were doing a scene on the back porch and he’s trying to get me to change my shoes and wear a more practical boot, my character is in a very self-protective zone and I said to him, “No, I’m fine.” Garret Dillahunt said, “Why don’t you just take your foot and slide that pair of shoes over and away from you?”  I was like, “Oh my God, that is brilliant!”  And so, I did that in the scene, and they left it in. I kind of just slide it away like, “No, thank you.”  I am learning from watching both of them, and I admire them a lot as actors.

Allison Kugel: What has been your greatest triumph, to date?  

Jenna Elfman: Bringing children into this world. I think that is a huge triumph, and the most rewarding endeavor I have ever tackled.

Allison Kugel: And what has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

Jenna Elfman: The greatest lesson that I have ultimately taken along my journey is that I do not, as a policy, make assumptions about people at all anymore. Until I have had ample time with them, and I have shared experiences with them where they define who they are to me. I do not make decisions based off rumor, hearsay, or things I’ve read. I refuse to, because it is almost always wrong, and you are shortchanging somebody. Also, people change and grow and learn. If I make a snap assumption and a decision about someone, that is prejudice. I am pre-judging somebody before I’ve ever met them and before they have had the opportunity to show me who they are.   So, I don’t do that at all anymore and I know that I have changed and grown, and I would certainly like others to give me the opportunity to show and be who I am through my current actions and behaviors. It is much more exciting to allow someone to show you who they are in the present moment, and then make decisions based off that.

Allison Kugel: Do you pray? And if so, who or what do you pray to? 

Jenna Elfman: I don’t pray per the literal definition, but I do like to observe life, dream, daydream about goals for myself and for the world, and then intend them. I like to grow myself mentally and spiritually as needed to help accomplish those dreams and make them come true for myself, for my family, and for others. I guess that is a form of praying, but it is not the commonly defined form of praying. I do like to dream and intend good things, and I am always intending good things for others. It makes me feel good to look at someone and hope and intend the best version of themselves into them. I find that to be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Allison Kugel: When you intend good things for others you tend to receive a lot more from the universe, which is something I have learned over time. When somebody has something that you may want for yourself and don’t yet have and you indulge in that “Ugh” feeling of negativity and lack, you are negating yourself and taking energy away from yourself.  

Jenna Elfman: You’re invalidating yourself.

Allison Kugel: Yes, one hundred percent. If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change? 

Jenna Elfman: I would have prevented the ability to make nuclear bombs. I would have tried to subvert that and used the atomic and nuclear knowledge and ability for other things, not for the destruction of mankind. So, if I could go back in time, I would have drawn a hard line in the sand on what they are allowed to do with that technology, and I would eradicate all nuclear arms from the face of the earth, as opposed to their ability to eradicate mankind from the face of the earth.

Allison Kugel: Damn, that’s a good one Jenna! I would have just said something like, “I’d try to prevent Tupac from getting shot (laugh)

Jenna Elfman: (Laugh) Well, that’s also true.

Allison Kugel: You and your husband just celebrated your 26th wedding anniversary. How do you get to twenty-six years?  What do you attribute it to?  

Jenna Elfman: I think there are three things. One, we started off as best friends and we are still best friends. That means we don’t keep secrets. We’re friends and we support each other. We don’t compete against each other, except for who’s more tired (laughs). That’s always a fun game.

Allison Kugel: (Laugh) Yup!

Jenna Elfman: That is really the only area of competition. It’s about friendship and humor. Humor has always been a big part of our relationship. We love to laugh and be silly, and we love to make each other laugh.

Allison Kugel: Were you platonic friends for a long time before you became a couple?

Jenna Elfman: I was 19 and he was 21, so the platonic-ness lasted maybe a month (laugh). Then we were boyfriend and girlfriend. The third thing, I would say, is communication. We talk everything through. Even if we are having a fight and feeling like, “I don’t want to talk to you.”   We’ll take a break to collective ourselves, but we always come back and talk it out. It’s not like we haven’t gone through trials and tribulations, it’s that we always communicate our way through it.  That is the only way you come to a solution or greater understanding with anything. No problem solves itself.  Communication is kind of the lube for problem solving, so you have to be able to communicate. The fact that we are friends and have that foundation and we are faithful to each other. We don’t betray each other. We don’t cheat on each other, we don’t fuck around, we really have kept that tight and clean and respectful.

Allison Kugel: You recently moved from California to Texas, where Fear the Walking Dead shoots? Do you miss L.A.?

Jenna Elfman: Yes, I used to commute to Austin every week or every two weeks where we film the show, and with Covid happening, that commuting was not going to be a reality anymore, and now that I’m homeschooling my kids, it was like, “Okay, why not?” Austin is a great city, the people are super friendly, and the food is outstanding. We found a great neighborhood in a cul-de-sac and everybody is so nice. I don’t miss L.A. right now because it had gotten pretty dark there. It feels kind of apocalyptic in L.A. right now. I grew up in L.A., I was born and raised there and it’s not the city I grew up in right now, but it will revive itself.

Allison Kugel: What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach? 

Jenna Elfman: I think there are so many facets to life. I feel like I am always learning and you kind of don’t know what you don’t know until you start to learn about it. Then you realize how much you don’t know. I think the benefit of our information age is how much you can learn, and how quickly you can learn it and increase your rate of knowledge. We can now access history and stories of mankind so easily. That has been one of the cool things about homeschooling my kids, is curating the stuff they are learning.

Allison Kugel: What do you think you are here to teach?

Jenna Elfman: I would hope to impact people by inspiring them to have a healthy curiosity about the world. I think to be curious about the world and life, and about other people. I hope I would inspire others to be curious and interested in life, and always [be] reaching into life and not backing away from it. Be brave, be interested, and don’t be scared to communicate.

Allison Kugel: I like that. What item still remains on your bucket list? 

Jenna Elfman: I really want to go to Greece. There was five years of my early education where I went to a Greek Orthodox school in our neighborhood, and we got to learn about Greek culture and religion. We learned the Greek language and I love Greek people so much. There is just something incredibly special to me about Greece, and I’ve always wanted to go to there to experience and fully immerse myself in that beautiful culture.

Allison Kugel: What would you still like to attempt in your career?

Jenna Elfman: I would like to continue the opportunity of character work.  That is what I love about acting so much, is the ability to live many lives in one lifetime through these characters. I am really kind of obsessed with the journey of acting and growing as an actor. That is really my jam right now. I love and will always do comedy, but I accomplished a lot in comedy. I’m on this new journey of becoming a dramatic actress and expanding my abilities in that way. I’m craving the opportunity to play more characters and to work with great artists to grow and learn from working with them.

Allison Kugel: Lastly, what is in store for your character June as this new season progresses.

Jenna Elfman: There are some big June stories coming. We are going to see this new strong but challenged side to her and she has more story to go through. I think viewers are really going to enjoy it.

Season 6B of Fear the Walking Dead is out now on AMC Network. Catch up on seasons 1 through 5 on Hulu. Follow Jenna Elfman on her website, Instagram and Twitter.

Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment and pop culture columnist and author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram and on her website.

*Photos Courtesy of AMC/Ryan Green, Ray Katchatorian

Gigi Vega illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rising Star Gigi Vega

360 Magazine had the opportunity to ask rising star, Gigi Vega, questions that her fans would want to know. Gigi Vega debuted her hit song “Mistletoe Kiss” taking the holiday music charts by storm. She went viral on TikTok with 10 million views and 15k videos. In addition to writing and producing, GiGi is a dancer and choreographer. Read on to learn more about Gigi!

GIGI VEGA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: 

1. How has your family inspired you and your music?

GV: I would always do little shows and auditions. My father is a jazz musician. He would play the piano, so I was always surrounded by music, and theater as well. 

2. What or who inspired your song “Watchu Tryna Do?”

GV: It just happened. Actually, had it for a while, but was finally able to come back to it. Originally, the lyrics were supposed to be “in the club”, instead of “in the crib”. But I had to make adjustments due to COVID 19

3. Talk about your producer on this song? 

GV: Jack London. He has worked with the Chainsmokers.

4. Where do you get your ideas for songwriting? 

GV: Melodies just come to me. Melodies come first for me. Lyrics come from everyday life experiences. I’ve always been into dancing and singing. It’s something that just clicked for me, but I got more into it once I started composing my own songs.

5. What charities are you aligned with and why? 

GV: Anti-bullying programs.

6. What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

GV: I will be in The Drone That Saved Christmas. Production begins in March. After that, I hope the COVID situation improves, so I can be touring.

7. Who are your biggest influences?

GV: Janet Jackson. Definitely into anyone who is super full out, and she is one of them.

8. What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

GV: Don’t let anyone steer you in the direction of what they want you to be – it is not worth it, ever.

9. Talk about your training as a triple threat, what do you do to stay on top? 

GV: Just take a look at my Music video, it is all there. Acting, dancing, singing. I have trained in all three disciplines since I was very young. My dance training was focused on modern dance, but I am schooled in all disciplines. I have always been on stage or behind the camera, so it is second nature.

10. How do you take care of your voice? 

GV: Regular training, like an athlete. Lots of lemon and pineapple juice, as well.

11. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

GV: Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Dancer/singer like I am. Janet – anyone who is full out, as mentioned before.

12. What is on your playlist right now?

GV: Omarion, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Pop Smoke, Jason Derulo.

13. Who are you currently watching on TikTok?

GV: Everything that comes across my feed.:)

14. When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? 

GV: Never thought about anything else. I was on stage from an early age. I made the move from stage to commercial work in my teens. Once I learned how to write solid music, I knew I wanted to record music. It was a process. I spent hundreds of hours in the studio as a kid.

15. What artist did you admire as a child?

 GV: I loved watching Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson is my absolute favorite.

16. Do you play any instruments? 

GV: I pluck out notes on the piano and guitar to help my melodies. Had many lessons and music theory, but I won’t be accompanying myself just yet.

17. What’s your fashion style?

GV: I like more tropical vibes, or casual, put-together vibes, but I always like to switch it up. I can be glam or a Tomboy. Get a girl who can do both.

18. What do you do to relax?

GV: I love fashion, always putting fashion pieces together. I learned to sew as a child, went to classes and camps for years. I was one of those kids who got a new shirt, and then I would go to my room and change the shape and design. I love listening to music and writing. Honestly, writing is my happy space.

19. What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

GV: I am very into sneakers and shoes. I have so many different designs in my head that need to come out.

20. What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

GV: Less judgment of others, especially strangers.

Image courtesy of Jodi Jackson
Eddie Murphy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eddie Murphy to Receive Distinguished Artisan Award

Eddie Murphy to Receive Distinguished Artisan Award at 8th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards

Awards to be presented on April 3, 2021

Award-winning actor Eddie Murphy, best known for his work in the films Coming to America, Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor and Dreamgirls, among many others, will receive this year’s Distinguished Artisan Award at the 8th Annual  Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706), celebrating the prolific spectrum of his versatile four-decade acting career on screen and television. Presenting the Distinguished Artisan Award to Murphy will be Arsenio Hall, star of Murphy’s upcoming movie Coming 2 America. For registration and information visit this website.

The reimagined awards gala, honoring outstanding achievements of both make-up artists and hair stylists in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater, will be held virtually on Saturday, April 3, 2021.  The announcement was made today by Julie Socash, President of IATSE Local 706.

“From The Nutty Professor to Prince Akeem, Eddie Murphy is a legendary actor whose myriad of characters live in our hearts forever. He has expertly created memorable personalities in numerous award winning films, often portraying multiple characters in the same film. This award recognizes all the hours that he has spent in the make-up chair collaborating with our talented and innovative make-up artists and hair stylists, and we celebrate these great relationships and Eddie’s enormous talents,” said Socash.

Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful Black actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industry’s top five box-office performers overall. At the tender age of 59, Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care.

Murphy was most recently seen portraying the legendary underground comic personality Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name from Netflix, a performance which garnered him widespread critical acclaim as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture —Musical/Comedy and a Critics Choice Association nomination for Best Actor. He also recently received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his return to his comedy alma mater, Saturday Night Live.

In 2007, Murphy received rave reviews and critical acclaim for his portrayal of James “Thunder” Early in the Dreamworks film Dreamgirls, a performance which would garner him the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, as well as earning him his first Academy Award nomination in the same category.

He is also the voice of Donkey in the Oscar®-winning animated film Shrek and its sequel, Shrek 2, which is the top-grossing animated film of all time. Murphy won an Annie Award and earned BAFTA and MTV Movie Award nominations for his performance in the first Shrek, and reprised the role of Donkey in the final installment of the hugely successful franchise, Shrek Goes Fourth. Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian 45 years ago. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and has since gone on to establish a successful career on the big screen.

His films have been among the highest-grossing comedies in the industry; they include  48 Hrs.Trading PlacesDr. DolittleComing to America and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Murphy garnered Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy for his performances in Beverly Hills CopTrading Places and 48 Hrs.

In 1989, Murphy made his directorial debut with Harlem Nights, a period comedy he also wrote and starred in, opposite Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. In addition, Murphy starred in and produced the hit comedy Life, co-starring Martin Lawrence, and starred opposite Steve Martin in the comedy Bowfinger. He was also the voice of Mushu the Dragon in the successful animated epic Mulan.

In 1996, Murphy portrayed seven different characters in the worldwide box office smash The Nutty Professor, for which he received another Golden Globe Award nomination. He added a character to play a total of eight roles in the sequel, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, co-starring Janet Jackson. He also starred in Dr. Dolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, the romantic comedy Norbit — in which he played three characters as well as serving as the film’s producer and screenwriter, the caper comedy Tower Heist opposite Ben Stiller, and the drama Mr. Church.

The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild’s Distinguished Artisan Award is given annually to those whose body of work in the film and television industry was richly enhanced by the consistent collaboration of make-up and hair styling artistry creating memorable characters throughout their career. Previous recipients include Sir Patrick Stewart, Melissa McCarthy, Gary Oldman, Johnny Depp, Ryan Murphy and Guillermo del Toro.

As previously announced, Matthew Mungle, Oscar® and Emmy®-winning make-up artist, and Terry Baliel, Emmy®-winning hair stylist, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring an extraordinary spectrum of acclaimed work, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to their union or the entertainment industry. The 8th Annual Awards Gala is produced by IngleDodd Media and Erick Weiss/Honeysweet Creative. Final ballot online voting closes on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Winners will be announced at the virtual 8th Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, April 3, 2021.

The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards is sponsored by Presenting Level: HASK Beauty; Sapphire Levels: Nigel Beauty, Schwarzkopf Professional; Platinum Level: Ardell; Gold Level: The Criterion Group; Silver Level: Cinema Secrets, Premiere Products, Inc, Skindinavia, Skin Illustrator; Gift Box Sponsor: HMUA PAX, RCMA Makeup; Media SponsorsVariety, InStyle, ON MAKEUP Magazine and SHOOTonline.

filmfest illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Acting Success Through the Pandemic

Yuval David hasn’t let COVID-19 holt his career at all. The actor, producer and filmmaker, whose mission is to entertain, uplift and inspire has remained very busy and successful during the pandemic, and he wants to share his secrets for success with fellow actors.

Yuval currently has a number of projects in the works. He’s completed a highly anticipated documentary film, filmed and completed an episode of his award-winning man-on-the-street series, “One Actor Short,” and now he is virtually acting in a horror film. In addition, in his ‘free time’ he’s been the keynote speaker for very worthy advocacy causes supporting the LGBTQ and Jewish communities.

As an actor, Yuval has played major roles in studio and independent films, television, theatre, web, digital media, and voice overs. These include, “What Would You Do” (ABC), “Madam Secretary” (CBS), “The Michael J Fox Show” (NBC), “Beauty and the Beast” (Disney), in addition to productions with HBO, Comedy Central, DreamWorks, AFI, and theatres across the globe.

Even despite his personal COVID-19 illness last spring, Yuval continued to keep his career moving ahead by staying true to his creative process.

Here are Yuval’s tips for how to maintain success during the pandemic:

  1. Be tenacious. Don’t wait for your agents and managers to get work for you. While they are there to support your career with more work, you must be ambitious and seek opportunities for yourself every day.
  2. Respect, and be respected. Never let anyone disrespect you as an actor. The best directors, producers, and casting directors treat actors with respectfully. Don’t sacrifice your personal standards here, ever.
  3. Practice ‘identity politics’. You, as a person, are your own brand. Represent your identity authentically by creating and owning your own narrative and seeking out roles that complement who you are personally, as well as your acting skills. Pro Tip: Ask yourself questions such as “what triggers and activates you,” in order to develop your narrative.
  4. Take Yourself Seriously. Treat your creative career as a business and invest wisely along the way.
  5. Define your process. That is your brand at the end of the day.

Yuval’s exceptional work as a filmmaker has been screened at more than 60 film festivals and taken home nearly 50 awards from international film festivals, including The Big Apple Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, NewFilmmakers Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, Hollywood Just4Shorts Film Festival, Top Shorts Film Festival, Vegas CineFest International Film Festival, IndieFest, Accolade Global, American Picture, Atlanta Film Festival, and Global Webisode Festival, just to name a few.

The Bell Twins illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

UNSTOPPABLE: THE BELL TWINS

By Emily Bunn

Forget The Suite Life’s Zach and Cody– Disney’s newest dynamic duo of twins, Isaac and Elijah Bell, have landed lead roles in Walt Disney Studio Picture’s up and coming release, “Safety.” (2020) The film will be released on the new Disney+ streaming platform, and was directed by Academy award-winning director and producer, Reggie Hudlin.

Their careers began as child models, but they dreamed of making it on the big screen. Inspired by their favorite actors and actresses, such as Denzel Washington, Robert de Niro, and Viola Davis, the brothers trained and studied acting at Mad Acting Studio with Max Decker. Decker has trained stars such as Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool) and Amirah Johnson (Shameless), to name a few.

360 Magazine sat down with the starlets to talk teenagerdom in Hollywood, brotherly love, and Peter Pan. The transition from being a child actor to a Disney star is no small feat, but Elijah and Isaac possess a natural ability to entertain. Elijah and Isaac explain that they found their early career transition to be relatively easy, having been in front of the camera from such a young age. Far from being shy, the duo shines in the spotlight, especially when they’re together. Elijah and Isaac confidently explain, “you just have to look at the camera as your best friend and trust your own instincts.”

Luckily, Elijah and Isaac had the support of their family regarding their decision to begin acting. Hailing from Australia, the brothers had their eyes set on LA’s film industry, an ambitious undertaking. While no one else in their family is in the film industry, Elijah and Isaac both knew that acting was something they wanted to pursue. The twins continue explaining that in “Australia… acting is definitely not the biggest thing for most Aussies. But our mum and dad never doubted us during the decision to become actors once, which is nothing but a blessing having their full support.”

Elijah and Isaac were further supported by their acting coach Max Decker, at Los Angeles’ Mad Acting Studio. Speaking fondly of their coaching experience, the boys remark that working with Max is the best thing that they could have done for themselves as actors. Praising Decker’s impressive craft, Elijah and Isaac gratefully exclaimed, “He’s like master splinter from ‘Ninja Turtles’. He’s so invested in just the work aspect of acting, that nothing else matters but making sure his actors are sharp when it comes time to be on set. We couldn’t be more thankful for him, thank you Big Max.”

Being cast by Disney for their first roles as actors was a momentous milestone for Elijah and Isaac. The twins grew up watching Disney’s “Peter Pan,” so being cast to star in Walt Disney Studio’s “Safety” (2020) was “an absolute dream come true.” Before realizing their dreams of stardom on the big screen, the two brothers both had wanted to become D-1 athletes. Fortunately, “Safety” (2020) is a film revolving around football drama, so it was the perfect breakout role to combine the brother’s interests and talents. Living the life of a D-1 athlete in the film allowed for the brothers to vicariously live out their earlier dreams while simultaneously achieving their current aspirations. Another shared dream of the duo would be to work with Denzel Washington or Marlon Brando.

Looking towards the future, Elijah and Isaac’s ultimate goal is tell stories through their acting and connect with people along the way. In telling their own lives’ story, the brothers remarked that if they had to choose any actor to tell their own life story, it would be one another.

With mutual dreams of the big screen, all of the training that Elijah and Isaac have experienced has only brought them closer. Despite the pressures of the entertainment industry, their family dynamic has only become stronger and tighter knit. “We had to learn that having each other to support one another is the ultimate gift anyone could ask for. We continue to push each other to our fullest potential– yes, we can be hard on one another. but who wouldn’t want that? Someone to let you know when you are bullshitting, or when you are doing the right thing and being congratulated for the hard work being done. We are like Yin and Yang and unbreakable force.”

Carlo Alberto Orecchia photographs The Bell Twins for 360 MAGAZINE

Carlo Alberto Orecchia photographs The Bell Twins for 360 MAGAZINE

*Photos by Carlo Alberto Orecchia

Paris Jackson photos curtsey of Nicole Hajjar and Universal Music Group

Paris Jackson’s Late-Night Debut

Paris Jackson made her late-night television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! performing “let down” from her debut album wilted. This eleven-song album was released via Republic Records in early November. Upon its release, wilted received widespread critical acclaim and climbed to #1 on the iTunes US Alternative Albums Chart. Filmed at the world-famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip, the performance illuminates the nuances of her presence and understated, yet palpable star-power.

Jackson has gained amazing reviews from a variety of publications. Rolling Stone labeled Jackson’s music as “well-crafted indie-pop,” while People said “Paris Jackson is blazing her own path in the music industry.” While talking about her album, wilted, the New York Post said, “There is a dreamy wooziness, a sultry torchiness, a haunting moodiness to ‘wilted’…”

While Paris hails from one of the most successful families in music history, she is best known for her activism, acting & modeling work, the latter of which has seen her front campaigns for international brands like Calvin Klein, grace the cover of top fashion magazines, including numerous Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar titles, and make her runway debut earlier this year at Jean-Paul Gaultier’s final show.

On the acting front, Paris has taken on several TV and film roles, collaborating with acclaimed industry professionals, including Lee Daniels, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, and Rachel Winters. Aside from music, Paris’ biggest passion has always been in using her platform to shine light on causes important to her, notably going off script while presenting at the Grammy Awards and MTV VMAs, to highlight the Dakota Access Pipeline and events of racial injustice in Charlottesville, respectively.

Paris also serves as an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) and is passionate about continuing her godmother’s legacy of ridding the stigma and finding a cure for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Keep up with Paris Jackson on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Watch her live performance here

QxA with Akeem Mair

This holiday season, actor Akeem Mair took the time to speak with 360 Magazine about his craft, his inspirations, how his career has been impacted by COVID-19, and more. Movie star Akeem Mair is the entertainment industry’s up-and-coming icon. In his career as an artist, he has appeared in several movie productions including All About Money, A Wonderful World, Limbo, Life of a Villain, Red, Fine Line, Silent Love, The Kidnap, etc. He’s worked with many production companies, including the Columbia College of Hollywood Production.

Akeem has signed with two agencies: Commercial Talent Agency (under Sarah Angeli) and Minc Talent (under Mariko Ballentine). At 32, Akeem is in his prime. With his noteworthy work ethic and passion, he is destined for greater heights. In fact, he has over 5 million views for a single video alone – the time when he appeared for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which Ellen described as “the best episode she’s ever seen.”

Besides this feature with 360 Magazine, Akeem appears in many publications such as NY Wire’s Top 25 Individuals, US Reporter’s Top 15 Entrepreneurs, LA Wire’s Top 20 IG Accounts to Follow in 2020, and many more. Read on to hear 360’s interview with Akeem below.

What do you love most about being an actor?

I found a strong love of being in front of the camera with everybody watching. It’s like my escape from my own reality, which is refreshing to me. I get the opportunity to pour myself into different characters and experience that person’s life. How they see the world and how different their life experiences are from mines. I love to learn how they think, how they would react in certain situations, the way they talk and walk, the way they dress, etc. Then, you can take what you learn from playing that character and use it to make your own life more complete. Meaning if you like how that character approaches life, then copy and apply it. At first the camera scared me – I’m not gonna lie. But a director once told me that the fear I show in front of the camera robs the audience of their entertainment. Once I broke out of that, my understanding of my own craft changed. Acting is my life!

Did you always wanted to be an actor, or did you have other ambitions?

Actually, believe it or not, I wanted to be a financial banker. I watched Michael Douglas in the film called, “The Game,” and became hooked after that. I saw the 2000 BMW 740 I, the designer suits, the excitement of winning their clients’ money in the office, the personal maid that lives at his house, and I always loved crunching numbers in a calculator. But as I was working at Ralph’s grocery store when a loyal customer ending up changing my whole life. I was a cashier, and she came into my line with a sad demeanor. I could tell something was troubling her, so I tried to brighten up her day with my personality. I said “Hi, it’s good to see you again, did you find everything ok?” She said softly, “Yes I did, thank you!” I said, “Usually I see you smiling, but whatever you’re going through I know God will not give you more than you can handle! He has something better for you!” After the transaction I said, “Have a Blessed day! I hope to see you again soon.” Immediately she paused and finally looked up at me for the first time and I could tell she had been crying. She asked me, “Are you an actor?” I said, “No. Why do you ask?” She said, “Because your energy is filled with so much positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted up my spirits after I just lost my house in a foreclosure. Thank you!” Her reply shocked me. After she left, I went home that day and wondered, What would my life look like if I was a successful actor? I thought about how I would be able to help my family so much more and how I can infect millions of people with the same positive energy. That night, I searched ‘how to become an actor’ and it said most start as an extra on a movie set. The next day I reached out to Central Casting in Burbank for their free introduction and here I am today! I am more than satisfied and really love what I do!

How has COVID-19 impacted your industry?

My industry has changed a lot! At first, the acting classes I would attend would be at different acting studios across Los Angeles and held in person. Same as the auditions I would get. And I would have to deal with sitting in the heavy traffic, busy freeways, hoping to get to where I need to on time. Now it’s crazy to think everything is happening on my iPhone 11 Pro! My auditions are either through Zoom or I would have to submit a self-tape that would record off of my phone’s camera and be edited in the iMovie feature. All of my classes have been online through Zoom. So, the coaches now email you a link to jump on when class starts. The biggest issue now is not the heavy traffic, it’s the internet connection. If you have bad WiFi, it easily destroys your Zoom live audition and costs you the job. So, it is extremely important now to have amazing WiFi connection.

Do you have other passions besides acting?

I love writing poetry; it really soothes my soul. I like to write out all the emotions and experiences I go through like in poems and lyrics. 2pac was the one who really inspired me to use my pen as an outlet.

I appreciate Vaughn and 360 Magazine

For allowing me to tell my story

It was a journey to chase my dreams

And stayed away from things ain’t for me

I would sit in the movie theaters

And picture myself reaching glory

I knew could take care of my family

If I stop feeling sorry

By working hard building my legacy

It creates an attraction

Sending me blessings of opportunities

I would of never would of imagine

I had to escape from my reality

By following my passions

I can’t be worried about anybody else

I constantly take action

When I’m finished grinding everyday

I die as a legend

What is the biggest life lesson you learned?

You have to decide to go after your dreams because that’s what you want to do. There’s going to be so many people in your ear telling you different things and most of the time, it’s family because they want to protect you from failing. The only problem about that is it takes you away from doing what you love and moves you closer to a life of regret. So, take your time and really think about your dreams and how you want your life to be. Take out a piece of paper and write what you want out of life. I am an actor today because it’s my dream. I wrote it down, I proclaimed it in front of the mirror, and I tell my friends and family all the time what my dreams are and that I am going to achieve them.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is balancing my money and time. Because let me tell you, I’ve invested a lot of money to strive as an actor. Dreams come with lots of sacrifices. This is the one side of dreams that is not so glamorous. I can’t watch television when I get home because I have to practice, do auditions, or attend classes. Before I can even think about buying the latest technology, clothes, or shoes, I would have to also think about classes, camera equipment, printing, headshots, costumes, etc. You have to be willing at any moment to sacrifice for your dreams and it’s the hardest part. I’m giving up sleep most days because I’m so busy, but I love it!!

Who are the people who are your biggest influences and why?

Tupac Shakur, Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy are my biggest influences. Everyone knows why Eddie Murphy is so big of an inspiration to me. It’s how I got my name! His character, Akeem, from Coming to America made my parents fall in love with the name due to his performance. As I’m older now and have watched it for myself, it’s crazy so much of my personality has rubbed off of him and into me. He possesses a sense of humor and radiates authority, yet he remains humble, practices kindness and self-sacrifices for the people around him. Denzel Washington is my next inspiration. I always love how Denzel approaches his game. The confidence, swag, fearlessness, and mental toughness he possesses in most of the characters he played, you can just feel his presence through your television. His Oscar performance character Alonzo Harris in Training Day was unbelievable. You felt the selfishness, greed, carelessness, ruthlessness, and his betrayal. I would love to ask him, “how do you get to that place in a character and stay there?” Finally, 2pac! His wisdom and his work ethic are what really blow my mind. I love how he was able to captivate a crowd of people and get everyone to follow him around. To be so young and so ahead of his time is crazy. He inspires me to think ahead always and to do more than what you think your capable of doing. And stop taking breaks! I remember how upset he got when his team took breaks and reminds them how time is short.

If you could change one thing you did at the beginning of your career, what would it be?

I would go back to tell the younger me to keep track of your day. Stop worrying about your yearly resolutions and worry about your daily resolutions. Because if you can’t take care of a simple day, how on earth are you going to conquer your year? It’s going to escape you every time. I always hear it in people’s voices when they talk about what they are going to be or going to have. I’m like, wait a minute, what are you going to do today? And people are usually confused or haven’t thought about it. See, it’s that’s answer right there that’s gonna kill everything you just told me.

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