Being who I want to be, living how I want to live in this crazy town called Hollywood.

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Today I am afraid

Today I am afraid that I am lost. I am afraid I will never achieve the dreams and goals I set for myself. I am afraid that I will never make enough money to sustain myself. I am afraid of an unsure future. I am afraid I have ruined my life. 1974303_10100932027696283_1351103934571320054_o I am afraid I have wasted so much time and money chasing a dream to big to catch. I am afraid that I should give up.  I am afraid of being without.  I am afraid of my lofty ideas and ambitions leaving me stranded. I am afraid of not being taken seriously. I am afraid I am doing it all wrong. I am afraid I am not good enough. I am afraid my time will never come.  I am afraid this road less traveled leads to a dead end. I am afraid it is to costly. I am afraid that my plan is not a plan.

BUT TODAY I CAN SAY…

I haven’t given up. Today I can say I am further along than I was 4 months ago. Today I can say I am resilient. Today I can say God must have gone before me. Today I can say my purpose is greater than my understanding. Today I can say I am an actor. Today I can say I am a singer. I can say I am hopeful. Today I can say being lost is an adventure. I can say I genuinely enjoy my life.  Today I can say I have done things that many people will never do. Today I can say that I have plenty. Today I can say my needs are met.  Today I can say I believe that God and the universe conspires for my good.  Today I can say there is enough light to take another step.  Today I can say my fear has not paralyzed me…and that is enough to hold on for one more day.

14 years later (thoughts on 9/11)

It has been 14 years since the attack on the twin towers. I don’t think we could have guessed how much our society would change after that day.  Our brutal expulsion from an age of innocence…at least for me. 9_11_never_forget_by_roxiiin-d49584l I remember staring at the TV in disbelief as the second plane hit. I thought “this has to be a movie or something.” But it wasn’t. I called everyone I knew who would be directly or indirectly affected.  With each emotional phone call, the reality set in that EVERYONE was affected. Many men and women were lost that day and the American  sense of safety and security that we convinced ourselves was impenetrable, was obliterated.

But as they say, The more things change the more they stay the same.

Since that day the whole world’s deeds and exploits have been a veritable scorecard of victories and defeats. It is only recently that I have realized this has been the way of things long before 9/11.  I think what changed most for me that day was the realization that in each moment there is found a victory or a defeat.  I hear people say all the time “Let’s make America great again!” This is usually encompassed in a political or socioeconomic rant. A nostalgic attack against the passage of time.  I also hear people zealously quote 2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This is usually in reference to some former glory of religious dominance.  When I hear these statements though, I wonder what people are really longing for? Do we ache to return to the 90’s with the Persian Gulf War and the terror of Saddam Hussein? Or maybe its the 80’s we desire with the emergence of AIDS, which at that time was completely un-treatable and 100% fatal. Is the healing of our land we picture in our minds reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s full of segregation, Civil Rights battles, the Vietnam War, and political leader assassinations. The 30’s and 40’s fared no better with The Great Depression, World War 1 and World War 2, the Holocaust, and daily racial lynchings. Perhaps we want the 1800’s, slavery, Civil War Native American genocide…

My point is this: Life has always been a balance of good and evil.  Humanity’s ugliness is present in every decade.  There is no point in longing and hoping for the past. Devastation and tragedy is found there too.  We have to choose to move forward.  Look ahead and decide, everyday, to be the good in the world. Strive to be the beauty in tomorrow. I believe that is how we keep the darkness at bay in our own hearts and the world around us. Let us never forget!

SAG AFTRA

WOW! It has been waaaaay to long since I wrote something here. I feel like I should get back into this blog because I feel so grateful for everything in my life I could burst.  This post will be short but I just wanted to share that I have become eligible for the SAG-AFTRA union.

2014-07-29 11.11.53My fellow actors know how huge this is!!!  I am so excited about this monumental step in my career as an actor. What this means is I have the opportunity to now compete for larger roles in television and film.  This could potentially put me directly in the forefront of your favorite show instead of always scoping for me in the background. LOL

Now if I could just find the $3000 to join.  Let me know if you want to give to the “Let’s get Michael into the Union fund”  but seriously.

Since January I have made the decision to focus on my acting career and things have been taking off amazingly. Now I am ready to compete in the global industry of my peers.  I am blessed with incredible opportunities.  I will share more later but I have an audition to get to! Much love.

Vegas and the Billboard Music Awards

Ok so I am going to give a quick run down of my thoughts on Las Vegas followed by a more in depth explanation of my experience at the  2012 Billboard Music Awards.

With this being my first trip to Vegas I was totally excited. I obviously wanted to gamble a little and walk the strip and eat awesome food and just take it all in. I absolutely did all of that and then some.  Vegas is one of those places that can kill you if you dont have any restraint. Thankfully I have learned over the years how to have some self discipline…but not much.  One thing that was overwhelming was the volume of people walking around. Living in LA there is a perfect balance of population and surface area but Vegas, especially the strip was to much…I found myself going into casinos just to get away from the people outside. But that didnt protect me from the gaggles of bachelorette parties that wanted pictures with me.  As  a performer I love the attention but as a human being I just wanted to go to a quiet corner.  REGARDLESS I had a BLAST. Alot more i could say but lets just let it stay where it belongs…in Vegas.

The epicness of the weekend continued into Sunday! Since our checkin time for the Billboards wasnt until 2, Justin and I decided to get brunch at Emeril’s in the MGM Grand Hotel.

Brunch at Emeril’s

This was an absolute treat to say the least. The ambiance was great and the food was spectacular and the mimosas were just how I liked them…full of champagne.  Given how were were dressed our waiter even thought we were important people going so far as to wish us luck on the evening. Then it came time for the Awards festivities to begin!

After check in we went through all the protocols of removing cell phones and cameras and processed into the Grand Ballroom. Whenever I go to awards shows like these I am always excited/anxious about who I will sit next to.  In the past I have sat among the likes of Sandra Oh, Samuel L Jackson, The Mowry twins, Lawrence Fishburne, Brett Ratner, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Taye Diggs, and Emma Stone. This night was no different…I sat at my seat and immediately looked behind me and there was Nelly Furtado all dolled up and ready to perform later than evening. We smiled at each other and shook hands and Katy Perry came down the aisle with her grandmother and sat directly in front of me. I helped her grandmother out of the

wheelchair and into her seat.(I had no idea that katy is like 6’2 in heels. I was very surprised.) We said some words to each and then took our seats and then Ceelo came to sit next to me with his entourage of equally as big black dudes. The show started with a lively performance by LMFAO and if I wasnt so self conscious I probably would have “shuffled” in the aisle but as it is I needed to compose myself.  But what was even more exciting for me was the surprise that the Dumfy’s from Modern Family were the host. I LOVE THAT SHOW.

One thing people may not realize is that during commercial breaks there is alot of chaotic musical chairs going  on. People are moving all over to sit next to people they want to talk to or fill in empty seats all in the minute and a half of commercial time.  Eventually I joined the festivities and ended up sitting with the Usher/Bieber crew along with the guys from The Wanted (whose performance sucked by the way. Where do they find these people??) Anyway most of this posse was very stoic and emotionless with the excepti

on of the minors who were tossing back so much beer ***cough cough The Wanted and Bieber cough cough *** If you didnt notice something was way off about Biebs when he doing his acceptance speech for his award…blame it on the alcohol (his performance was affected as well I think. While enjoyable it was both uninspired and lackluster NOT TO MENTION THE OBVIOUS LIP SYNCHING).  But I digress While sitting there I found myself in conversation with this guy who I recognized but didnt know why…it turned out to be Biebs body guard. You know the one who gives Justin piggy back rides…all I am gonna say is thats not swagtastic at all Biebs.

After trading enough menacing glares from Mike Tyson (why the hell was here there, I cant begin to understand) I decided to go goof off with LMFAO’s party rock crew and they were soooo much fun! They were like excited for all the success and just making the most of it all.  Not taking themselves to seriously and shooting off confetti cannons…they even gave me a couple to shoot during the show. Their stylist even called me “Red Carpet gorgeous” (one of many highlights). Carrie Underwood’s performance was AMAZEBALLS and Jordin Sparks had me in tears. The best performances of the night hands down. The show ended with Stevie Wonder being honored as a billboard icon and then a incredibly classy performance with him and alicia keys. I MISS GOOD MUSIC!! I love Stevie Wonder. This was my first time being able to see him live and to say I was inspired would be the understatement of the decade.  Next to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder is one of most iconic influences to me musically because his musicality is legendary and doesnt require smoke and pyrotechnics to enrapture you. THAT IS TALENT! I aspire to that!

All in all the night was extremely memorable and inspiring. I am further convinced of my aim to be as engrossed in the music industry as humanly possible.  Not just for the accolades and attention (although I want those too) but for the chance to make an impression and a major difference the way so many artists do in the lives of their fans.  I will fight for this dream until it is realized! Thanks to Ceelo and Goody Mob last night I found my new LIfe Anthem.  “If I lose, then it was worth fighting for. If I win, then I only live to fight again!” So until next time folks. Be the person you always dreamed of being. MUCH LOVE!

ALMOST TIME!

Im not going to say much other than watch the trailer and get EXCITED! You guys have NO IDEA how crazy this is gonna be but get ready for “TAKE THE STAGE” JUNE 5TH!  To get ready just go to http://www.yobi.tv and register, this will make it possible for you to vote for yours truly.  I am excited to share with you this project as I am mentored, developed, and transformed.  also go ahead and like my fanpage http://www.facebook.com/officialmykell for more up to date information!

 

Take the Stage Trailer

 

 

AN ANGRY BLACK MAN!!!!!

I have been so angry these past couple of weeks. My anger comes from a mix of the Trayvon Martin case, the fact that the large majority didnt give a crap about it, and then being totally blindsided by the racial bigotry, ignorance, and apathy that PLAGUE this country I call home.  Not knowing what to do with my anger I took to Facebook and twitter as my soapbox just to get it out. But it just made me angrier…because I felt like my non black friends just couldnt grasp the brevity of my broken heart….angry because I felt like there was nothing I could do to make the world better.  I hear my friends agree that our world is broken and then add the statement “the only remedy is the gospel”…I agree, however, what good is the gospel if it to is muted by our own self righteous bigotry and cultural exclusivism that is a mainstain, it would seem, in the American church.  But i digress, this post isnt about the church.

I went to a rally today in downtown Los Angeles…I just wanted to do something for Trayvon, for his family, for Justice. What I found there were hundreds of other angry black people trying to figure out what to do. Some had petitions, others wanted to react violently, while others chanted spirituals…I wanted to scream because I felt like I had been transported back to the Civil Rights movement. I kept thinking “Have we really digressed this much that we have to protest for Justice?”  I feel like a bandage of pseudo equality has been cheaply plastered over seriously infectious disease that has been festering for 50 years and the bandage is coming off.  When non white people’s response to racial injustice is “Well black people are racist too” DAMN RIGHT WE ARE!! My racism comes from a place of warranted mistrust. I have spent my life being the only black guy in a sea of white people, or being that black guy who isnt quite “black” enough. I have been the safe black poster child for majority white organizations in their attempt to show their “diversity” I had made it my objective to prove to EVERYONE that we weren’t the less than intellegent, grotesque, unworthy charity cases that they take us for. All the while enduring hateful looks and words of disapproval from every imaginable angle…in my attempt to help make our world a little more…whole. And here we are just as broken as ever…blindly angry on the verge of violence or sitting idle waiting on Jesus to come and right the wrongs we perpetuate.  Sure we have a black president (which shows some progress) but that has seemed to stir up the racial indignation and give people cause to show their bigoted hearts.  I recently read an article about the fans response to the movie ‘Hunger Games” and it was filled with people hatred that 2 of the fans favorite characters were casted as black. People were in an uproar saying to diminished the movies emotional draw because they couldnt feel anything for the blacks. WHAT THE HELL! I mean did MLK die for nothing? Did my forbearers break down racial barriers only to have them built right back up behind them?

I read a letter from Sinead O’Conner and wept as it gave me reprieve from my anger. (FOUND HERE)

http://www.smileyandwest.com/treyvon-letter-from-Sinead-O’Connor.pdf

This letter caused me to look inward for the strength to BE change.  To be reminded that everything that makes me who I am is capable of making a difference. Do I want everyone to sit in a circle and sing kumbaya? Not really. I just want for people to really recognize where we are racially as a nation and take steps to remove ignorance and bigotry out of our hearts and personal lives. I dont know where to go from here or what to do about any of what I feel but I felt it absolutely necessary to write my jumbled thoughts out in an attempt to understand them but also perhaps to cause internal dialogue in others.  If you think you know all you need to know about a culture different than your own, chances are you there is a hell of a lot more you need to know.  If you are one of those people that says ” I have black friends, or my best friend is asian” then I say get more black friends or have 2 asian best friends. Whatever your social situation looks like….just remember HOPE IS YOU!

HOPE IS YOU   PLEASE GIVE A LISTEN!!

BEST. WEEK. EVER!

So I am not usually a big proponent of superstitions and wivestales and things like that but after the week I had I am a firm believer in this statement “when you remove the negative no good people from your life it leaves room for the positive to flow in.”

A week ago I finally made that decision to do just that. Even if it meant removing people from being involved in my career and my apartment. Even if I looked like a villain to some, I knew it was time…I needed to do a spring cleaning both physically and emotionally.  As I was cleaning my apartment and having a conversation with God I got booked as a featured face on the show 90210 for the following day. Episode 422 be on the look out. I am all in the camera hahah. I was even chosen to be in the promotional photos with the cast for the episode.  It was such a great experience for me. While we were filming I got a call informing me I had been hand picked by a director to be in a new Pilot show. It is pilot season and Actors out here are all clawing at the chance to be in a pilot. For me to be cast was mind blowing for me. I of course said yes. Turns out the Director who wanted me for his Pilot was Rob McElhenny who created and stars in “Its Always Sunny in Philidelphia.” So I was stoked! My roommate Justin also recieved a call that day hiring him to be an assistant on a CBS pilot complete with office keys and a parking spot on the studio lot (BIG DEAL)!

I arrived on set bright and early tuesday morning to find out Donald Sutherland was the lead in the show. IF you dont know who he is then just go google the name.  The cast was rounded out with Kaitlyn Black from the CW show Hart of Dixie, Larry Wilmore from The Daily Show, and Mike Vogel from The Help and PanAm.  Needless to say I spent the rest of the week soaking up so much from these guys. Asking questions and listening intently to their advice and stories of being in this industry.     Towards the end of the week I came to work to find out I had been given a pay raise and a Taft Hartley. A Taft Hartley basically makes me immediately elligible for the Screen Actors Guild…this is something that usually takes most actors years to get but this production likes me enough to pay the $1000 to make me eligible. What this means is even better pay for every job I do from here on out and more featured roles as well. Also if the pilot is picked up I will have the chance to return and resume my role! WE are hoping FOX will pick it up but we wont know until May if it has been green lit! Fingers Crossed! I have lived in LA for 5 months and done alot of amazing things but to land a spot in a PILOT during my first pilot season and get SAG eligible is WILD!!

On Wednesday I had a conference call with YOBITV and Johnny Wright. We talked for a while then Johnny says he wants to see me succeed in my music career and he proceeded to tell me that I had been selected as one of the 9 artists to be flown out  to meet him and be coached and mentored by he and his team for a week and a half. Then given the chance to be signed with his management. NOW if you dont know who Johnny Wright is what ROCK have you been living under. This guy is a SUPER manager! He makes stars!

Johnny Wright with the Jonas Brothers

Johnny Wright with the Jonas Brothers

Over the last 20 years he has been manager to New Kids on The Block, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Justin Timberlake, and the Jonas Brothers. To just be mentored by him is an incredible opportunity but to be signed to his management would be monumental for my career! I am going to be a freakin sponge around this guy! HOLY COW! To be the best you have to put yourself around the best and JOHNNY WRIGHT is one of the best in this business!  YOBITV creates these MEGA opportunities for aspiring actors and artists like myself. I LOVE YOBI SO MUCH!!!!

If that weren’t enough to make me explode, God saw fit to add a cherry on top! About 3 months ago I was cast to play the love interest in a music video for an up and coming R&B artist Tiffani.  We filmed the video and it was alot of fun. Well Friday I received an email from the director stating we had to do some reshoots. The reason was because David Kershenbaum is wanting to have a viewing of the video.  Mr Kershenbaum is a super producer over at Captiol Records and has worked with Janet, Duran Duran, Tori Amos, and bunch of others. He even has a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame.  So this is a HUGE deal for Tiffani but its really a big deal for all of us involved. So today we will be doing reshoots and I am so excited to see what happens with this and amazed that I even get to be a part of it.

A dam burst in Heaven when I got rid of the negative in my life! I am so humbled and thankful to God for being so kind to me. GEEZ! I couldnt do any of this without Him going before me or placing the kind of friends, fans, family, and supporters I have in my life.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!