How has diversity worked to my advantage? As a African American Film Director I have been faced with the challenges of being a leader in my short films by leading the artistic and dramatic portrayal, visualization of the script, and by guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of my creative visions.
As a young boy, my school and community peers participated in a host of anti-social behaviors, setting themselves up for failure. My family dynamics strived for structure and nothing but excellence. Although I was raised in a middle class neighborhood, my African American family was still faced with diversity challenges. At an early age I knew I wanted greatness, and I wanted to make a positive impact in a variety of human societies in all regions of the world. I attended predominant African American schools, playing sports, and making above average grades. Among all of that, I had a greater love for the performing arts, which instantly became my passion and allowed me to stand out amongst all my peers.
In my later years, as a minority college student, I also struggled in finding ways to make a cultural difference. Therefore, I gravitated towards studying in Engineering at the University of Florida, which was very challenging. I constantly found myself studying harder than my class peers to only get average test results. There were many times I felt loss and a lack of belongingness. This shattered my confidence and I was still dealing with my passion for theatre. It was not until my junior year that I found myself in the college of Performing Arts. It was then, I began to focus on my passion in life, and my journey in finding ways to impact diversity on all different levels. I felt a sense of relief studying theatre, however one thing still stood out to me; I was a minority theatre student. Though I enjoyed the productions I was cast in, I still felt that I didn’t totally belong. I wanted more. I wanted more productions for minority students. That hunger led me to explore other production options.
As an inspiring African American Actor, in 2004 I was given the opportunity to write, produce, and direct my first play, The Girl Who Cried Out Father. I took this opportunity to express the need for more minority productions on all levels of diversity. The Girl Who Cried Out Father production was a huge success. Most importantly, this production had learning experiences that would later grow me into the leader I am today. On that stage I drove and found my passions in writing and directing. Finally, I found a place I belonged. That experience has been the experience that has kept me going and moving forward.