Welcome to a new section of Yada where we talk to major entrepreneurs all around the world so that they can give us insight on how we can be good entrepreneurs. It is also a way by which we can learn from them. Today we feature, award winning African American playwright, Alvin Moore.
ON THE CREATIVE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD AT LARGE
Strangely, when the economy is bad, consumers will often tend to spend less money on entertainment (e.g. going to the movies, stage plays or concerts, purchasing CDs and DVDs, etc.). Nevertheless, in some portions of the entertainment industry, the economy stimulated financial increases while it decreased in other areas. This is a worldwide impact. Now, there are producers, writers, directors, and actors who have been able to stay afloat, in part, because they have been successful in finding creative/innovative ways to connect with and sustain supporters. They have not been afraid to step out on faith and try some things that have never been done. Entertainment lovers crave new and adventurous things so it’s an important factor that we, entertainers, must consider in order to excel while the economy seems to be somewhat challenged across the globe.
To me, being an entrepreneur is a blessing because it allows one to essentially learn from and serve others while making a living doing so. It definitely requires a great deal of courage and faith to step out into a world that says the only way to make money is through a regular 9-5 job. I first realized that I was an entrepreneur when I was a kid…cutting grass for my neighbors. It may seem a little out of the ordinary, but even as a kid…I never liked the idea of my finances being limited to what an employer wanted to give to me. I’ve always liked the idea that if I worked a little harder, then my potential earnings amount would always remain limitless. Over time it had become very difficult for me to find of job that I felt used me to my fullest potential. It feels like you’re just going through the motions. I’ve learned that this is usually the first sign that God is calling you to go elsewhere as I had begun to feel like a robot that needed to be rebooted daily. I don’t feel that this is the way God designed us to live. I feel that God originally designed us to live our lives like Genesis 1:28, which states, “God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number. Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish and over living creature that moves on the ground.” The word, subdue, means to cultivate. This is definitely not to say that people cannot cultivate the earth by working the standard 9-5 job, but in the words of Shakespeare, “to thine own self be true.”
ON TAKING RISKS
No one who has ever been successful found a way around taking a risk at one time or another in his/her life. The word risk can be confused with its meaning. Here is my definition on what a risk is: “A risk is a situation that calls for one to be willing to take a chance on entering into a venture or an activity that may render either awesome results or awful results.” I have learned, however, that in God there really aren’t any risks at all as they are just faith walks. If God gives you the vision to do something different, then okay…so be it. Ultimately, if you fail or not, God will use everything that you learned in the process to give Him glory and to discipline you for what you are purposed to do and to be.
ON BEING A PLAYWRIGHT
Being a playwright is very fulfilling because it gives me an opportunity to create characters that others can relate to. I believe that the point of a stage play is so that viewers may leave saying, “Dude…that guy or girl reminds me of myself.” The hope is that after the production, they can see good options for what they can do in relatable situations. Too often, as playwrights, people are afraid to keep it real. I am just getting to a place where I realize that the purpose of my gift is to do just that…keep it real. Being a playwright is a part of my ministry and serves as my main platform to be the voice of so many worldwide. This is my truth.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN PURSUING A CAREER IN DRAMA
Let’s see… where do I start with this one?
1.) The way you come into the industry determines the kind of roles people will try to keep you in. It is always good to audition for multiple kinds of roles that are different from one another. This keeps you from being type-casted, and it stretches you to use all of your creative measures.
2.) STAY AWAY FROM THE DOGS!! A career in drama can wind up leading to a life full of unnecessary drama if you don’t keep in mind the purpose of why you are doing it. A career in drama should not be centered solely on money or fame. “The dogs” are sniffing around and they can recognize people with ill motives. Once these kind of people recognize that you will do anything to make your name great or to get ahead, they will have you to do just about any and everything to be successful. Stay focused on “the why” of what you do and you will be successful.
3.) Don’t be money hungry! There are too people many who see actors on tv and instantly want to be like them. You can’t reach the statuses of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, or Halle Berry overnight. These are all people who had to be passionate enough to just want to portray a character on a stage first. When this is your passion, money will come naturally because anything you give your best to will bear tremendous amounts of fruit.
ON SEPARATING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE
In my entertainment/production company, Alvin Moore Entertainment, LLC, many of us started off as friends first. This is a great thing, but at the same time, we had to establish boundaries. Our established boundaries say, “I love you and its cool kicking it with you, but we still have to take care of business and for this reason, everyone is going to held accountable for bringing their best every time.” I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way as well. As a leader, I must constantly keep in mind that in everything I do, I am gradually shaping the culture of my surroundings. I like to think of it in terms of taking care of business is what brings one to a place where he/she can have true pleasure as they enjoy the fruit of his/her labor.
Family should always come first. My family serves as a major motivational factor in everything that I do. I have been married for four years, and we have one beautiful one year old son together. Every day does not feel like a successful day, but as long as I can go home and see my son and wife smile at me, I am reminded that my work is not in vain. A piece of advice that I would like to give to anyone who is considering entrepreneurship, acting, or any form of a career in ministry is this: Never let anyone come between you and your family. Family will be there cheering for you when the lights go down and when everyone has left the seats that filled the auditorium. When people leave you because they are tired of waiting on your vision to come to pass, family will still be there. Hold on to your family as you climb the ladder of success.
God is so awesome! He shows me daily why I have no reason to judge anyone or to belittle anyone for where they are in there lives. The truth is, I was absolutely lost in a world of sin. I’m not afraid to keep it real in this regard because I know where God has brought me from and I understand that He still has so much more in store. In short, if it was not for God, I would not be half as successful as I’ve been blessed to be. When my mother died, He comforted me. When one of my good friends passed away, He reminded me that He’d stick closer to me than a brother. God is good!! The reality is that God is working for all of us right now. One of my new favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What a mighty God we serve!!
ON BRANCHING OUT GLOBALLY
This is definitely a step I have been praying about. The prayer has been geared towards how exactly we, Alvin Moore Entertainment, LLC, would branch out globally…aside from the DVDs, CDs, and our social network and media pages (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, MySpace, andwww.alvinmooreentertainment.com). I, personally, believe that God has called Alvin Moore Entertainment to be accessible which drives the reason for our tours, acting workshops, and different seminars that God has placed in my heart for us to lead worldwide. Honestly, whenever God is ready to make that move with us, I am definitely willing to go into all of the world and let my light shine. I would love to go overseas and have the opportunity to share this gift that God has given me. I’m smiling even as I think about the effectiveness that we would have.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
As far as my stage plays, Alvin Moore Entertainment looks forward to bookings for the remainder of the year with my three latest stage plays, A Mother’s Prayer, When the Lights Go Out, and The Hell She Wrote. We would love to come to a city near all Yada readers. Alvin Moore Entertainment is working on a movie entitled, The Curse, which centers around a young track star (played by yours truly) who faces the pressures of running as he begins a new venture of going to college while leaving behind his sick mother, falling in love with the girl of his dreams, defeating his long- time high school rival in a race that is long overdue, and ultimately defeating a generational curse that he faces the symptoms of daily. Within this film, I intend to show audiences why it is so important to believe in God and in yourself no matter what! Within this film, I show that it is possible to find true love and that it does await. I hope that everyone gets a kick out of the comedy and drama of this film because we’ve been having a blast shooting it. The next step would be to seek distribution deals so that we can get it on a shelf in retail outlets everywhere. As far as new projects are concerned, I am preparing to travel and shoot my new Christmas special for BET entitled The Perfect Gift. I can’t give away too many details just yet, but we hope to have an all-star cast with Ruben Studdard, Golden Brooks, yours truly (Alvin Moore) and others. Towards the latter end of this year, I plan to release my new stage play, The Husband She Loves in addition to a short film entitled, Unchained Heart, which is based on my wife’s new book. As you can see, Alvin Moore Entertainment is going to be busy this year, and hopefully we can stay this way as God provides.
ADVICE TO YADA READERS
My advice is simple and yet true. Take the time to write your vision down and make it plain. No matter how big it seems to you, know that it is very possible. Do something every day towards making that vision become a reality. To the young men, know that it is perfectly fine to be different and unique in style and in gifting. God made you this way. To the ladies, know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. No man or woman can change that fact. Lastly, keep reading Yada Magazine. You all have been wonderful and are going places above what your minds have even imagined. Thank you so much as I am honored to have the opportunity to share with you today.