Check out our interview with talented movie star and entertainment industry’s up-and-coming icon Akeem Mair. In his career as an artist, he has appeared in several movie productions including Black Caesar Pirate King, It’s On You, 417: Person With A Gun, Life of a Villain, Red, Fine Line, Jolly Boy Friday, See Me, etc. He’s worked with many production companies, including the Columbia College of Hollywood Production, LA Film School, and New York Film Academy.
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 Naluda Magazine, Akeem appears in many publications such as 360 Magazine, Vents Magazine, Kivo Daily, LA Voyage, We Entertainmemt News, KB Pop Culture, The Hype Magazine, The Native Influence, Occhi Mag, Cliche Magazine, Tha Wilson Block Mag, Star Central Magazine, 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.
Follow Akeem @akeemmair
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Faithful, persistent, Hardworking
How did you get started into acting?
At first acting was never on my mind. I wanted to be a financial banker like Micheal Douglas’s character in the movie, “The Game.” The 2000 BMW 740 i, the suits, and I loved math so it was like my dream job. But one day a loyal customer at Ralph’s Grocery changed my course. I was a cashier and I was ringing up her groceries when I notice she was sad. It seem something was bothering her so I decided to brighten her day with my positive energy. I said hi, “it’s good to see you again, did you find everything ok?” She said, “yes I did thank you!” I said, “I usually see you in higher spirits but no matter what you’re going through I know God will always be there for you!” “He never gives you more than you can handle!” After I gave her the receipt I said, “have a bless day!” “I hope to see you again!” Immediately she replies, “Are you an actor” I notice she been crying 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 left me speechless. After she left I couldn’t think about anything else. After work, I researched ‘how to become an actor’ and it took me to Central Casting in Burbank. I signed up to be an extra and the rest was history.
How has this changed your life?
Acting changed my life because I finally figured out my life’s purpose. I remember being in a 5 year hiatus because life threw curve balls at me like my car accident on 101 freeway that resulted in my truck being totaled and failing to land a top talent agent because I refused to cut off my beard. Then all of sudden I failed out of acting completely and I was miserable. My job as a life Coach couldn’t bring me that same joy of being in front of the camera, playing different character roles, being on different movie production sets, and seeing my family’s reaction of spotting me on television. I just loved the whole life of an actor and realize in my misery that there’s nothing else I rather do. Another change acting has brought me as my confidence. Because it demands you to overcome so many audition rejections and performing in front of audience I don’t fear failure.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
Best part about being an actor is being in front of the camera. Performing at a high level and leaving everybody and even yourself in awe. I love bringing to life what the Film director, Producers, Casting Directors and the Writer had envisioned for that role. When you are exceeding expectations on set and people talk about how much your talent empower their whole project it really feels good. I love it when my family screams in front of the TV, “Thats you!!!” blows up my cell phone just to tell me that they just saw my commercial how proud they are.
Worse part about being an actor is handling the daily rejections and being patient with your acting career. It’s not easy when your not receiving any calls or texts about your performance after an audition that happen days ago. You get curious and antsy about why they’re not calling you when you feel like you’ve given your absolute best. Then you find out that they’ve given the job to someone else it’s crushing sometimes. That’s why new actors have to develop thick skin very quickly in this line of business in order to survive in Hollywood.
How do you prepare for a role?
The first thing I do is read the entire script first so you can understand the story. A lot of actors miss this and start acting out what they thing the character should be when the previous scene says something completely different. I then try to memorize the script as much as possible. I want to be off book when I audition in front of the directors or just getting lines down so it won’t slow down production if they have to constantly stop so you can get the lines down. I then find a mirror and perform in front of it to get down my facial expressions and find an accurate voice that fits the role. I don’t go too big outside of myself because I want to stay real as much as possible. Sometimes you can see an actor over push themselves and immediately you call out, “fake!!!!!”
What projects you have been part of?
So far commercially I’ve been apart of Apex Legends, Facebook, At&T, TurboTax, Dominguez Firm to name a few. The Dominguez Firm is still running on television right now and Apex is about to release any minute all over the World Wide Web! As for the TV/Film side I booked several films and television but the two feature films that stick out is “It’s on You” and “Black Caesar Pirate King.” I can’t share any more details then that because I signed an NDA for those two but there’s more to come.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
The kind of roles I like to play is anything in Action, Drama or Romance. Drama for sure because it shows my range as an actor and it’s the best chance for me to win an Oscar. It is the hardest feat to achieve in this business and I’m ready to perform. I especially love the drama roles because they challenge me and bring out the best in me. I love the Action roles because I would love to play heroes like The Green Lantern or James Bond, with all of the fighting, guns blazing and winning the love interest’s heart at the end. Yeah I would love that! The funny thing about me is that in all the movies I watch I always want the lead to fall in love and get the girl at the end. I hate it when he doesn’t because I feel like he failed after going through so much for her. Sometimes I stopped the movie right before everything goes bad just to savor all of those good memories haha. For me, characters are like a living and breathing being that bring into my own life as if I’m that person. Each role is real to me so when he feels pain I personally feel it. I love roles that bring that out of me.
Any advice to other new up and coming actors?
I would tell other new actors to stop winging it on your career. Get into acting classes as fast you can by workshops approved by top talent agents or actors. Classes like Mike Pointer’s Hey I Saw Your Commercial, David Rountree’s LA Acting Studios, Toby Lawless, Terry Berland, Judy Kain, Lesly Kahn, etc. The one thing you’ll lack being new is experience and to make that up you’ll need to be training somewhere. The next thing I’ll tell them is to get a professional photographer to take your headshot like Todd Tyler, Andy Rooney, Stephanie Girard. Don’t be cheap!! It will ruin you to get photos done by someone with little to no experience. From there submit to a talent agency who has a pretty good track record and then you’re on your way!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The more rewarding part of my work for me is hearing other people I know say their inspire by what I do. Sometimes you don’t know who’s watching you and seeing you go after your dreams. I remember I told a friend once when he asked me a few years ago about why I stopped acting and I said “because it’s tough and I’m not getting any closer.” He said “ that’s why bro??? I was inspired by you man. I said to myself , “if Akeem can do it, then I can do it!” “You can’t quit bro or you’ll let me down!” My friend really opens my eyes that day. I realize what I was doing was bigger than me. So I
Brush myself off and I went back into it like I’m carrying the weight of everyone’s inspirations on my back. Hearing that people are inspired by what you do everyday is the most rewarding and money can’t buy that!
How would your best friend describe you?
My best fiend would describe as someone who has a lot of positive energy! I’m always encouraging her and being a positive influence in her life. She would describe me as someone who has a lot of faith in God and possessing a crazy work ethic. She’s seen me stay up to 2 ‘clock in the morning trying to get things done. She would say that I’m trust worthy and that I always have her best interest at heart. She knows being around me I’ll never lead her into mischief or breaking the law. She would say that I’m one of her biggest cheerleaders.
That I’m constantly feeding her words of wisdom that empowers her and saying things like “you can do it!! I believe in you!!
What’s next for Akeem Mair in 2021?
The next big thing for me right now is Black Caesar the Pirate King. I’ve just been preparing for that role mostly, exercising 4x out the week. I’m aiming to develop my 6 pack so I can be the perfect pirate. We’ll be shooting outside of the states so I made sure I got my passport and my real ID ready to go. I’m excited because we might shoot in Africa and it would be my first time traveling outside of America. I can’t disclose more information on the project but I’m making sure this role breaks me out to center stage. So we’ll see when it’s all set and done. More to come!
What is your own definition of happiness?
My happiness stated for me when I decided to take full responsibility of my own life. Everything that happens to me is my fault. No excuses and don’t blame anybody. When things don’t work out then learn why it didn’t workout. I learned to wait on nobody. If you and your friend decided to go to the beach let’s say and your friend holds you up saying he doesn’t feel like it or let’s go later in the day at a time you’re too busy to go, then go anyway without your friend. Don’t hold up your life for someone else, you have to get moving. When I took on full responsibility for myself I started to say no to some things and yes to some things. I became happy because things were getting done and I was no longer stalling.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to have met 2Pac Shakur. To hear his wisdom on work ethic and how he was able to get so much done so fast at an early age. I remember seeing a clip of him cussing at people around him who were slacking off and chilling like things were completed. He hated wasting time. He once said, “we need to hurry up and finish this album. I did whole album in a few weeks by myself because I don’t stay in the studio trying to be perfect.” That hit home for me. I would love to have met Micheal Jordan in the gym in 1991 -1996. He was the same way as 2Pac. How he yelled in his teammates face about giving half efforts and not giving their all into practice. Love to have met Kobe Bryant as well. How a teammate of his Smush Parker wanted to talk about Football but he’s not in the gyms early in the morning like Kobe putting in work. Jesus Christ too, how he was able to carry his cross on the way to his execution. The strength and courage to do that is something else.
Best advice ever given?
Kobe Bryant said, “if your trying to climb up the top of Mount Everest and you look up, you’ll be like I’m not climbing that mountain. But if you break it down and do it step by step you’ll look up and be at the top of the mountain.” That really stuck with me. So I stop looking ahead into the future and started only focusing on my daily goals, what I needed to get done today. What I found out is what that I had goals everyday and not realize it. I had sat watching tv and then wonder why my life has gotten anywhere. So I unplug the tv and started focusing on my eyes on my journal. The next goals that needs to get done and then I’ll put a checkmark next to each goal that gets done. Little by little I started to see my life change automatically, I didn’t have to no longer worry about my future because if I get it done then I’ll get to where I need to be.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years from now I see myself winning an Oscar award. I see myself walking the stage and I am just in awe on how far I’ve came. I see myself quitting my daytime job and diving into my career full time and being able to support myself financially. I see myself working along side some of the great actors of our time and mounting the movies I Star in the hallways of my house. I see myself on big talk shows talking about the latest movies to someone like Ellen Degeneres, Stephen Colbert, or Jimmy Fallon.
Favorite song? Why?
Dear Mama by 2pac and Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye will always be my favorite songs. Dear mama because it was such a beautifully made song directed to all mothers out there. It just makes you appreciate your own mom and how much she does for you. And Sexual Healing it’s just something about the way Marvin sang that song. I remember when I first heard with my dad when I was little in his van and I told him I wanted Marvin Gaye’s cassette tape for my birthday!
What do you think of Social Media?
I love social media but it is a double edge sword. You have to really pay attention to the content you put out. If you put up pictures of you drinking and smoking weed you’ll push away all of your opportunities and the industry will see you as a risk and unstable. I also try to avoid using it as a journal, where you tell the whole world every movement you’re doing. But if you use social media to put up projects and magazines you’ve been apart and keeping everyone you know up to date on everything I’m doing in my career I feel that’s using social media at it’s best. You have to be able to find me. I shouldn’t be hard to find because if you have a trouble then casting directors have the same trouble.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Bible: King James Version, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason, The Instant Millionaire by Mark Fisher, and The Practice of God’s Presence by Andrew Murray.
Quote: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
Movie: Coming to America, Training Day, Juice, Poetic Justice, I’m Love with a Church Girl, Avatar, Scarface, Titanic, Jurassic Park, Godzilla (1998)
Tv Series: One Piece, Power, Avatar the Last Airbender, Breaking Bad, Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z
Favorite Food: My go to: McDonald’s Big Mac with easy Mac sauce and lettuce, extra cheese, large fries, a sweet tea and 3 chocolate chip cookies!
Cheesecake Factory, Louisiana Fried Chicken, Wingstop, In & Out, Moana’s Hawaiian Barbecue, Islands, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant.
Travel Destination: Las Vegas is my favorite! I go there once a year with my Uncle Nick and My brother Wesley as a mini vacation.
On My Bucket List: Jamaica (My Father’s birth place), Catalina Islands, Hawaii,
Sports Team: The Los Angeles Lakers