Charles D Clark is building an Empire of Inspiration

I was recently blessed by being introduced to Charles D Clark via mutual Twitter friends and was so impressed by his kindness and his story that I had to get him for an interview. You may know Charles from his role on Empire on Fox or his role on Greenleaf on OWN TV. You may have been lucky enough to hear him speak and hopefully have been motivated and inspired by him as well.

Charles is not afraid to talk about his past, the path he has been on (including the wrong turns), and his hopes. It’s refreshing to see someone with a dream who also knows he has responsibilities along the way that he cannot ignore. I hope we see lots more of him on the small screen, the big screen, and at his speaking gigs!

Q: From looking at your resume, clearly you have so much to be thankful for. From looking at your website and social media, clearly you know how to show your gratitude. As we go into a new year, what are some of the things you are most grateful for from 2017?

Charles D Clark: I truly am grateful for life itself. One must have life to live to do great things. I’m grateful for my family, friends and my social media fan base because as we know social media is very, very important in marketing and branding.

Q: Speaking of the new year, what are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Charles D Clark: Where do I start lol?! I just want to become the next greatest actor. In that transition I want to also not just inspire, but to continue to change lives through my platform as a professional actor and speaker. I simply want everyone to win.

Q: I see one of your buddies is someone I admire greatly as well, Devon Franklin. How did you guys connect and what is the best advice he’s given you?

Charles D Clark: I meet Devon by entering one of his contests that was partnered with an AT&T social media movement called Inspired Mobility. Devon chose 4 winners who created the most inspired impactful quote. I was blessed to be one of the winners. From there I was honored that Devon became my mentor and friend. Both Devon and Meagan are truly a blessing to my life. Their commitment to spreading God’s love & wisdom through books, films and global events is phenomenal.

Q: You are on two shows I enjoy, ‘Empire’ on Fox and ‘Greenleaf’ on OWN TV. Can you tell us a little about your experiences working on both?

Charles D Clark: Well, let me start with Green Leaf first because I was just on there as a featured extra once. However, the experience was amazing meeting the main cast and Kirk Franklin who was a special in the episode. To be on an OWN Network set, and mind you I’m an Owner so I’m part of the family, lol, it was a great experience.

On the other hand, Empire was the highlight of my acting career that opened up so many doors ! To start as background driving 13 hours from VA to Chicago approximately 7 times under 2 months is nothing but superb dedication and crazy faith! I didn’t complain and I put a lot of work into it because even as a background the Empire cast and production treated me like family. Now I have a ( Director’s Pick Recurring Role ) as one of Shyne’s main goons/enforcers. To be officially part of a prime time hit show is a dream come true. Xzibit is phenomenal and always gives me great wisdom. The entire Lyons family is simply amazing and down to earth. Terrence and Taraji are just gifts to this world.

Q: As someone who has been chasing his dreams and living them, what advice would you give to others out there who are in the beginning stages of doing so or who are struggling with it all?

Charles D Clark: Simple..Listen to God and not people!

Q: How did you get involved in motivational speaking and what drew you to it?

Charles D Clark: Motivational speaking came natural for me. First you have to have a testimony. My father died when I was 6. In my late teens I got involved with drug dealing and gang banging. When I was about to turn 22 I was arrested and served nearly 8 years in Federal Prison. Then I got I started sharing my story to churches, schools, events, boys homes, and any other place that God sent me. My name started spreading and I won 5 awards as a speaker and through my advocacy I won another AT&T contest as the grand prize winner called ” 28 Days Moments That Matter “. This contest was during Black History month, which is 28 days in February. AT&T wanted to recognize the newest leaders in this time. Because of my work and advocacy during the Baltimore Riot in bringing peace and love along with my volunteering work, AT&T chose me.

Q: If you weren’t an actor, what other fields would you see yourself in?

Charles D Clark: Well, I majored in psychology and I was working with individuals with mental & physical disabilities, so it would in that field. I love helping people and supporting those who feel like there is no hope.

Q: Where can people find you and keep up with you online?

Facebook: Charles D. Clark

Twitter: @cclarkinspire7 IG: @cclarkinspire IMDB: http://m.imdb.com/name/nm5645633/

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

Charles D Clark: I cannot live without God, my mother and my beautiful 7 year old daughter Cynne’ Clark. I wish we could all live without hate. I’m totally against racism and even though I’m not gay I will not hate anyone because of their sexuality. I love all people because only God can judge. All love and no hate is what I stand for!

Q: What’s up next for Charles D. Clark?

Charles D Clark: There,s so much, especially since I’m a SAG actor now! God gets the Glory! Expect to see me in even bigger roles and on the big screen. The main thing is not just stardom, but just being a part of making this world a better place. I can’t do it by myself but I can be apart of the process.

Talent Finders connects YOU to the right people

When I first heard of Talent Finders, I immediately thought of imdb but after discussing it further with their founder, Kerrin Black, I realized it was actually much more. I also realized it could be useful for people in the Entertainment business as well as individuals in various fields who want to be recognized for their talents and find work. Here is their official company profile:

Talentfinders.com is the meeting place for the entertainment community and its worldwide audience. Our vision is to make Talent Finders the most valuable world-wide talent community.

Talentfinders was created in 2007 by Kerrin Black who worked in the film industry. She saw a need to provide a more efficient way of sourcing actors for film productions. What came out of this need is www.talentfinders.com, where all talents that are looking to connect and promote themselves on an international platform can register. Talent seekers can fulfil their requirements by a quick, easy search through one database. 

All Talent needs to be established as a brand and marketed to the audience who needs those talents. www.talentfinders.com provides a simple solution to the branding challenge: It is simple to use, gives comprehensive information about the talent, is easy to update so that all the information is current and accurate and is an affordable marketing medium to a wide international audience.

For the seeker, the site allows the search through multiple genres of talent, is area specific, accurate, efficient and cost effective. No more seeking through multiple genre-specific websites when it can all be done quickly on one site.

The talent spectrum has been broadened over the years from actors and models to include many other talent genres such as musicians, public speakers, dancers and the like. The site was redesigned and re-launched in October 2014 and its positioning in the international market is excellent due to the domain name. Our USP is to market talent to the international markets.

After my initial meeting with Kerrin and once I read the company profile, I wanted to know more about Talent Finders and of course, share it with anyone else who may benefit from it. I was so glad Kerrin agreed to do a short interview so that we could talk about the origins and mission of Talent Finders to give a better understanding.

Q: How did you arrive at the idea for “Talent Finders”?

Kerrin Black: Having worked at a production company behind the scenes I had seen the issues production companies had when it came to castings for commercials. I was watching the Oprah Show when it was still under Harpo Productions, that particular show was on entrepreneurs and I saw what amazing businesses had started with very little. Having worked in the production side of film I realized that there was a need in the market to create an online database whereby talent looking to promote themselves could go on create their profiles, specialty video and voice clips, etc. The idea was to create an online platform for the Talent - Actors, Model’s, Musicians, Sports people, Dancers, Entertainers  and so much more. The idea was to also connect those looking for talent to one central database and give talent exposure to an international audience. I also felt passionate about not only well-known talent but also up and coming talent, exposing them to a world-wide audience. One of Talent Finders benefits is that agents can also place their talent on Talent Finders. We do not bypass the agents or representatives of the individuals, in fact, we encourage the agencies to list their Talent as an added benefit for their talent.

Q: How does “Talent Finders” differ from other platforms like imdb?

KB: The difference with Talent Finders is it is not genre specific, we cover all talent genres. For the User or Talent Seeker to go online and search by category or brief is simple, no matter where in the world the talent is, talent can be found on Talent Finders. It is about connecting the talent seeker to the talent and creating an interactive experience to ensure that the right talent reaches the right people. We are also offering online coaching videos from various specialists in the industry to assist in how to approach important aspects of their business.

Q: What are some of the mistakes you think people make when they are trying to brand themselves as talent?

KB: I think the most fundamental mistake that talent makes is that they don’t treat themselves as a business. If you want to be taken seriously in the entertainment world you have to focus on branding and marketing. The mistake that people make is that they do not invest in themselves – it’s not about being fake, it’s about being true to who you are but to invest in marketing is to invest in looking after your personal brand through exposure on platforms like Talent Finders. Create your logo’s, empower yourself, research the latest trends – the fundamental mistakes always go back to not treating what you do as a business.  Looking at the top entertainers in the world, they not only have great management but they are proactive, they are involved in charity and other businesses, they are aligning themselves with the right people as part of their personal brand. Other mistakes are:

  • No direction – the talent must be passionate about their career choice. Half-hearted gets you nowhere!
  • No logo
  • No image
  • Lack of business knowledge
  • Not prepared with professional marketing material
  • No marketing video
  • No Brand identity
  • Lack of personal and professional growth and training
  • No Coaching
  • Lack of long term vision. Branding is an ongoing, expanding, evolving, trend setting. And making sure your brand has sustainability and longevity
  • Social Media – The management of social media platforms and understanding the does and don’t this is all part branding and has an impact on everything you do. I have seen this so many times, where things need to be consistent and there is a very fine line between controversial and brand damage and brand reputation.

Q: What do you want people to think of when they hear the name “Talent Finders”?

KB: I want people to think of Talent Finders as the place to go to find Talent globally. To be able to find every type of Talent you can think of, wherever you are.  “The Power House of online Talent”.

Q: Where do you see “Talent Finders” in let’s say, 5 or 10 years? 

KB: I see Talent Finders as a Global online empire with millions of talented people connected through one online platform, and my big vision to provide work to both well known talent and undiscovered talent all through a digital stage. The amazon.com of talent!

Get Your Geek on, ‘The Secret Lives of Dorks’ Hits Theaters on 9/27

It seems like it truly is the time of the Geek and the Dork.  We have all been embracing those sides of our personality and have made it cool to be what was once considered uncool by most.  Comic Books, Superheroes, Film Buffs, Nerds, Book Lovers, etc have become the new “it” thing and we’re all loving it!  ”The Secret Lives of Dorks” captures this concept with a cast of talented and familiar faces.

Check out the amazing cast on IMDb and get ready to get your GEEK on!

Here is the official synopsis of the film and in true Geed fashion, and Instagram trailer!

Samantha (a dorkette) is in love with Payton (a dork) who is in love with Carrie (a cheerleader),who dates Clark (the football captain). When Clark seeks out Payton for secret comic book lessons, Payton sees his chance to be with Carrie. But Carrie’s more interested in setting Payton up with Samantha. High School’s complicated, huh? And what’s Clark’s secret?

 

‘Family Guy’ creator raps fake Boston bombs clip

‘Family Guy’ creator raps fake Boston bombs clip (via AFP)

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane condemned a doctored online clip of the show depicting its star using a cellphone to trigger explosions at the Boston marathon. The fake clip was based on scenes from an episode of the cult animated series which aired last month, and which was pulled by broadcaster…

Let Us Lead You ‘Through The Woods’

‘Through The Woods’ is a short film by Mike McAleer which stars Amy Ryder, Lindsay Pearce, and Kelly Lester.  This is a particularly interesting Indie project for many reasons, including the fact that the leads are all female.  The themes explored are voodoo and the supernatural plus the effects of deep depression.  As soon as I read the synopsis, I wanted to find out more and once I found out more, I knew I wanted to share it with my online family.  As with all Indie projects, it is very important to share the projects you love because that is one of the ways to get the word out to others and have it seen by as many people as possible.

Here is the official synopsis and what follows is my interview with Mike:

Suffering from deep depression after the death of her husband, Marilyn, a middle-aged woman, starts a new life for herself in a
quiet, rural town. Feeling guilty and desperate to reconnect with her long-estranged daughter, her new voodoo-practicing
neighbor helps spark familial reconciliation through supernatural means. But as is the case with all decisions in life, Marilyn
quickly learns there are dangerous consequences to her actions, and she must choose between her daughterʼs safety and her
mental well being.

Q: Some of the themes of your movie are Deep Depression and the Supernatural. Both of these topics have had their share of stigmas associated with them.  Do you feel a sense of responsibility to explore these subjects and perhaps remove some of the stigmas?

A: There is no doubt that both of these topics are oftentimes misunderstood in society today.  With depression, I think it is extremely difficult to truly understand the disease and empathize with someone affected by it if you have never personally experienced it.  Similar to the supernatural, I think we generally tend to write-off people that are “possessed” by symptoms of a mental disorder, despite the unfortunate truth they live with on a daily basis.

Of the stigmas, one associates “brokenness” and lifelong assistance to those formerly afflicted by depression.  While I do not know this to be true one way or another, I do believe that these people exhibit extreme strength and fortitude.  To be able to deal with such a debilitating disease, especially while surrounded by others that do not understand it, has to be one of the toughest obstacles the human experience can throw at us.

I do feel a sense of responsibility to explore this theme, and I hope for better understanding, but I do not actively aim to sway the audience’s mind one way or another.  I want people to come to their own conclusions on their own terms.  My goal is to at least get the conversation started.

Q: Do you believe in the Supernatural and Voodoo?  If you could harness these to have whatever you wanted, what would you go for?

A: The supernatural… yes.  Voodoo specifically… not sure.

I know it’s a cliched and somewhat flawed argument, but I always defer to the concept of gravity when rationalizing the presence of the supernatural.  Just because we cannot see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  I honestly feel that most people agree with this, but, barring religious iconography like angels and saints and the devil, most people are quiet about the subject.  Yes, it’s true that early man is known for placing their inexplicable phenomena in the “hands of the Gods” (now known as science… weather, disease, the sun, etc.), but I don’t feel their ignorance negates the countless firsthand accounts of spirits and the paranormal witnessed in the present day and throughout history.

Voodoo is a religious practice that deals with conjuring spirits that can influence people/events in the natural world.  I think the Hollywood system has typically portrayed voodoo as an evil act, but just like every other religion of the world, Voodoo has an equally present “positive” to its “negative.”  I don’t subscribe to the specifics of the Voodoo religion, but I do believe in a positive/negative balance… the yin to the yang, if you will.

With that being said, I wish I knew the absolute truth in regard to the supernatural.  If in fact it’s all true the way I understand it now, I would of course only conjure the “good” spirits and make them do good things for people… and if they had time, I’d ask them to maybe fund my next film… and help parking enforcement realize the evil that they do to the good people of LA on a daily basis…

 Q:  Another theme of the movie is Familial Reconciliation.  You have said that your own relationship with your parents was detached.  Was writing this film cathartic for you?

A: Cathartic is probably the best word to describe all of my work (acting, writing, directing).  I am both fascinated by and somewhat terrified of human psychology, and I constantly strive to understand it, especially my own.  As a storyteller I get to explore the hearts and minds of multiple characters (all of whom I view as real people), and in doing so I get the added bonus of discovering and better understanding things about myself and how my mind works.

With this film, my main characters and their situations are loosely based on experiences from my childhood.  As I talked about earlier, it is extremely difficult to understand depression if you’ve never actually been depressed, and looking back, I think I was exposed to someone affected by depression at a time when I had no way of understanding it.  Psychologically we tend to fill in the blanks when trying to understand the motives and behaviors of those around us, so I created a main character that was deeply depressed in order to explore this possibility.  After spending time inside this character’s head on the page and seeing these behaviors realistically played out by the actor (Amy Ryder) on set, I was able to find some peace and resolution.

As they say, try walking a mile in someone’s shoes in order to understand them.  Whoever “they” are, they’re right.

Q: You explore the concept of actions having consequences in both the Supernatural world as well as in everyday life. Do you believe this is to keep some sort of cosmic balance?

Absolutely!  The first law of motion (also the title of one of my favorite books by K.R. Moorhead) is the first thing that comes to mind when I try to explain my thoughts in this area.  Basically I think our actions/inactions carry weight.  Each choice we make leads us in one direction or another at a constant velocity until acted upon by another force (an action or inaction).  There are definite consequences to our actions, but instead of viewing actions and consequences as good or bad, I view them as neutral.  How we perceive these consequences dictates their good and bad values.

In short, everything we do on a daily basis has consequences.  One should make choices based on their desired consequence.  A “bad” decision can be corrected by performing a U-turn of “good” decisions!

 Q: Even today, films with strong female leads are rare.  Does this put extra pressure on you to make it extraordinary?

A: Among other factors, I definitely felt pressure to make Through the Woods extraordinary in order to effectively portray strong female leads that were not the typical Hollywood “lesser characters or sex objects.”  I wanted them to be dynamic.  I wanted to make them memorable.  I wanted them to be someone we all know despite their extreme circumstances.  I also wanted to accomplish this in a genre that seems almost impossible to change… horror!  (Although I refer to my film as a supernatural drama, there are horror and thriller undertones throughout.)

Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Aronofsky’s Black Swan were two strong influences while crafting this screenplay.  Both explore the pathology of strong, dynamic, female leads that suffer from mental disorders.  I think what’s unique about my film, however, is that my main character recognizes from the start that she has this problem, and she desperately fights to overcome it in order to salvage a relationship with her daughter.

Q: Do you and the film have an online presence? If so, where can we find you and more about the movie?

A: Yes!  We have an official IMDb title page. Also, please, stalk us here:

www.facebook.com/TTWthemovie

Twitter:   @mistermcaleer     @_physiognomic_     @michaelcoulombe     @laurasaurusrex     @lindsayhpearce     @thesingingceo

Check out the teaser here: www.vimeo.com/mistermcaleer/ttwteaser

Q:  Will there be any fundraising campaigns that people can get involved with?

A: Oh, now you ask…  haha

I ran two fundraising campaigns for Through the Woods during pre-production and post-production on Indiegogo.  I did not reach my goal either time, but I still call the campaigns a success, and I think those that see the film will be impressed by how much my cast and crew (especially my director of photography, Lauren Haroutunian… look her up!!) accomplished with such a limited budget.

With that being said, my team and I are more than open to the idea of some motivated investors out there that want to help get this film out to all the major festivals!

Q: Have you begun casting? Who would be your dream leads? Did you write the characters with any specific actresses in mind?

A: The film has already been shot and is just about done with post-production (just a little more sound tweaking).  My three female leads were Amy Ryder, Lindsay Pearce, and Kelly Lester, and I cannot believe how lucky I was to find actors that were so strong and perfect for the roles I had written.

I often write roles with somebody in mind (not necessarily actors), but with this script I only had a partial “dream list” for my lead characters.  I definitely wrote the 300 year old, voodoo-practicing witch character with Sally Kellerman in mind.  I know that sounds kind of rude, but I swear I mean no disrespect!  I had the privilege of watching one of Ms. Kellerman’s cabaret shows at Vitello’s in Studio City, and I was immediately drawn to her energy…almost as if she actually did put a spell on me.  I was so impressed with her, that I went home and re-wrote this character to match her exactly.  Through a mutual friend I got the chance to ask her to be a part of this film, but she was already booked on something else.  This was a little upsetting, and I thought I would never find another match for this role… and then I saw Kelly Lester perform on stage in Spring Awakening, and I knew I was back in business!

My main character, played by Amy Ryder, was actually written with nobody specific in mind.  Even when it was ready to cast the film, I had no idea who I even wanted to play the role.  As an actor myself, I never really understood it when directors claimed they “don’t always know what they’re looking for in casting, but they know it when they see it.”  Now I do understand, as I really had no idea, and then I met Amy Ryder, and I “knew it when I saw it.”

The main character’s daughter, played by Lindsay Pearce, was written with a young Maggie Gyllenhaal type in mind.  I needed somebody who could appear hard on the outside with subtle vulnerability.  I also saw Lindsay Pearce in Spring Awakening, and I knew she had this amazing quality… and she was perfect for the role!

Q: What’s up next for you and ‘Through the Woods’?

A: Well, the immediate goal is to get it out to the festivals.  I’m hoping to have its world premiere here in LA, but I also want to hit up the European markets as well.  It is currently in consideration for the Burbank International Film Festival.

I wrote this short as a prequel to an already-written feature in hopes of obtaining investor interest, so that is the big picture goal.  Hint, hint… angel investors, inquire within!

Through the Woods – Teaser from Mister McAleer on Vimeo.