To make it in the entertainment industry, one has to have skill, courage, and most of all, determination. Akeem Mair has all that and more. Each day, Akeem is one step closer to achieving his dreams of stardom, and in between his busy schedule, we luckily got to sit down with him for an interview.
What do you love most about being an actor?
I just love being in front of the camera. It’s like my escape from my own reality, which is refreshing to me. I get the opportunity to pour myself into different characters and experience that person’s life. How they see the world and how different their life experiences are from mine. I love to learn how they think, how they would react in certain situations, the way they talk and walk, the way they dress, etc. At first the camera scared me, I’m not gonna lie, but a director once told me that the fear I show in front of the camera robs the audience of their entertainment. Once I broke out of that, acting is my life!
What do you tell other actors and actresses looking to break into the entertainment business?
I would tell them to seek out mentors first! That means the first thing you should be thinking in pursuit of becoming an actor or actress is to sign up for classes. Not just any classes, but the ones that are recommended by top casting directors, agents, managers, and anyone who’s well respected in the film industry. The second thing you should do is sign up for the 4 major acting audition sites: LA Casting, Actors Access, Casting Frontier, and Backstage. These 4 big sites are used by all of the top casting directors, agents, managers, etc. Always do you research and don’t take my word for it. You always want to double check and make sure you are not being scammed!
What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge for me is balancing my money and time. Because let me tell you, I’ve invested a lot of money to strive as an actor. Dreams come with lots of sacrifices. This is the one side of dreams that is not so glamorous. I can’t watch TV when I get home because I have to practice, do auditions, or attend classes. Before I can even think about buying the latest technology, clothes, or shoes, I have to think about classes, camera equipment, printer, headshots, costumes, etc. You have to be willing at any moment to sacrifice for your dreams and it’s the hardest part. I’m giving up sleep most days because I’m so busy, but I love it!
Nobody is self made. Who are the mentors you are grateful for that helped you achieve success in a business that’s so hard to break into?
It all started back with my first mentor, Mike Pointer, from Hey, I Saw Your Commercial! This was back in June 2019, I was at my rock bottom when he told me to just trust him and not think about the past and keep my eyes on changing my future.
My next mentors were Jeremy Jordan, David Rountree, and David Banks from LA Acting Studios! These guys really worked on my confidence to go back on set and booked me my first short film in 3 years to get me started again.
Then there was Mike Dolphy with the Actors Blueprint, who helped get the first talent agent I’ve ever had, Sarah Angeli. My next mentors were Ross Lacy, Alyson Horn, Dave Lowe, and Micheal Antonacci from The Commercial Class! They helped me conquer my fear of commercial cold reads and the insight knowledge on how to win the audition room.
Toby Lawless told me to keep it real and to let go of trying to show too much with your hands and body. Through Covid-19 I met my new line of mentors, who are Toni Charline, Judy Kain, Mariko Ballentine, Terry Berland, Lesly Kahn, Grant Jordan, Susan Bell, and Scott Sedita.
As you can see, I have a tremendous amount of mentors behind my success. I didn’t do this alone!
Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I see myself walking across the stage, winning my 6th Oscar! I see myself climbing to the top of the acting game. I see myself being a role model to kids. I see myself on the cover of magazines. I see myself watching a movie I starred in with family and friends. I see myself growing into a man that’s completely different from me right now, and I’m gonna love my journey just as much as the destination!
Follow Akeem Mair on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Backstage, Casting Frontier, Actors Access, LA Casting, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, or check out his IMDB account for updates on his latest projects.