BlackEnterprise.com: Why have you taken a break from acting?
Good movies just aren’t being made right now. If I was presented with one I most certainly would do it, but I haven’t come across any. I will return to doing film when the time and project is right.
BlackEnterprise.com: At one point you said you were no longer going to play characters who used drugs because you had played a few. How important is it not to get pigeon-holed?
It’s important to keep on reinventing yourself because it will open up more opportunities for you. I never thought about it then until I got caught into [those kind of roles]. It’s so easy to do the same thing that you’ve always done because [people] want you to continue to do that.
BlackEnterprise.com: What’s the best money advice you’ve ever received?
Best money advice I received came from Sidney Poitier (mimicks Poitier’s voice) “Don’t be out there spending all your money because you never know, man. Just save it, just save.” (Laughs)
BlackEnterprise.com: What’s the best financial advice you’d give?
Invest in things that aren’t too risky and that you understand; invest in people who you believe in and trust. Whether it’s in a restaurant business or comedy club, make sure that the people you work with are dependable and reliable. In the past, I have invested in good businesses, but I would do it differently and make sure to find a good, strong partner who knows that business so they can be they can be the creative person ,and I would be the money person.
BlackEnterprise.com: Whats the best money move you’ve ever made?
Building my mother’s house. It’s big enough for everybody (I’m the youngest of six children) to come and visit. At the end of the day the most valuable thing is family. You can make all the money in the world, but with family and love it means nothing.
BlackEnterprise.com: What advice do you have for comedians entering the game today about how to manage their businesses and brands?
Work—stay on the stage—because that’s where you develop new material. When you think about branding yourself, make sure not to put yourself in a box so you can broaden your audience. You should just be known as a funny guy to White, Black, Asian, Latin, whomever like Oprah Winfrey, Coca-Cola or American Express everyone knows these brands Manage your business by trying to have a [future] plan, and always get good advice from people you trust and people who have done what you’re doing before. Listen, learn and apply that to what you’re doing.
Also, always keep that passion, because that’s your value. If you have that, magical doors will continue to open for you.