My Chat with Comedian Marvin Hunter

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The first time that I met comedian Marvin Hunter was at The Spirit of Laughter Show, back in December 2013. Not only did he tear the house down but I was able to see firsthand how a professional comedian can keep the attention of the audience with life stories and excellent stage presence. One of his secrets for making it in the entertainment business as a comedian stems from his motto, “Don’t knock foolishness…it’s nourishment for funny” and so when you go to one of his shows, you’ll see why he lives up to that motto.

A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Hunter grew up having a mind that he wasn’t afraid to express and would say things that others were afraid to say aloud. He saw life from a different point of view and took a hilarious approach to it as he traveled the world while sharpening his craft as a comedian. Being in the entertainment industry can be very hard and fickle but Hunter has proven several times thru his successes that he’s built for it and that he has a lot more to show the world. He’s performed in front of the same audience as some of the greatest comedians such as Mike Epps, Rodney Perry, and Rickey Smiley and has made appearances as a featured comedian on  various shows such as The Steve Harvey Morning Show , Comic View, and Bounce TV’s Off The Chain just to name a few.

As of March 1, 2014, he will appear in a major comedy show called  The Superstars of Comedy and so considering the fact that he is definitely a very busy man, I wanted to make sure that I had the opportunity to chat with him. Let me just say for the record that I was honored that he allowed me the time to ask him a few questions and didn’t have a problem answering each and every one of them. Not only is he a funny guy with a professional attitude to match but he is also very humbled and down-to-earth. It is because of those attributes that he is on his way to becoming a household name. Feel free to read our chat below and enjoy it as much as I did:

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Tell me of the very first time that you got on stage to do comedy. Was it an overwhelming experience?

Marvin: Yes! I requested to do an open mic at a Cigar Emporium held every week…and for a month straight. And for a month straight, I chickened out every week. I was in the navy stationed in Hawaii at the time and the day I built up my courage to do it , I was a nervous wreck and had to take off work that day because I could think of nothing else.

As a professional comedian, has there ever been a moment where you felt like you didn’t know what else to talk about?

Marvin: Absolutely….as a comedian who’s set is very structured, I’ve definitely got to that point. Having  a structured set can be a blessing and a curse. I never get onstage and freestyle.

Who would you say had the most influence over your career?

Marvin: Too many to name. Honestly, the US NAVY has had a huge influence on how I approach problems and career issues, including those associated with comedy.im very no –nonsense.

I’m sure that being in the entertainment business is like a rollercoaster ride. What was that one thing that you had to deal with in the industry that ticked you off?

Marvin: Grown men being sensitive, thin skinned, and insecure. Like I said before, I come from a 20-year military background.  That type of behavior in men is frowned upon.

So what’s next on the agenda for Marvin Hunter? Any new projects that you’re going to surprise your fans with?

Marvin: Im currently a featured comedian on 2014’s Bounce TV’s Off the Chain which begins airing Jan 14, I’m touring with Rickey Smiley.

Can you cook or do you only know how to boil water?

Marvin: I’m from Mississippi…so you know I can cook. My specialty is grilling though. I got a steak marinade that I call “squirrel piss” that will make you slap yo mamma!

What would you do if some random dude came up to you and started telling you a bunch of jokes, asking for you to “hook” him up in the entertainment industry?

Marvin:  I would tell him to get in line with me….hell, I’m still trying to get put on. I would let him know that the hook up is a rare thing. It’s about what are you doing as an individual to put yourself on. You are ultimately responsible for your success.

What’s the last movie you saw? Did you enjoy it?

Marvin: The Wolf of Wall Street…it was great.

If you were only allowed to buy ONE thing in your favorite store, what would you buy?

Marvin: Ford dealership……2014 Harley Davison F150

We all know that Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx are two of the most well-respected pioneers of comedy. If God gave you only one minute to speak to both of them, what would you say?

Marvin: Richard: Thank you for the courage to turn your tragedy into humor…in doing so you changed the world of comedy forever. Red Foxx: how in the hell did you get that far behind on your taxes?!?!?!?

***Follow comedian Marvin Hunter on Twitter @Comedianmarvinh, Facebook, and check him out @ www.marvinhunter.com to find out about his upcoming projects!

Sonica

Copyright © 2014 by Sonica Jackson

My Chat with Eshe!

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A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the soulful songstress and professional dancer, Eshe.  At first, I didn’t know what to expect considering the fact that she is a member of the highly successful, multi-platinum hip hop group called Arrested Development, she’s been featured on a ton of television shows such as Real Housewives of Atlanta,  she’s won two Grammy awards, a Soul Train award,  two MTV awards, and a NAACP Image award. Normally, most people think that celebrities are unapproachable and that they walk around with god-awful attitudes, a truckload of bodyguards, and millions of people that are meeting all of their demands at the snap of a finger. But NOTHING could be further from the truth when it comes to Eshe. And that’s a good thing.

It’s true that she has earned many accolades and has entertained millions on stages from all over the world. As a matter of fact, she has established herself so well in the world of entertainment that it would probably take me a week to list everything that she’s done. But even with her having a wonderful career as an entertainer and doing remarkable things such as writing songs for other extraordinary music artists such as Angie Stone, Eshe is still one of the most sweetest and humbled individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Girlfriend will sit down with you and chat as if you’ve been her friend for years and before you know it, you’re ready to tell her your whole life story. It’s because of her warm personality and her professionalism, that she is one of the most well-respected entertainers in the music industry.

Although she is still a member of Arrested Development and continues to tour with them, she is definitely showing the world that she has what it takes as an outstanding solo artist. She’s made that quite clear with the release of her song, You Make We Wanna, which features the oh-so-fine actor, Omari Hardwick (if you haven’t checked out the sultry video, please do so). With her new single, So Gone, that is set to be released in 2014, Eshe is letting everyone know that her music is not just soulful music; it’s a movement. Let me be real: Eshe is about to turn the world upside down and take everyone’s breath away…and she has the power to do so.

A few days ago, I caught up with Eshe and I was able to chat with her about a few things that I am willing to share with all of you. As always, it was a pleasure to hear from her and I was actually honored that she took time out of her busy schedule to answered the few questions that I had for her. Check out our Q &A session:

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We all know that the entertainment industry can be very fickle. What do you do to stay relevant? 

Eshe: Well, what I do is be myself. I constantly seek God on new ways to present my vision to the world. I think outside of the box and I’m open to being transparent when it comes to sharing my story. I think that when people can relate to you as an artist, you will always be relevant. 

You have a beautiful daughter that you refer to as your “mini me”. If she gets bit by the entertainment bug, what advice would you give to her?

Eshe: Thanks so much for the compliment! Yes, I love my mini me! As far as the entertainment biz goes, she’s already active in it. She has already done loads of work since she was 2 months old. She’s been in numerous magazines, videos, TV pilots, TV shows, modeling, plays, etc. She has a very nice resume! I’m trying to keep up with her! My daughter was featured in my first solo video and she will be in my new video, “SO GONE”, that will be released in January of 2014. She’s also been featured in numerous Arrested Development videos. I always tell my daughter to stay humble, focused, and have fun doing what you do. Her passion is Rhythmic Gymnastics. She has dreams of one day being in the Olympics..she’s had that dream since the age of 5. I truly believe that involving her in my projects is preparing her for her future goals. 

What has been your worst and your best experience as an artist?

Eshe: WOW!! I have had so many great experiences that it’s hard to name just one. If I had to pick one, I would say meeting Nelson Mandela was one of the BEST experiences that I’ve had in my entire LIFE. It was LIFE changing and something that I’ll NEVER forget. As far as my worst experience, I would say being stuck in an elevator at a stadium in Australia. The entire group got stuck. I was thinking… OMG we are stuck in here and no one can hear us screaming! I thought this is it! Thank God for a worker who walked by and heard us yelling…he freed us! Thank GOD for that man!  Looking back, I guess it was not so bad because the entire group, Arrested Development, was stuck with me. At least we were together! 🙂

Let’s play out a lil’ scenario: Let’s say that you’re walking into The Cheesecake Factory and you see your man all cuddled up with a friend of yours, feeding her strawberry cheesecake. What would you do?

Eshe: LOL! Well, that’s never happened to me so I don’t know what I’d do. Hmmmmm. I probably would ask the hostess to seat me at their table. I would probably would say, “Oh, I see some friends, can I sit with them?”  Then once I arrived at the table I would say, “Hey guys, you guys enjoying the cheese cake?” I would definitely say it with a BIG smile on my face and then walk away. I’m a classy lady, so walking away would be BEST. Letting go to move forward, is my motto. 🙂

Tell us how you start your day.

Eshe: I always start my day by giving THANKS to the CREATOR. I pray, read my word (daily bread), say positive affirmations, and write in my journal. I love spending quite time with GOD in the morning.

What’s your favorite dish?

Eshe: I love to make grilled Salmon and Kale….I’m so hooked on KALE! 

With the new released of your music video, So Gone, what else do you have in store for your fans?

Eshe: Yes, my new single/ video “SO GONE” will be out in January 2014. I’m very excited about this song. It shows a different side of me. I have many layers to who I am as an artist and I’m SUPER excited about my growth. I can’t wait to share it with the world.  I’m also, working on a book, workout dance DVD, working on my EP that will be out next year, TV show ideas, mentoring, acting, etc…I have my hands in a few things. 🙂

 

***For additional info on Eshe and to keep up with her upcoming events, you can check out her website @ www.esheafrosoul.com. She can also be reached on Twitter @ Eshe2xGrammy and on Instagram @ Eshe2xGrammy.

 

Sonica

Copyright © 2013 by Sonica Jackson

My Chat with Comedian Saint Vick!

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On Friday night, I had the pleasure of going to The Spirit of Laughter comedy show and I only have one word to describe it: AMAZING. At the present moment, my head and my sides still hurts from all of the laughing that I did. The show was full of so many surprises such as singing, fashions, vendors, caterers, poetry and of course, comedy. The creator of the show was comedian Victor Terrell (better known as Saint Vick) who is the founder and owner of Keep Rising Outreach Productions, a company that he runs with his business partner, Maxine McDaniels.

When I arrived to the show, I realized that I should’ve gotten there a lil’ earlier because a massive crowd of people were in attendance. There were more people at the show than at a convention and the seats were filling up fast as if Saint Vick was gonna give away free bags of money. Saint Vick was the host of the show which was headlined with fantastic comedians such as Willie Brown, Miss Sunshine, Marvin Hunter, and Degario “Double D” Turner. All four of these amazing acts tore the house down in a major way and afterwards, we partied like rock stars at the after party which consisted of line-dancing and networking.

Nowadays, Saint Vick is a very busy, high-in-demand, businessman and so I was very blessed to be able to catch up with him and chat with him in regards to his career as a comedian. While talking to him, he was very humble and more than willing to answer all of my questions which made my job a lot easier.  Thank God! Feast your eyes on our lil’ Q & A session:

How did you know that a career in comedy was meant for you?

Saint Vick: I knew the career in comedy was for me because as a young kid, having the driving passion to make people laugh and it just never went away. When I became a teenager I decided to embrace it instead of ignoring it…….It Worked! Lol.

Who was the most influential person that you met and why?

Saint Vick: I’ve met so many people who have infuinced me I can’t say just one but to narrow it down I will have to say the guys of 4 Manna Quest. (not just because we are friends either. lol)  Vyck Cooley, Darian Perkins, Willie Brown, Marc Henderson, & Shedrick Garrett. When I met these guys all in an individual time pretty much, they all had been doing television, movies, radio etc…. and they all embraced me & Vyck Cooley took me under his wing and showed me the ropes and how to survive in the life of comedy……I haven’t looked back since. Darian cultivated me with wisdom and knowledge of it all. Shedrick showed me how to grow as an business man (doing behind the scenes work and still being an comedian all on the same production). Willie helped me to get my name out in public view connected me with many people in the ministry and industry. Marc has truly been the one to show me how to take faith steps and discernment to know what to do and not to do especially as a comedian representing Christ……….The influence these guys have on my life is remarkable and irreplaceable.

Out of all of the events that you have performed at, which one has been the best one thus far?

Saint Vick: WOW! There have been so many great events and many events we do (especially Keep Rising Outreach Productions) that are benefits for organizations and for saving lives. All the comedy events we have done to raise money for people to have surgery and help save lives to cover their bills has ultimately been the best for me in my book. It brings my heart so much joy to do this. Actually my mother is up for a kidney transplant next year and we are planning to do the same thing for her in my home town of Greenville S.C. next year in March of 2014. I so love this! This is a calling straight from God!

Besides trying to make people laugh, what else the hardest part about being a comedian?

Saint Vick: One of the hardest things about being a comedian is people think you are suppose to crack jokes and make them laugh all the time even off stage. Sometimes people forget that is an “ACT” and yes we are funny off stage sometimes but we are regular people too. Actually the comedy part is just 10% of our lives. It’s more serious than what some people think but we have to be that way still even if we don’t want to just so we can keep our support base of people. If I’m worshipping God at church people will look at me like “You’re not praising HIM for real, you’re a comedian” Duuuuuh, I am? Thanks for telling me. Entertainers are no different than the regular people. Now I understand why some superstars and some celebrities can’t go to a small church. (nothing against them, but too many people are in their face when they are trying to be serious and have their “God moment”).

If there is anything that you would want to tell up-and-coming comedians, what would you tell them?

Saint Vick: I want all up and coming comedians to stay faithful to themselves and the comedy game and be original. Too many comedians steal other comedian’s material and use it instead of writing their own material and being original. This hurt other comedians who work hard at writing late night hours and go to a venue to do a funny routine all to just hear crickets outside because the audience isn’t laughing because they heard the same joke a week before from another artist that decided to use your material instead of write their own. That urks me! Once a joke has been heard u can’t keep repeating it over and over to the same crowd because it isn’t funny anymore. (That’s why singers have it sooo much better than us. lol) They can sing the same song over and over to a crowd who already heard it 50x’s in the same week on the radio and never get tired and listen to it as if it was their first time…..lol

Explain the worst experience you’ve had in your career.

Saint Vick: Actually one of the worst experiences I’ve had in my career was very very recently. A comedian friend and myself was booked to do a co-ed baby shower for for this married couple and their friends. It was at a venue for all adults (or atleast that’s what we were told). When we got there it looked like disney on ice. Their were kids running around (under the age of seven all over the place). They were yelling, hollering, playing, kicking each other and screaming and we had to do comedy in the midst of all that….I was like for real? It was Be Be kids “the movie” all over again. You live and learn and I know some environments aren’t meant for comedy. We live and we learn……I’ll prob never do one again and if I do, it will be under strict guidelines……..leave yo snot running, nappy headed, spongebob square pants wearing, cheeto crumbs around the mouth children at home with a supervised babysitter…… #thatisallIwillsayaboutthat

What does the future holds for St. Vick? Any future projects that you want us to know about?

Saint Vick: In the future I am definitely looking to do more television and film. It has been a loooong time coming and this is where my next drive is gearing. Within the next year, people will definitely see me doing more of this so just keep watching, ya’ll gonna see me on “The Five Heartbeats Part II” The return of Eddie Cane III………….Selah

 
If you want to learn more about Saint Vick and all of his endeavors, visit his website @ www.saintvick.com. Take a look at the pictures below that I was lucky enough to capture while at The Spirit of Laughter show:
Comedian Degario "Double D" Turner

Comedian Degario “Double D” Turner

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Comedian Marvin Hunter

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Comedian Willie Brown

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The beautiful models that escorted the comedians on stage.

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Saint Vick’s business partner, Maxine McDaniels

Miscellaneous pics from the show:

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Good day, people.

Sonica

Copyright © 2013 by Sonica Jackson