“Deadbeat” began as an idea from the creator Daniel Harris aka “Danny Froze”. He assembled a team to produce a music video originally. With the success of the video, he then progressed to the “Deadbeat Web Series”. I had the opportunity to interview some of his cast and crew members from the screening of “Deadbeat 2” episodes 5 & 6 that took place in a packed auditorium at the University of Chicago in mid-late November 2018.
How is “Deadbeat” important to you?
KS: This is my first time in a lead acting role.
What is your role in deadbeat?
KS:”Ronnie”, a young music producer, survives in the streets growing up without a father. He leaves the streets to re-build a relationship with his father (redemption) and tries to progress in a positive way after getting out of jail. He’s a laid back and humble dude.
How did you come to acquire this role?
KS:Danny Froze reached out to me. We were close friends. Someone else was supposed to get the part, but he picked me. We did the music video first. Then from the success of that, we went on to do the web series. He opened the door for me because I’ve never acted in a music video or on web/ tv before. Danny Froze saw something in me that lined up with the character.
What advice would you give to others?
KS:Believe in yourself. Have a passion and confidence. I just want to become better and work hard.
How did you come to be introduced to “Deadbeat”?
RG:I was introduced to Danny Froze by an actress Thea Camera, who I have worked with on several occasions. Danny appealed to me because of his tenacity and strong work ethic. I like to work with like- minded people. We met up and I came on as a co-writer for episodes 5 and 6 of the series.
Who is your favorite character?
RG:My favorite character is the main character “Ronnie”. He’s relatable and I know so many people like him. He’s quiet and to himself. There are a lot of events going on in his head. It’s complicated because sometimes the silence screams out in the wrong way.
Tell something you learned while working on this production.
RG:I learned that Danny Froze is willing to do what ever to make “it” happen. He has a lot the same characteristics that I do. He’s patient and willing to work on the scenes until you get it right.
What’s next for you?
RG: I want to move forward with Richard Gallion Entertainment Studios in acting, dancing, singing, producing and have a platform for a series of different things.
Jamal “Gravy” Woolard-Actor/Rapper
What is your role in “Deadbeat 2”?
JW: I have a cameo in this part of the series. I play a character named “Quincy”, who is trying to support and see eye to eye with his best friend.
How is Chicago similar to NYC?
JW:Most people know me for playing “Notorious B.I.G.”- Christopher Wallace. When I came to Chicago and spent time here, I realized there is just as much struggle and hustle here. The murder rate in Chicago is unprecedented. And things are changing in both cities. My home, in areas of Brooklyn, is turning into the “New Manhattan”. People of color are steadily being moved out of their communities. It has been happening for years though. I see it’s happening in Chicago, too.
What did you learn on the set?Any new experiences or epiphanies?
JW:I got to know the cast and crew better. It was like a family environment. We talked about differences and similarities in Midwest culture vs. East Coast culture, and who has the best pizza.
What began your passion for entertainment?
K:I started off with acting and music in my career, but my niche came with spoken word at Corliss High School.
Why does “Deadbeat ” appeal to you?
K:This had a serious role that allowed me to take a step up from what I normally have known of productions. It was a life-changing experience! The amount of time taken toward the project helped me realize what was meant for me and led to my resignation from the post office.
What is next for your career?
K:I would like to record a platinum selling album and direct a feature film.