What does discipline mean exactly? Retired Navy Veteran, Graham Weatherspoon shares how his experiences in the service is relatable to the world of entertainment. This includes promptness, showing up on time, in uniform, being ready to tackle the day and your “mission”.
How does one get their foot in the door when it comes to acting? Graham shares how, after he retired from the Navy, he ran for Mayor of his city. But he also had an interest in acting, getting involved in media relations in the Navy, as well as working in film. After retiring from Navy, he met a friend who knew someone who needed extras for a movie. He recollects a humorous story how his role would be a corporate officer and his instructions were to dress in corporate attire. Being originally from New York, he dressed accordingly, and turns out to be overdressed. Little did he know, that would lead to a bigger opportunity of having his own special scene in the movie where he would be the big boss. This helped pave the way to him seeking the journey of acting that would become his new journey.
He goes on to share a candid conversation with Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) ten years prior while he was filming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, where he asked him; how does one get into acting, to which Anthony responded; being at the right place at the right time. He proceeds to share how he and his kids had an encounter with Anthony and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers). He signed his headshot to Anthony, thanking him for the advice he gave him years ago.
Cinema Entertainment is an entirely different world. Especially for Graham coming from the hard, tough life of the Navy where everything is organized, prompt and strategic. But he counts how different that is when it comes to acting and cinema entertainment. It’s an art and actors are fluid. Anything can change at any given moment and you have to be along for the ride.
Why is collaboration beneficial in this industry? Graham explains how it is beneficial to work with others, and how others may have that experience or knowledge that you may not have.
Graham has played a lot of law enforcement roles in acting. But when asked what his ideal role would be, he shares how he had an antagonist role as a human trafficker who had to traffic his own daughter. He goes on to express how hard and disturbing it was getting into that role. Terrifying! But he wants to exprience all avenues with acting and roles. He doesn’t want to be tied down to any one role. And, this is important with acting and cinema entertainment. Explore all paths. Be versitile.
What story would you write? I ask Graham this question and he expresses delving into positivity and showing African American males in a positive light and getting away from the stereotypical ruse that we see today. He mentions classic drama and romance films from the 90’s (The Wood, Love Jones) that show empowerment. Versatility in cinema entertainment is important.
What is fear? So many people have many fears. What most would shy away from, Graham runs toward it, ready to embrace whatever comes his way. He recollects a candid story of when he was in the Navy and how he first wanted to be a police officer, but that position wasn’t available. So, he went into Aviation and shortly decided he wanted a career change. He went into Law Enforcement. He was submerged into the field, where he would experience a near-death situation. And, fortunately and luckily, he survived! That all ties back to adapting and conquering fear and realizing you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. Fear does not exist. It’s all in your mind.
Words of wisdom from Graham Weatherspoon II: Don’t give up. Go after your passion. Do what you have to do. Be at the right place at the right time. Take any opportunity you can. Believe in yourself.