Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams: My name is Marcus Drew Williams, I am son to Mitchell and Vanessa Williams, one of the triplets. I’m a Shinnecock member. I’m also one of the firstborn triplets of the Shinnecock Nation.

My grandfather is Donald Williams. His eldest brother, Harry, was trustee for over 27 years, probably 30 years and hopefully, that continues in my family with my brother Maurice now running for trustee as well in this upcoming election.

I’m a freelance associate producer, location manager production coordinator. I went to college for theater, actually graduated with a degree in that. I loved the art since I could remember and always knew what I wanted to do with an entertainment field such as creating, writing or helping produce projects. And that is my main goal and focus for my nation now, is to find a way to bring our culture to light through media. Whether that be through, reality TV, cooking shows, documentaries or even feature films.

I mean, golden interest is to, like I said, bring a positive light to the eastern coast Native Americans because I feel like Hollywood and media portrays us in their own light instead of the actual natural light that we have for ourselves.

Jeremy: What would you say kind of got you interested in theater and production and all that?

M: I would say what got me interested in production and entertainment itself is, I don’t know, just something when I was a child. I always liked entertaining. I always like dancing.  I didn’t mind reenacting movies or tv shows that I liked. And then I really got into it as growing up as Shinnecock for our Powwows, dancing, and whatnot and having people admire our culture and our steps and learn more from it. So that furthered my curiosity on the whole like entertainment thing.

But like I said, what really got me into it, it’s just loving being on stage actually, I really liked this. And then to see how many people actually pay attention to things that are entertaining, so you can attract the eyes of many different people, just from the entertainment itself.

J: And it’s interesting that you mentioned power because, for my work, I always find like the similarity between what’s happening there and what I want to see accomplished. So before you began theater and production, did you have a role at Powwows? Or was it something you did every year before you got into that?

M: Yeah. So every year I always participated in powwow, traditional dancer. I started training and fancy dance and Eastern War by the time I was a teenager. And I’ve always participated in all of our community activities, midwinter gathering and things like that. So, it’s kind of just was in me growing up and not to mention like, when I was younger, you know, we followed a lot of our seniors out camping and learning the natural environment of our nation. So the berries, we can eat the animals, we can hunt, how to hunt them, what was our original foods, you know, back in the day for our ancestors. So all of that had a good combination of things for me.

J: Do you ever find that kind of being you unique to Native Americans? There’s always that cliche that they’re kind of like the nature protectors or they’re not allowed to consume as many as much as other people.

M: Yes, I do. Which isn’t it’s not a bad thing. But it also it’s also like a special thing to because being Native American and growing up within your culture, so knowing who you are, what you are, you know, how you became to be who you are. It’s a lot different than, leaving your nation to go to, I call it the outside world. So when you’re growing up on a reservation such as this, where it’s a smaller community, it’s a tight community, you know who your first, second, third, fourth cousins are down the line. So you know, your family tree, your family lineage very well. And you know your culture very well. So, you know, when you go out to the real world, and you hear those cliches or you, you hear someone asking like, do you live in a teepee? Or do you guys have tomahawks or this and that?

One, it shows me that, you know, Americans themselves know very little about the original people who are here. And two, that I do have a special background because I do know so much about my culture. So hearing those things, it’s funny, but to me, it also gives me joy because I know that there are a ton of people out there that need to know more about us or should I say the truth about us. Because like I said, what Hollywood and media put portrays us as is not all indigenous people of this country. They love to glorify Western natives or anything, things like that, and they go about the actual first contact people who are here to greet and help the colonizers, or should I say being taken over by colonizers?

So, to me when I hear that or hear cliche or hear, like, you know, something, I would feel ridiculous. I kind of get, not angry, but like more of that, ooh -, let me put knowledge on somebody type of feelings, instead of like, “that’s wrong!” Because you know, you can’t really be upset with somebody who doesn’t know anything because they’ve never experienced it. Your first thought should be to actually educate them and teach them.

J: College days are where you’re most experimental. It’s kind of like before the commercial days were like, all right, I have to get rid of those other crazy ideas. Do you have any, like, really crazy that you wanted to perform or produce that either made it or didn’t make it just from like a personal vision?

M: Oh, well, pretty much almost anything I want to produce or create hasn’t truly been done yet. Because like I said, there hasn’t been anything I had seen to represent these Eastern tribes. So for me, everything in my head hasn’t been completed yet. There are plenty of things I want, like I said, like a cooking show based off of the indigenous people of the Eastern tribes, I want like a reality show on our culture following us through the woods and how we learn things in our language.

Movies based off of us, I haven’t seen any of these things. So, while I was in college, college is great, not just for like, you know, the higher education you get, but for networking, and also learning who you are as an individual because now you take yourself off of a nation and a family that, you know, everyone’s so tight and so connected. And now you have to really rely on yourself like there’s nothing out there telling you what’s cool or what’s not cool or you know if someone has your back if you get into a problem. You have to learn how to be yourself to fend for yourself and also have your own thoughts without having a family member or an elder kind of persuading a certain belief or a certain thought. So for me, college was that for me, you know, I enjoy learning without a doubt I enjoy learning but to me, it was the experience of learning about other people, other cultures and other identities as well as finding your own identity for yourself.

So, that’s what college really, really, really gave me. And it also again showed me how many people out there in the world or even our own country don’t know about Eastern tribes. But you know, I don’t look like how they portray us in Hollywood and I don’t look like this or you know, I don’t look like that I don’t sound like this or my hair isn’t this color or I’m too dark to be Native American, you know, all these things you face while you’re out in the real world, because you’re really not going to face them in your own culture.

You will at times as I said, there are people who you know who are kind of brainwashed and you know, they don’t understand things but you don’t really get it until you leave your nation and your reservation. But at the same time you and I didn’t take that as frustrating or, you know, getting angry at the world I took it as more as it’s up to me now to teach the world who we are properly. Instead of has someone else tell our stories, I would like us to tell our own stories, I would like to see a Native American director, directed Native American film about Native Americans, I would like to see a Native American writer and the American producer. If you have casting calls for Native Americans for the east or west coast, find those natives who are still there alive. And you can portray these characters because now that you have so much technology, and there are so many freedoms in America, you should be able to do that just fine. You shouldn’t be will have to cast somebody from Italy to play Native American who’s based on Wyoming. It’s weird, but that’s what college pretty much gave me the drive to do is it’s to push that more.

And the reason why I study theater is because since the beginning of time, theater has always been a form of telling stories of telling history and things like that and entertaining the people. And no matter whether you know your economy or your you know, your civilization at the time is up or down. The theater has always stayed consistent. No matter if you’re sad, you go see a movie, whether you’re happy you can go see a movie, whether you’re depressing, go see a movie or see something that entertains you and brings you joy or takes you out of the realm of reality for yourself. And that’s why I studied theater. Because in order to get into entertainment, which is the media part, you must just know my culture, you have to know the roots of things. So I like to study and learn the roots of things before I just jump to, you know, what’s given to us now. So it’s almost like the whole crawl, walk and run thing.

J: Well, based on that answer, I’m curious because there’s so much content that you can work with. Do you ever find yourself more swayed to kind of more thing and appropriating already existing representations of Native Americans? Are you find yourself more like going to libraries in history books to get inspiration?

M: No, my inspiration comes with the present because I’m pretty well versed in history and whatnot. So you know, that’s always just been there, but it information comes from the present seeing what I see on TV and seeing the moves I see today. And it being, you know, 2000 and plus up, you know, I just feel like there should be more, how should I say, positive and accurate representation of Native Americans, and that it’s just lacking all over the media. I mean, simple things as cooking shows. I’ve never seen a cooking show with a Native American host talking about indigenous foods and how they are, you know, transitioned in today’s meeting. I’ve never seen a reality survival show around Native American like, you know, for the ones who taught people how to survive in this new world, you called it, how come they’re not a survival show with a Native American as a cast member or possibly even a host. So it’s just things like that in the present-day that I see that doesn’t need to be corrected. It just needs to be done. Because you’re already doing these types of shows. You’re just not doing them in the aspect that I would like to see them.

You have over 500 plus nations that are Federally Recognized plus more than aren’t. So there are thousands of Americans in this country who would love to see something based on who they are and where they come from. So even when you take people who have Native American Heritage within their bloodline and say, you know, you always get the whole, oh, well, I’m Native American too, my great grandmother was Cherokee or, or Chippewa, or this or that, or this and that, which by all means, I never once you know, question anybody’s, lineage if that’s who you are, that’s who you are, that’s fine. But wouldn’t it be cool to watch something that, you know, you’re about a culture that, you know, you may come from, you know, if you have a show about, you know, the Shinnecock or the Onondaga or something like that, like, you know, when you see a show based off of that culture, people from this country will watch it because it’s part of who they are. And that’s what I want to try to do, that’s what you know, present-day show me that we’re lacking in. Just, you know, the actual proper portrayal of indigenous people and their culture and who they are actually as people, the many different faces and colors and creeds that come with them. And that’s what I want to show.

J: Great. Well, that’s a good segway into my next question, which is, you seem very convinced and comfortable that (I think it’s something like, according to the last census we’re like less than 2% of the entire population) but at the same time, you’re really serving that population with what you do and make. So I wonder, how do you feel about like being a producer in this very desaturated industry where you have to, like convince people to give you grant money?

M: Yeah, it’s, it’s a little difficult. It’s extremely difficult, because like you said, to their consist, according to them, really, you know, we are only about 2% which is not true, because their census is based off of certain things like marriage and all this other stuff. And if you look at our law and if you know history well, a lot of us won’t even be considered married until like the 1970s because of a law that said that we wouldn’t be, you know, legally married, for marrying a person of color or marrying someone in your tribe or things like that. So that number, that 2%, is skewed itself. And that’s also something I want to show through the media, that that number is not correct. And having shows like this, you’ll see more and more Americans learning who they are, who their great grandparents or who their grandfather was, or who their mother or father may be. And that will show that that that number itself is just just a made up skewed number.

So it’s, it’s difficult, yes. So when you’re trying to pitch a show based around something that’s not really created, you don’t, productions are going to be afraid to throw money at something that hasn’t been done yet. So you have to be really good at pitching something, you have to start using your own money, your own time to create your own stuff, to actually show them that you’re worth investing in. And it is difficult because, if you create a show, or there’s a show like it out there like that, that they can see that’s already doing well that they could spin-off of it, it’s a lot easier to do something like that. But, you know, I’m trying to take shows that already had the cookie-cutter template and just throwing in different cultures and different people into it. Same time, that’s still a little scary for productions because, again, you don’t have UPS anymore. Sure, like you have BET and things but even those networks are just, you know, it’s hard to get out there to the bigger networks and NBC. So it can be difficult.

So you know, you gotta learn how to write grants, you got to learn how to you know, put together your own pitches and your own productions with your own money. Then you gotta study everything, being someone like me like you got to figure out how to edit well, how to how to shoot well, you know how to write it, what time, you take on a lot of different roles and hats for yourself when you’re in a situation like me. I wish I could just produce something like okay, here’s the idea in now lets put people together, let’s get this let’s get that but it’s not that easy. Because like you said, you can pitch a great idea great show, but because it hasn’t been seen or proven to work yet. You’re going to find it difficult to get funding for it.

But eventually, I think people want to see these things because like I said, more and more people are learning history a lot faster and taking more in more through history nowadays because you have, you have more of the real history being taught to people, you know, only 20 years ago, you know, you were still being taught Columbus discovered America. That was only up until about five years, I would say, or maybe two, three years, where those days are not even celebrated anymore. Because people are realizing they’re not being taught the truth of American history. And that’s also again, why I’m choosing media to do that, because more people are, you know, they don’t surround themselves with books anymore. They surround themselves with computers, tablets, and phones, so they get to press the button and they want to watch things.

So that’s why I think it’s important right now also to use media for the tool and outlet to the things I’m trying to do.

J: What’s another great segway into, for example, you’re so specific with both your audience and your participants in what you do. So how do you, especially in a contemporary world, where everyone just wants to sit inside and watch TV or be on their tablet, how do you get participants for your projects that don’t have like previous examples, or something that you could show that that’s what I want to kind of make?

M: Well, you get them honestly, by just speaking to them. You have to like I said, the one thing we are good at as indigenous people was also storytelling. So if you can find a way to tell a good story within your pitch, that’s how you get them right there. And then what the tool is, as media such as you say, is Instagram, Facebook and things like that. You take it upon yourself to market yourself as those things.

So like on my Instagram, you’ll see me working on you know, my documentary, you’ll see photos of Powwow and video of other Native Americans being interviewed, you’ll see a little bit of my life within the Native American community. So with those tools alone, it’s a little bit easier now to get your audience or get to your audience and get someone you know, interested in what you have to say. For just talking to one person, they start following you know, their friends wanna know who you are, and they start falling so it’s like it’s a little bit easier now than it would be about 10 years ago to do so. But that’s pretty much how I would how I try to attract my audience or get out to my audience what I want to do or what I’m trying to do. And then you’ll, you’ll just find it easier to actually that pulls in also people who want to participate.

So when you get those people out there, for instance, you taking your photos and doing what you’re doing, and you’re only right down the road for me. You know, we see each other’s work throughout those things, and we want to work with each other and then you get other people from other nations who I’ve danced with or with the Powwow with, you see what I’m doing also want to jump in. So that’s pretty much it, I use today’s technology and media outlets to also pull in my audience and pulling the people who may be attracted to what I’m trying to do.

And then when I actually put out something my own, whether it be an independent film or small documentary or anything like that, those people who may have the tools or the funding to funding something bigger are now already watching.

J: So we laid down a great foundation and kind of like what motivated you but maybe we can segway into current projects that you’re working on that you personally added to maybe like the story or maybe you’re even leading the project – that you’re able to disclose.

M: Sure, right now at the moment we, I’m gonna say we – Anii Dyani Brown, Shane weeks and myself. We’re working on a small mini-doc for Shinnecock and it’s only going to be like an hour and 30 minutes long tops, I’m trying probably like six segments.  About 20 to 25 minutes apiece. So that’s what I’m working on now. It’s going to cover our quick history, our present where we see ourselves in the future. And then the last segments are going to be just a bunch of interviews and talks about being Shinnecock and living Shinnecock. So that to me is a project that’s important because like I said, it’s the foundation for what we’re going to try to catalyst ourselves out to do.

So not only will you have like interviews from ages 102 down to, you know 50, which I call them seniors, you also have your interviews and talks with the youth, you’ll have talks with people my age, I was like we’re trying to hit a lot of different generations within this, this documentary, and to kind of show some of the things we do today because like I said, there’s a lot of negative attention for us in this town. They never talk about when we do great things or good things they only seem to only want to talk about when we’re defending ourselves or when something wrong happens up here. So then people get the wrong conception of us where they think oh, it’s dangerous out there. It’s this and that it’s this and that.

And we have like, no – we most certainly have the most beautiful area is on the east end of Long Island. Without a doubt. Our crime rate is very low. You know, I don’t even lock my doors. Our crime rates very low, but I want people to know who we are.

It’s sad that you know, this nation has been here before anything and people don’t know who we are that we’re here. It’s silly to me that’s, that’s insane.

So that’s one problem working on and another project I’m working on is, I’m fully trying to write this myself. I got a couple of things in writing. So we have a cooking show that’s based off of a host who goes around – it’s almost like a drive and dine, the guy who drives his car and the Food Network moved different places in the country eating. It’s based off of that model, but it’s with a Native American from an Eastern tribe, goes to different nations learning about the indigenous foods of those nations and how they transition into today. I started writing stuff out for [Wampanoag Chef] Sherry Pocknett about four or five years ago just kind of added on to things to see how you know, we want to try to do the pilot. So that’s something definitely I’m working on as well. I’m trying to shoot probably the first episode of the pilot this summer when she opens up a restaurant.

Another thing I want to work on is a survival show with Shane Weeks. Same structure as the cooking show, except it’s like Bear Grylls. Instead of like, “This is how you survive!” instead of that it’s more of you follow Shane weeks to different nations and they teach you how they hunted originally and how hunting has changed up today and then when you’re in the wilderness or when you’re somewhere how to survive in a certain area.

So using these techniques you’ve learned as a child through from your culture is how you can still survive today in certain areas. So that’s about cooking shows about the survival show.

And then I also my baby, I’ve been kind of chipping away after last six years is a show based off a US Marshal, who is Native American and African American who comes from an Eastern tribe and the whole thing’s based on Shinnecock and he is in he’s called home to be the one law enforcement on his reservation because they’re trying, just like Shinnecock, trying to figure out a judicial system things like that. So while they’re doing that, they call him back home to be the one law enforcer on the reservation, which he does and then the series takes place of him as, you know, rekindling with his family. Showing that he didn’t lose any of his heritage. There will be flashbacks and stuff of him going to other nations because he learns different languages. So not only does this character know his own language and his peoples’ but he knows language from different areas. And it’s just, you know, it’s just another like, I want to say like cop show but not because like it’s more family-driven and then things like that. And like I said, he’s a US Marshal and not a police officer.

So he’s only a police officer for his nation, that small, small area, but when he’s off his nation, he’s just a US Marshal. So it’s like, you know, he’s not arresting people for drinking and driving, getting bar fights. US Marshals are in the service protection or they’re looking for people who are wanted. So you know, you have little bits of storylines and plots to play with, that’s going to be fun. And I’ll show you how he’s able to be such a successful us Marshal because of his Native American lineage. Because he’s native, he can go all over the country to different sovereign nations, reservations, without being bothered or being looked at as an outsider. And if he is looked at as an outsider, it’s because of his blood that they accept him for. So a good little story I keep playing around with and hoping to make that into a series type deal thing.

Those are the immediate projects that I’m focusing on now. Very, the very first focus is this documentary that we definitely want to have finished, by the end of at least July and pushed out for people to see it in August. And then like I said, after that, it’s gonna be a bunch of pilots that I’m shooting. So for the cooking show, Shane and things like that.

J: Sounds like all the projects I want to watch one day.

M: I hope so – more viewers the better!

J: So you gave a little bit of a glimpse into your future projects because that one that you’re really chipping on is kind of down the road. Are there any that haven’t even been materialized? Even to the point, where you’re like, maybe if I had like a famous actor, like a stage?

M: I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Everything that I’m trying to create is more to pull in unknown actors and unknown host, unknown people. Like, even that, that show I’m working with the US Marshal, I would still want to use someone that’s not too well known. You’re not looking for the face to make your show. I want my story and the content to make it instead of the actors and cast.

In fact, if I had my way, I would cast a lot of people I grew up with a lot of the kids I went to the theater with me in Southampton, a lot of my friends and with me in college, I’ve cast them a lot for the roles instead of looking for like SAG actors, just you know, keep that raw, gritty, realistic feel but still have enough talent to where it doesn’t look like poop. You know, a lot of the one thing I can say in this, that I’ve learned in this field of even being on stage and also with camera work is, you know, your actors have a lot to do with, you know, the actual production value of the show that you’re doing. So, you know, I’ve seen a lot of things – people get beautiful looking people, but they’re acting kills the scene.

So it’s one of those things where I don’t have anything set for like a major actor like I, in my mind when I write things down, or I would like to start a show or create a show based off of Native Americans, I never have like a thought of a big actor or even a big – well, maybe a director. But not a big actor. These are just things and shows that I want to come like from the ground up. You know, people were more interested, like I said, into my story into the content than they are, like, “who’s playing so and so?” You know? So yeah, fortunately, don’t have anything where I was like, “I could see this guy doing this!”

J: You seem to kind of like, want to take this small dot in the state and kind of blow it up to the point of more recognition or more importance. Is that something that you can think back and try to remember where that came from? Just the idea that where you come from is so important, and you need to recognize it?

M: I would probably say when I was in college, and when I went to college, like, you know, my first dorm room, I only had for one semester and I moved to a two-man suite on the fourth floor. I was like, “more space!” I was able to bring like so much stuff like my sage, my pelts and everything from when I was hunting. So I set my room up the way I had it set up when I was in like high school, so, you know, had my skins on my wall I had like, you know, my chest played my turtle shells, my Warhammer, stuff that I just need.

I had them in my room laying around my bed when people would come in my room or go by my room, they’d be like, “what is that” or “what are you?” and I was like, “What do you mean what am I? I’m a human being.”

“You know, what’s your, what’s your background?”

I was like, well, you know, I grew up on the Shinnecock reservation and this and that. To me, it’s always been something that I was very, you know, proud of. I’m very, very proud to be a Shinnecock. I’m also very proud to be African American as well. But I’m very proud to be Shinnecock because like I said, it’s one of the oldest nations on the east coast, the United States period – that’s still in its original territory.

So to me, that’s extremely amazing that a lot of all this we’ve never been relocated. And that fact made me realize that I need to let people know more of this because that in itself is just amazing. It’s huge. So this little area called Shinnecock that once spanned all of almost all of Long Island, but still is in original territory, still has his original lineage and bloodline in New York. And I’m in school, in New York, and people don’t know who I am or where I’m from.

You know, if you go somewhere to Zulu Nation, they know where you’re from, where it’s at on a map, like things like that. You know, and I just want that for Shinnecock.

There are so many Shinnecock in this country, all over the country. I’ve traveled everywhere and I’ve run into a Shinnecock that’s related to me some type of way. Whether that’s my great-great-grandfather or my side of the Lee family – I end up running somebody no matter where I’m at.

I could be in Florida, I could be in the Carolinas, I went to the west coast, I went to the middle of the country and everywhere I went, I’d get a message like, are you so and so’s grandson?

“Yes, I am!”

“I’m related to by this…”

I’d be like, “Oh, that’s awesome.”

You know, talking to them having a place to stay. So it, in turn, became a joke for some of my producing friends who had gone to shows with me traveling.

“Oh, I bet you, we can send Marcus there a day early to go scout? I’m pretty sure he has family down there!”And I could always say I do.

I do actually have somewhere to stay. Don’t get to worry about that. Like Yeah. So. The reason why – college was the moment I realized that I could use what I love to do and what I’m passionate about to also, like I said, bring my culture to light in such a bigger way.

You know, some people just don’t know about us from a powwow. I don’t want people I want people to know us from powwow, I want them to know us for who we are. For culture. For being here. For helping the first settlers. For, you know, still being used for fighting for our rights over fighting for our land still. I want people to know who we are and you know that the articles that are written about us that are in a negative light aren’t who we are.

So last summer  I had a segment on Summer House with the people of our nation on our beach. They also filmed on our beach for different segments and now I’m starting to get the attention of entertainment themselves just to use our beautiful land as a location. And to me, that’s a small step to have, you know, Shinnecock on a national live show, and a network such as Bravo where you’re getting millions of viewers and all of a sudden, they see your culture. They see your people singing their music, they see them doing clambakes with these cast members who people fall in love with these, these rich kids from the city and they finally come and learn; even though it was only like a five-minute segment. To me, that was one of my best achievements I’ve ever felt.

Just because friends from College and all over were like, “Oh my god, I think I just saw you on TV!” because you know, they saw Maurice on there. And after that it was more and more emails about;

“Oh man, can I come to the powwow?”

“Can I come out there and learn some more?”

“Is it anyone who can come out there and talk to you?”

“Oh, I didn’t know there was a reservation alone that I didn’t know there was a reservation in New York.”

So it is like, just from that seven-minute segment. Everything I wanted to come for me within that day. It just gave me the drive also to keep it keep going with it. Like all right, this is interesting to people all around, so they might want to see more. What can we come up with?

Even this summer, I think Summer House got greenlit for another season, I actually want them to do a segment with them doing like a camping trip with Roddy going canoeing around the rez, going to the beach, teaching them how to make a fire and things like that. One, I think would be funny to see these rich people trying to, and two, it’s another form of showing people how we are People.

Once again, we’re very generous as people if you ask me like we’re always helping, we’re always looking for the better way for humanity to live together. And that’s what I want to show who we are as people and even as people as today.

Well, I would say, you know, just to end this, I’m looking forward to meeting those kids who want to take an interest in the arts. Any type of the arts, whether it’s photography, cinematography, dance, theater, music, anything. I’m looking to, to have these kids know that, you know, they can go to somebody and you know, expand or explore those talents.

When I was growing up here, you know, you didn’t get a lot of people who were into the theater, you didn’t get a lot of people that are into music like that unless it was within our own culture. And, you know, it kind of made me hide away from letting people know the things that I like to do that I’m good at.

Like a lot of my friends didn’t know I was even into many things until they saw our senior yearbook. And, you know, they see my name in the chess club, marching band, jazz band, and drama. They see my name in these things and they’re like, “we had no idea he was in any of these things.” And that’s because once again when I grew up, I didn’t really have someone to go to let me kind of explore those talents or explore those passions.

I want kids, and even people my age, to see what I’m doing. And to know that I want their help. And I want their input and I want them to explore those things. Like some of the kids up here, do love theater and do love music and things like that. And if I can help them get more involved with it. That’s all I want to do. If these kids want to be actors, I’ll do my best to teach you what I know if they want to be producers and location manager, anything that I’ve done, I want them to come to me so I can teach them and then push them to go that way.

And that’s honestly one of the real reasons I’m doing this is for the youth. To be like “Guys. You don’t have to just be a mechanic. You don’t have to just be a rapper. If you like to sing and you like to dance, you want to play an instrument. Find people within your community, I can help you push those talents more.” I would love to put a camera in front of you and do a monologue. I would love for Jeremy and start doing headshots for kids and I can help them even start out being an agent for them or something like that. So it’s all about our youth and pushing their passions in a positive light, or letting them know that it’s okay to like, you know, be artsy.

Because I feel like being an artist or just being that department sometimes people don’t see it as being I’m gonna put air quotes on it, “cool” or, you know, you get those stigmas, like the geek or the nerd or this or that and none of those things are negative terms if you ask me.

I know I’m a geek. I love comic books. I’m a grown man and I still read a comic book, you know, and it helps with my imagination. I had a huge imagination as a child, I have a huge imagination as an adult, and I want kids and I want our youth to understand it’s okay to be that way because naturally, we are storytellers anyway.

We have art ourselves. Our culture is an art for people. So that’s my main reason goal for this. And that’s what I would want the kids to see. So when they see my Facebook post my Instagram post or, you know, they see me on the street with production companies in these cameras and these people here, I want the kids to be like “Marcus, how can I help them? What can I do? Can I just sit and watch? Can I do that? The answer is always going to be yes. And that’s what fuels me to keep going.

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