Up-and-coming actor Akeem Mair is a star in the making. The 32-year-old actor, despite the many challenges, managed to find himself again and pursue his call to be in the entertainment industry. He has appeared in several notable projects, including Black Caesar Pirate King, It’s on You, 417: Person with a Gun, Life of a Villain, Red, Fine Line, Jolly Boy Friday, and See Me, among others. We managed to sit down with the actor for an exclusive interview.
Question: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Akeem Mair: Acting was not my first love. I wanted to be a financial banker because of Michael Douglas after watching his movie The Game. But a woman changed my perspective while I was working at Ralph’s Grocery Store. I greeted her with my usual cheery self, and she ended up asking me if I was an actor. When I asked why she asked that question, she simply replied, “Because you have this big positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted my spirits after I just lost my home in a foreclosure.” Her words hit me hard. I went home and wondered what my life would look like if I was a successful actor.
Question: Can you tell us a story about the hard times you faced when you started your journey?
Akeem Mair: It was after I got my SAG vouchers through Central Casting and Extras Management. I was lost on my next step in my career. I knew I needed an agent, but I didn’t know how to go about getting one. I submitted countless times, and they all rejected me. It took a five-year hiatus and a big depression in my life to fully understand that I can’t make it in this business alone. So I gave up my pride and started to seek classes and truly open up my heart and listen to my coaches. Because I changed my mindset, my career started to take a different path.
Question: What do you think makes you stand out?
Akeem Mair: Perseverance is what makes me stand out. And then it’s the work ethic that separates me from the competition. I live with the attitude that nobody is going to outwork me. I’m willing to go all out in my finances and my energy to get things done. I’m willing to sacrifice time with friends and family to put more dedication into my craft.
Question: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not burn out?
Akeem Mair: Pace yourself. This business is not an overnight success story. It’s a long and tough path you signed up for, and your love for the craft should be higher than any monetary gains you wish to receive. It’s usually the ones who think about how much they’re going to get paid who burn out the fastest based on my own personal experience.
Question: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful?
Akeem Mair: It all started with my first ever mentor/coach, Mike Pointer, from Hey, I Saw Your Commercial! We go further back, but my comeback into my career started in June 2019. I hit my rock bottom and told him, “I’m not sure what’s next in my life.” He just said, “I don’t care what happened in your past, just show up when class starts and let me guide you.”
Question: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Akeem Mair: By inspiring people who see me go after their dreams. You don’t know how many countless people have told me don’t stop, don’t quit. I watch you and love the growth that’s happening in your life, and it’s giving me life too. I had no idea the impact my actions have around and how far they go to reach people.