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Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning 

michael yo

What does it take to be the best? That is the question we all want to know. For one college football star turned media personality the answer rested in opting to be the best version of himself! That man is Michael Yo–media personality, actor, stand-up comedian, and host! Kontrol managed to snag some of his time in an interview that left us inspired and in deep admiration of just who Michael is. “I’m a good guy who’s happened to learn some pretty awesome life lessons along the way…”

michael yo

Michael hails from the Great State of Texas, but is far from your traditional American cowboy. First, he is biracial, being of African-American and Korean descent. “When I was younger I was definitely Black and Asian, but people would always see me as Black, and I always identified as Black. I played sports and was athletic so I grew up as an ‘other’ by others’ description. It’s just unfortunate as a minority in America you have to deal with so many stereotypes.” Michael’s cactus roots have blossomed into actualizing his Hollywood dreams. “Man I am blessed to have gotten as far as I have and I definitely owe it to people believing in me, especially my parents. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but there’s still so much more I want to do and achieve…Truthfully the grind never stops [he laughs].” Indeed, Mr. Yo is definitely on his hustle and grind with maximum efficiency these days as he is currently doing stand-up comedy in Kansas City, hosts a two-hour show on SIRIUS XM for Entertainment Weekly Radio called The Michael Yo Show, and hosting Bravo’s reality series , Play By Play. “It’s definitely a blessing to be booked [he laughs], but on the real it can be pretty demanding…I think the hardest part is being away from my family, but I know this is how I’m taking care of them so it’s all worth it because they’re worth it.”

michael yo

As aforementioned, family means everything to Michael. In fact he reveals his free time is all about spending time with them. “Downtime is about my wife and son. He’s 19 months old, and I love being a father. I was selfish until I got married and had him. But that’s what it’s all about, them making me into a better man all around.” He goes on to reveal that his personal life may soon be on display as Fox has picked up the pilot to a series surrounding his life! “I’m really excited about the project and I know it’s gonna be something everyone can laugh and relate to.” Yo’s series is a significant step in the right direction towards inclusion, as there are few Asian characters on American television. In fact, the highest grossing romantic comedy of the year, Crazy Rich Asians, was the first predominantly Asian film in nearly twenty years. “I think it’s just time for everyone to be represented on television and in the movies. The world is so beautiful and diverse. Why not be as inclusive as possible?”

michael yo

There is no stopping Michael Yo, or even slowing him down, he is clearly a man on a mission towards even greater heights of success. In fact, his comedy special, Blasian, is critically acclaimed and can be streamed from Amazon, iTunes, and other streaming platforms. Surprisingly he reveals that he was not always so sure of his career and even jealous of others’ success. “I was working at a radio station and my manager at the time heard me talking smack about another worker who got an opportunity I wanted and he pretty much just told me if I worried about my own career half as much as I did everyone else’s I’d be where I wanted to be. I really took that to heart, and since then I’ve been nothing but supportive of everyone around me.” He goes on to advise any newcomers to the entertainment industry to realize that “…no one makes it on their own, and to find that team or network of supportive people to have in your corner. Don’t compete with your friends, you need them, and when one of you wins, then you all win.”

Celebrity Interviews

Saweetie Talks Music & Black Lives Matter on Quibi’s Musicology w/ Tim Kash

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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saweetie

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

tim kash saweetie interview

We are really glad to hear Saweetie’s forthcoming album is nearly here. She has been in the spotlight for a minute now and her fans (we are fans) deserve to hear a full body of work from her.

saweetie

More importantly, however, we love to hear she is doing her part in the Black Lives Matter movement. Someone with a platform as large as Saweetie’s is definitely needed in this good fight! These recent lynchings of Black men in various parts of the country being labeled as suicides is nothing short of nonsense and murder at the hands of white supremacists. Thanks Saweetie for speaking out!

You can catch Saweetie’s interview with Tim Kash below! Happy viewing!

 

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Celebrity Interviews

WATCH NOW: OWN’s Exclusive Press Roundtable w/ The Cast of “Greenleaf!”

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Greenleaf season 5

It Is hard to believe that after five seasons the upcoming season of OWN’s hit series, “Greenleaf,” will be its last. For years now we have watched this family and their megachurch grow, fall, change, and fight all in the name of family, dignity, and God.

Now, it is time to say goodbye, but before the season premiere airs tomorrow we were privileged to be able to chat with a few cast members of the Greenleaf during a Vimeo roundtable press conference! Yep Merle Dandridge (Grace Greenleaf), Keith Davidson (Bishop James Greenleaf), Lynn Whitfield (Pastor Mae Greenleaf), Lamman Rucker (Jacob Greenleaf), and Deborah Joy Winans (Charity Greenleaf), and the series’ creator/director, Craig Wright were all there and we got the details for this amazing final season!

Greenleaf season 5

Before the press conference we were allowed to screen the first two episodes of the upcoming season and needless to say they are riveting! You will find the Greenleaf Family collectively faces the end of an era with power and ownership of Calvary shifting to Harmony & Hope (H&H). Individually, Grace faces a tragic setback in her relationship with her estranged son, AJ, Kerissa and Jacob play chess as they move towards an impending divorce, Mae and The Bishop move forward with their wedding plans and the next chapter of their lives, and Charity has become the black sheep of her family, viewed as a traitor by her mother and sister while raging against Phillip Demars for spurning her and choosing Judy Whitmore. Whether the Greenleafs can pull it together to somehow save Calvary–and see their family through harrowing times–remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, they won’t go down without a fight!

Greenleaf season 5

The cast was asked questions by various publications sand touched on how the show has helped humanize church leadership, which storylines besides their own are the most invested in, and even behind the scenes hijinks we never knew anything about.

You can catch the full interview by clicking this link https://vimeo.com/428978269 and using the following password: PressEvent4Greenleaf.

Greenleaf season 5

We hate to see Greenleaf ending, but the news of a spinoff has us glowing. We are sure this is not the last we have seen of this family. You all be sure to tune into season premiere of Greenleaf, tomorrow night, Tuesday at 9/8 PM EST/CTR!

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Celebrity Interviews

Actor Turned “Monster Savior,” Meet “October Faction’s” Gabriel Darku!

The world needs saving from things that go “bump in the night,” thankfully there are people for that.  Enter “October Faction!” “October Faction” is a series based on a family of monster hunters, The Allens; Fred, Deloris, and their twins Geoff and Viv. The family’s unusual lives take a turn for the worst when a dangerous and supernatural figure from their past forces family secrets to the light. 

The show has been met with rave reviews in large part to the story line and amazing cast, including the handsome, talented actor who portrays “Geoff Allen,” Gabriel Darku!

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gabriel darku

The world needs saving from things that go “bump in the night,” thankfully there are people for that.  Enter “October Faction!” “October Faction” is a series based on a family of monster hunters, The Allens; Fred, Deloris, and their twins Geoff and Viv. The family’s unusual lives take a turn for the worst when a dangerous and supernatural figure from their past forces family secrets to the light. 

The show has been met with rave reviews in large part to the story line and amazing cast, including the handsome, talented actor who portrays “Geoff Allen,” Gabriel Darku!

Gabriel hails from what most of us Americans would consider “The Mysterious Beyond,” having been born in Saint John, New Brunswick and raised in Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He always knew he wanted to be someone great, and was known for being highly athletic as a national level gymnast. However, he found his calling as an actor, beginning with school theater and later studying at The Toronto Film School. “I always had a love for it [acting] and began to realize this was what I wanted to do with my life…I can’t say it’s been easy but I’ve been really fortunate to have some awesome experiences and do some really amazing work…” That “amazing work” now includes the supernatural thriller, “October Faction.” 

gabriel darku

As aforementioned the series centers around a family of monster hunters, but is set against the backdrop of real world issues and occurrences like racism, sexuality, adoption, and genocide. Gabriel’s character, Geoff, is in fact quite layered being adopted, gay, biracial, and a warlock! “There’s a lot to Geoff! He’s very outgoing, courageous, loving, and loyal. He wants to do the right thing, even if it does not turn out right. However, he can be a little impulsive [he laughs]…” The character of Geoff may very well be one of the best examples of someone who “just so happens to be gay.” The character is never ostracized by his family or friends for being gay, and it is treated as nothing to note. “Geoff is loved and accepted by his family completely. Him being gay is just not a big deal at all. In fact, the only issue he has with being gay comes from his love interest, a closeted gay guy who is actually on the opposite end struggling with his sexuality. Geoff knows who he is and accepts that, and I love that about him…we need to see more stories like him so we can stop equating gay with tragedy. It’s a beautiful, refreshing narrative.”

gabriel darku

The cast of “October Faction” is highly talented and chalked full of veterans–namely Tamara Taylor, J.C. McKenzie, Stephen McHattie, and Wendy Crewson–each of them have been acting for decades. Gabriel reveals he loved working with and learning from them as well as building a familial bond with his castmates. “We really connected on set and I learned a lot from all of them. I mean how could I not, they’ve had these amazing careers and were all so warm and open. Me and my tv sister, Aurora [Burghart], ended up acting just like siblings with the banter and poking fun at each other. It was so nice, I really can’t wait to get back on that set.” Unfortunately it has been announced that Netflix will not renew the series for a second season. 

gabriel darku

Gabriel is definitely a rising star and truly a talented actor. We are looking forward to seeing him in future projects . Geoff advises other actors “to study the craft and not give up. You’re going to hear a lot of no’s, face a lot of rejection, but you can’t take it personally.”

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