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 I feel like I’ve been blacklisted from the world of black gay web series in a lot of ways.

Honestly, my start as an actor on film was a learning experience. I got my start on Free Fall. It’s still doing very well I hear. I learned a lot from the guys and especially Lamont Pierre. I didn’t always agree with his direction or his personal advice when we spoke about love and relationships but I understood his feelings and the maturity in a lot of his ways. I learned to humble myself in a lot of my experiences on that show which I did four episodes. Free Fall started a movement in the black gay web series world. I was happy to be a part of it. The reaction from the fans was unreal. I couldn’t believe it.

free fall web series

When I was let go from the show I was sad and hurt. I found out like everyone else; online. I wasn’t given any notice or heads up by any of the guys. I was dealing with a lot at the time. Free Fall wasn’t a paid gig and I knew that going into it. I was so young but my first priority was finding a job to be the thing that allowed me to continue acting. I didn’t want to play the “struggling actor” role and pretend I was Hollywood. On top of that, I was having strong feelings for one of the guys on set. During that time, just before I was let go, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was still new to becoming me; new to my sexuality, new to dating, new to sex, new to all of it.

langston john blaze

Just before Free Fall, I had become very social with the cast of VH1’s Single Ladies. Travis Winfrey was my boy; like we were so cool. My first day on set, he knew exactly who I was from my playfully flirty tweets and admiration for him. After two extra roles and almost getting in trouble on set for taking photos together, I was given a small feature role to play Winfrey’s love interest on an episode. I was so excited, I announced it on twitter. My followers were excited. Days later, to my surprise, Travis called me “a liar” on social media. He said I had no part on the show, not knowing I was cast. I was hurt by this. He knew me. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t just direct message me to ask what I was talking about, but this inevitably got me fired from the role.I felt like my dreams were done. I was dramatic yet the thing that hurt the most was losing a connection with someone I thought was my friend. At the time, my friend, Landon and sister, Sydney, got me through the pain.

Travis Winfrey

Travis Winfrey

Eventually, I ended up with a new role on the short-lived drama, Necessary Roughness, weeks later. I never reconnected with Travis. I felt even sillier when months later, the Single Ladies role aired and only featured my character on photos, no lines or even physically interacting on set whatsoever. Yet I learned a lesson in Hollywood about only getting one chance, professionalism, and separating friends from work.

Recently, I was given roles on two of Tyson Anthony’s productions, Pharm and About Him: Freshman Year. I was considered the veteran actor on set since a lot of the younger talent (fresh faces) were familiar with my work from Free Fall. I carried myself professionally on set. I even took note from some of my favorite actors. I stayed to myself a lot. I was friendly but not over the top. I played a young emo-inspired drug dealer who dies by the hands of another drug dealing friend, who my character haunts after death. The character was a goofy yet challenging concept. I was inspired to do well. I grew up a quiet kid. As an adult people took this quality in me the wrong way. Later, I would discover one of the actors on the set of Pharm had an issue with me. I didn’t know why. I was hurt by this; not because I wanted to make a friend but I’d really been working on myself and it felt like all that work was for nothing. It took awhile but eventually I realized nothing was wrong with me. I was me. I liked who I was. I felt like I had been handling myself like a professional actor; nothing more or less.

Written By: Langston John Blaze

langston john blaze

From HeyMikeyATL

Langston’s experience with various web series is exactly that–his experience and perspective. We cannot confirm or deny if he has been blackballed from doing web series, but he did ask to use our site as a platform. However, we do believe there are two sides to every story. Langston states he wants to teach others to learn from his mistakes and  what they are getting themselves into with these web series.  We found his experience worth noting and reached out to various actors from the shows he participated in for a balanced perspective. Only three from About Him: Freshman Year and a show runner cared to comment. However, they do not care to be identified.

about him freshman year

The cast of “About Him freshman year (l-r) Rocc, Darren Johnson, Brandon Karson, Rahim Brazil, and Desmond Fletcher

“We treated everyone on set like family and wanted to provide a united front when it came to drama and nonsense. It is really unfortunate Langston felt alienated, but no one actively went out of their way to hurt him. We wish him the best.”

“He [Langston] has a bad habit of being the person who throws the rock and hides his hand…you can’t be on set talking mess about a person to another person and then turn around and talk mess about the person you were just talking to, to someone else thinking it won’t get back to them…Langston is very standoffish and acted grand like he just knew everything and that did rub a  lot of people the wrong way. If he felt alienated it’s because he did it to himself.”

“It’s just really sad that some people want attention or do some things for personal gain. Langston is a very bright person. But his personality and mind is just too fucked up for me to even form a relationship with the boy. But hey that’s life.”

“I Like Lang [Langston]…he’s always delivered for me when he was on set and took his job seriously. I would still cast him again.”

 

 

 

Interviews

In It to Win It! Meet VNIS! Music’s Latest Rising Star!

When it comes to new artists, many are talented, but few have the lion’s share of true creativity and the ability to truly stand out. The latter is the stuff dreams and wishes are made of.

However, VNIS (pronounced like Venice), a rising star seems to have what it takes to “Kontrol” his destiny and leave his musical mark on the world.

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vnis artist

When it comes to new artists, many are talented, but few have the lion’s share of true creativity and the ability to truly stand out. The latter is the stuff dreams and wishes are made of.

However, VNIS (pronounced like Venice), a rising star seems to have what it takes to “Kontrol” his destiny and leave his musical mark on the world.

VNIS’s love for music,  like many artists began in his childhood, stirred by the musical ability and influence of his family. “…my older brother was a rapper and I remember he would set up a microphone in his room, and he had very primitive audio recording equipment and used Quick Mix and FruityLoops [mixing softwares] and would write verses and I’d sing on the bridge. I think that’s where my love of music started. My parents had me in piano lessons very, very young; but I think it wasn’t until middle school that I joined the chorus and musical theaterI envisioned a life for myself in music and performing…” 

vnis artist

VNIS’s love of music is definitely shown in his work. His vocals are smooth, alluring; and almost supernatural in the ethereal feel of the sound. We are big fans of his singles “W.A.I.H.” and “Young Visionary!” The former is a ballad that is all too relatable for anyone who has ever wondered why they are sticking around for an unrequited love, while the latter is a celebration of self! Indeed a celebration of self is what fuels all independent artists in the music industry as it can be daunting to make a name for yourself or be respected for your work without a major label behind you. “I don’t think anyone who is independent is without trials and tribulations. The biggest thing is not having a lot of  money behind you…things happen a little bit slower [he laughs]…The good thing about being independent–at least for me–is we have creative control on everything that we release….if you’re seeing something that VNIS is putting out, me and my amazing team put it out because we made the executive decision to do it. It’s not because we were coerced or anything…but I feel like the love of what we do supersedes any struggle we [independent artists] might have.”

Interestingly, VNIS is quite the globetrotter, formerly living in South Korea. He admits the culture and locale and have had an impact on his music. “So I left Korea about a year and a half to two years ago…when I moved to Korea, I kind of moved there at the drop of a dime. I threw a dart at a map and I was like I need to go here! I didn’t really know anything about the culture or language, but the really cool thing about Korea is that it has a very, very supportive community so I joined groups and started rubbing elbows with the right people and started performing and building up a fan base, and it was awesome. ..Black culture and music is so respected and revered there in a way that we don’t see stateside and so I felt like a huge celebrity there [he laughs].” VNIS is right about hip-hop culture in South Korea where some of the world’s greatest hip-hop dance groups and Asian rappers hail from. It is amazing to see the extent of our culture in the most nether regions of the world!

VNIS artist

VNIS, like everyone else on the planet, has been affected by COVID-19. However, he chooses to see the brighter side of the pandemic’s influence, asserting it has been highly beneficial for creatives. “It has allowed creatives to be more focused. Myself, and people I have worked with, kind of have more time to invest in projects that we really, really want to…it’s difficult for a lot of people, but there’s some benefit to being able to sit back and decide what you really want to do within the next couple of months…” With 2021 mere months away VNIS went on to assure us more new music was on the way! “We’re really excited! The feedback we got from my two singles [W.A.I.H. and Young Visionary] let me know where we needed to go with the music…I definitely think my team and I plan on releasing new music, getting a storyboard together–What do the people need at this time? What is the story? What is the sound?–I’m ready for some great things in 2021!” We are hoping these new singles will come along with a full-fledged album. VNIS’s voice is addictive! In the meantime, we can get our fix on November 20, 2020, when he drops his EP, “POV!”

Besides music, VNIS is also a lover of fashion! His style is trendy and chic with looks that would put any GQ Magazine spread to shame! For VNIS he admits how he dresses reflects his demeanor. “How you dress affects everything that you do…for me as an artist I’m not only getting dressed for me but how my day is gonna go, how my week is gonna look…like I have these sweatpants that are really fluffy and wear them when I’m writing and I love them and that’s what they’re for…I think that goes for any outfit that I’m wearing and I love the option to wear something beautiful…” At Kontrol Magazine we believe fashion is more than a label it’s a lifestyle, so wear it. Clearly, VNIS is wearing his life beautifully and amazingly.

We love VNIS and his music, he is an amazing artist and things are only going to rise higher and higher for him. He advises other independent artists to “keep at it, don’t give up. Something in you is telling you this is what you’re meant to do so you need to follow it and give it life…” Indeed, there should be nothing that stops your dreams. VNIS is a shining example of breaking away and taking a true risk to make your dreams come true. There’s much to be appreciated and loved.

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Interviews

[VIDEO] “Hey Mikey Goes Virtual” w/ Toni Bryce!

The intersections of race and sexuality can be as complicated as being between a proverbial “rock and a hard place.”

However, Toni Bryce, an amazingly talented young woman is navigating them with poise, grace, and a growing voice in the fight for her right to exist, a budding acting career, and a new role in Starz’ new series, “P-Valley!”

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toni bryce

The intersections of race and sexuality can be as complicated as being between a proverbial “rock and a hard place.”

However, Toni Bryce, an amazingly talented young woman is navigating them with poise, grace, and a growing voice in the fight for her right to exist, a budding acting career, and a new role in Starz’ new series, “P-Valley!”

toni bryce

Talking with Toni is always a treat! In the first part of her interview our very own, Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning (in regards to COVID-19 limitations) snagged a Zoom interview with Toni as she spoke on the frequent murders of transgender people of color, the role of transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in LGBT American History, and Black Lives Matters unwittingly overshadowing Pride Month.

Toni went on to discuss “The Beauty in Colors March,” created by Atlanta councilman, Antonio Brown; which began near Atlantic Station and ended at the Rainbow Walkway in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. Here, she discusses fighting for justice for all oppressed people, the power of words and pronouns in relation to transgender people, the erasure of transgender people from LGBT community causes, and how she got her role on the upcoming series “P-Valley!”

Toni Bryce is one of those rare people who “talks the talk AND walks the walk!” Her work and service to various communities of people, while reconciling her own personal feelings and experiences.

toni bryce

Toni’s story is far from over and as you can see she is only scratching the surface of her potential! We are happy to witness her rise and will always be down for the ride when it comes to Ms. Bryce! Congratulations Toni on EVERYTHING!

To book your own interview contact us at HeyMikeyATL@gmail.com.

**We reserve the right to edit, use, or not use any footage we see fit. Thank you!**

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Interviews

The Divine Shine of Divinity Mychael!

“A Star is Born!” Those are just four words which describe Divinity Mychael, singer, fashion designer, and rising star! Divinity is truly a young woman on the go, working hard for her dreams and to share her voice in an industry where the competition is only becoming fiercer by the day.

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divinity mychael

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

divinity mychael

“A Star is Born!” Those are just four words which describe Divinity Mychael, singer, fashion designer, and rising star! Divinity is truly a young woman on the go, working hard for her dreams and to share her voice in an industry where the competition is only becoming fiercer by the day.

Divinity, however, is not phased, she has all the talent in the world and God on her side. “I’m determined and have a dream I’m going to make happen…there’s nothing easy about it, but nothing worthwhile really is.”

divinity mychael

Like many artists, Divinity Mychael has known she wanted to be a singer since she was a child. Also, like some of the greatest singers who ever lived like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin she learned to sing in church. “Church is definitely one of the best training grounds in the world for singing. I sang in the choir for years and sang different parts. I can sing soprano, alto, and even tenor [she laughs]–the last one is a little hard for me though.” Indeed there is true versatility in her voice allowing her to hit the highest notes or smooth undertones, making her music a true treat. Her single, “SCAR,” is a real bop and gives us real Tinashe vibes. 

They say life and experience are the best teachers, but for Divinity, it is the source of her music. “My music tends to reflect things I’ve been through and situations I’ve dealt with. It makes your music relatable and you’re transparent…that’s how I want to be with my fans and supporters. I want them to get the authentic me when they hear my music.” SCAR may be Divinity’s most popular single, but it is not her newest piece of work. In fact, she has an unnamed EP ready to drop this summer! “I really feel like everyone is going to enjoy the tracks. I put a lot of work and love into them, and can’t wait for you guys to hear what I’ve come up with. You’ll see I’m no stranger to hard work!” 

divinity mychael

As aforementioned, Divinity is definitely no stranger to working for what she wants, having another venture in fashion with her own fashion line, “Div Life!” “My line is made of clothes every woman can wear. I really want women to feel empowered, sexy, and beautiful in my clothes. Currently I’m looking for models for an upcoming fashion show I’m planning and from there it is more work getting it off the ground.” There are few things more trying than being an entrepreneur on top of being an artist as well, but she handles the combined pressures well. “I have an amazing team and support system behind me. You know I still work a day job, I’m an artist, and a [fashion] designer, so for me it’s really a balancing act, time management, and remaining focused. There’s so much to do when you’re on the rise.”  Divinity’s many hats are currently her “true loves.” Determined to remain focused, she is not dating or looking to date anyone at the moment. “I’m nineteen [she laughs] love will come, but for now I’m in my bag! I don’t need any distractions.”

Divinity Mychael is destined for greatness. We can hear it in her music, see it in the way she moves, and watch it manifest itself in her drive. She advises other independent artists and rising stars to “never give up…I know it’s hard, we’re all trying to make it, but we have to keep at it. Nothing happens overnight–nothing.”

divinity mychael

Instagram: @divinitymychael, @divlifeonline

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