Chances are that you do belong in THAT room. Oftentimes, I would find myself doubting during some auditions because someone may have been dressed better or clearly have years more experience, etc. I would give myself unnecessary anxiety instead of just trusting myself that I was of caliber, early in my career.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars , I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing J Sunn. J Sunn is an American hip-hop rapper, singer, and also an actor from Compton, CA, who got his introduction to show business early on in modeling for Nick Canon’s “Stop Hating” line. Since then, it has appeared in iconic projects, such as “First Sunday” starring Ice Cube, Katt Williams, and Tracy Morgan.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank you so much for having me. I grew up having to earn my way pretty early on, as I was raised in the system, due to my mother being tragically taken from us at an early age.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was really into performance art through dancing and gymnastics. It led to me participating in talent shows locally, until one day, I was extended the opportunity to mentor in a talent-house for an extended period of time.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Of course! Plenty of interesting things are happening everyday though in this business! I wouldn’t know where to begin in my book!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Haha, yes, and definitely glad to have lived it down so long ago it seems. I was performing my music on stage for the first time. I was really nervous and decided to attempt a backflip. I failed miserably and slipped off the stage instead. There’s a reason for choreographers!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My unreleased EP! I’m working with a really talented music producer named Ciscosquad and his partners, known altogether as The Legendary BeatSmiths. We’ve put together a curated sound all about movement and positive energy. Stay tuned for announcements on my social media pages.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
This is important to me, and I believe first and foremost that the youth need to see themselves represented correctly. Second, is being represented equally as a culture. Thirdly, is social progress as a society. We’ve come a long way from not so long ago! In this great country, we all are represented equally as citizens, and what better way than to see the melting pot represented no matter race, gender, or sexuality.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Every good friendship starts with a great business relationship. I discovered that in hindsight, and I can only truly speak to my path. We may not all experience the same, luckily.
2. Feel the emotions but respond logically. In acting, you take on your character’s emotions and personas. Sometimes, you can get a little fatigued after a while, and it’s important to remain logic-based mentally and to remember it’s just a role!
3. Chances are that you do belong in THAT room. Oftentimes, I would find myself doubting during some auditions because someone may have been dressed better or clearly have years more experience, etc. I would give myself unnecessary anxiety instead of just trusting myself that I was of caliber, early in my career.
4. It’s ok to say no. Essentially, the lesson here is that you get to a point where the law of attraction or your flow kicks in, and what’s for you is meant for you.
5. Self-Care! Get your rest, as there is no you without self-care!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Definitely learning the importance of boundaries for self-care! Know your limits and how much work you can take and do.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Unity and love. Just spread unity and love throughout the whole world because we all need it, unconditionally the love, and out of necessity as a species, we need unity.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many individuals, from family to friends, who all helped play a part in where I am today. I do have to thank my good friend Ryan whom I met while staying in a talent development camp. He’s been a great mentor to me throughout my career.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
You get what you put out! Simple as that, it will always be an important motto I live by.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Rhianna for sure! I would love a chance to pick her brain about her career moves. She’s one to admire, career and business-wise.
How can our readers follow you on social media? You can follow me on Instagram as @Jsunn2017
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!