I want to inspire people to find their voice. A lot of people will criticize you for speaking your mind. But if you don’t speak up and point to injustices then they will keep happening.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Marc Gordon. Marc is a comedian, rapper, writer and TV show producer. He has released the comedic rap video and song Diaper Don. He also has a 30 min sitcom that he is working on called Heavenly Kingdom. See his work at Marcsgordon.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us Marc! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
My pleasure! I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In my neighborhood there were a lot of kids my own age and we were always out playing sports.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was a kid my parents and grandparents would take me to see a lot of comedians. Probably wasn’t age appraise looking back I saw Don Rickles, Howie Mandell, Jackie Mason. It was amazing to see how the crowd responded to them. I would watch a lot of Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and I was hooked. When I was in camp around age 11 me and a friend wrote a sketch the 5 o’clock news and performed it in front of a few hundred people. The next few years we kept doing it. It was nerve racking but so exciting. Then many years later I started doing stand-up.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
My friend was in an acting class in which Jeff Goldblum was the the teacher and plays in a band. I recently moved here and was a huge fan of Goldblum and went to see his band perform.
It was packed and we look up and Brooke Shields was there. We asked if she wanted to sit at are table. We ended up talking for a long time. She was so funny and great to talk to. She invited me down to go dancing and meet Jeff. That was such an incredible encounter and a memorable night.
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?
I was one of the look a likes in Eminem’s the real slim shady video. I had a rap song I was trying to get out and I asked Dr. Dre if I could perform it for him. He gave me his card and said to call. I was excited when I called and left a message. I was waiting by the phone excited Dre. would call. Then after a while I realized it was a fake number. I realized the highs and lows of the business.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Defiantly Diaper Don my comedy rap video & song. It’s on Marcsgordon.com Comedy and politics are a passion of mine and I got to blend both together. Also I have a 30 min. Pilot trying to shoot called Heavenly Kingdom a fun edgy comedy.
I’m 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?
Diversity is extremely important in the industry. We need to have representation or people who like us to feel included. America is a melting pot and we have a disproportionate representation of people on film and TV. My first project was called Rock This which was a raunchy comedy about a Rock Band. I had an Asian, Afro-American and a 75 year old women as co-leads. That was a conscious effort on my part to have a diverse group of actors.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
Really make an effort to understand what other groups are going through. Example I went to the 1st women’s march in LA. Most of my male friends didn’t want to go. But it was important to hear what women were talking about and issues that aren’t discussed or swept under. I talked to 3 generations of women and it was so important for them to speak their minds and for the family to see so many like minded people. Also making a conscious effort to have a diverse cast.
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. When you are going to move to LA really have some money saved up. It’s expensive and you want to be able to take classes or be able to take off work for auditions.
2. Find a group ex. Whether it’s a class, sports anything like that because it’s a big city that can feel overwhelming. Having some friends really helps acclimate.
3. Have some patients to many times we think we will conquer Hollywood but its a long tough road. If you wish you can make mistakes.
4. Enjoy the area. There is so much to see in LA so take it all in. Don’t feel like you have to do entertainment 24/7 you need a little break to recharge.
5. Just create projects. It doesn’t have to be great but you learn so much along the way. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Travel if you can. You’ll appreciate coming to LA so much more and you feel energized. That can be taking a day trip hiking or the beach out of your area. It can seem difficult at first so you need a nice balance.
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. 🙂
Great question! I want to inspire people to find their voice. A lot of people will criticize you for speaking your mind. But if you don’t speak up and point to injustices then they will keep happening. That’s why I wanted to do the video. Why I blend comedy and politics.
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?
I just moved out to LA and was an extra on the show called Sun of the Beach. The star of the show Tim Stack was wearing a varsity athletes jacket from my High School. It turned out we went to the same High School but about 20 years apart. He ended up taking me under his wing. He made sure that I was always working on the show. Then later on he let me sit on a writing session. I learned so much about how a show is made and how you develop each episode week to week. Everything was so daunting when I moved out to LA it made a huge impact on my career.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Beuller. Loved that movie but it’s so true sometimes you have to notice the present and really enjoy the moment.
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. 🙂
Obama but that would be a hard get. After Obama it would be Howard Stern. He was an inspiration and outspoken entertainer and one of the best interviewers. I first heard him as a kid and I never heard anything like him. When I first though of doing stand-up I would listen to his shows. I was impressed on how he could tell a story and make every nuance so interesting.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@marcsgordon on twitter and IG. Face book Marc Gordon
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!
Thank you I had a lot of fun!