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Titus Makin: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

I was fortunate to have a lot of people give me great advice along the way. There were times when I was not being smart and tried to do my own thing, but thankfully there aren’t many things that I wish somebody would’ve told me other than this main one: don’t feel cornered to take […]


I was fortunate to have a lot of people give me great advice along the way. There were times when I was not being smart and tried to do my own thing, but thankfully there aren’t many things that I wish somebody would’ve told me other than this main one: don’t feel cornered to take a role or an opportunity if it conflicts with your moral compass. There are plenty more roles and opportunities that will come and it does not mean that you are going to be behind everyone else if you wait.


As a part of my series of pop culture stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Titus Makin.

Titus Makin, the cultured, suave, handsome actor, musician, and entertainer, has been lighting up television screens around the world with season 2 of ABC’s “The Rookie,” returning after the mid-season finale on Sunday, February 23RD at 10/9c. The truly multi-faceted superstar also recently also released his newest single “Righteous” under the stage name ‘Butterfly Ali.”

Starting over isn’t easy, especially for John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of joining the LAPD. As their oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from those who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. Centered around a group of fresh, new police officers in the Los Angeles Police Department, Titus brings to life ‘Jackson West,’ the “most prepared” rookie in the history of the LAPD. Following in his father’s footsteps who has served the LAPD for the past 30 years, ‘Jackson’ is looking to prove a point to the rest of the rookies and to make his father proud. Season two starts off with ‘Jackson’ struggling with his scores on the mid-term exams which consequently forces him to be supervised and subjected to daily reports until his superior finds his performance satisfactory.

Titus is also an accomplished musician under the stage name Butterfly Ali. In his new single “Righteous” out this week, Ali delivers joyously powerful fun. With percussion fueled rhythms, majestic horns, and buzzing bass, please see the private link to the upcoming “Righteous” music video here (video out Feb 19th): https://youtu.be/LkghF5o3hKo

Born into a military family, Titus grew up traveling and moving across the United States, including Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona as well as Germany. From a young age, Titus took to sports, singing and performing with his older sister at home-staged talent shows. Titus began excelling in gymnastics and dance at a young age and would eventually start looking into gymnastics as a potential profession later down the road. It wasn’t until his senior year of high school that Titus decided to give acting a try after seeing the hit dance film STEP UP, which opened his eyes to the possibility of combining his love of dance with acting. From there Titus dedicated his time and energy to further his craft and would eventually go on to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. During his time in NYC before moving to LA, Titus took jobs to get by and eventually became a New York Knicks Acrobat, and a dancer/tumbler for the WNBA’s New York Liberties

Once relocated to Los Angeles 2 years later, Titus immediately began working on auditioning and booking gigs. One of the first roles he landed was as one of the original ‘Warblers’ from FOX’s hit sensation “Glee.” From there, his original 3-episode arc turned into 2.5 seasons of work, as well as touring and being a part of the GLEE 3D CONCERT MOVIE and national tour. Titus began to flourish in the industry and soon began booking roles as a leading man in various television series and films including A CINDERELLA STORY: ONCE UPON A SONG opposite Lucy Hale, Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars,” HULU’s “The Path,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” and the CW’s “Star-Crossed.”


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up a military kid moving from location to location every 2 to 4 years. My sister and I personally loved it. It was a fantastic experience and opportunity to see and digest many cultures.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

My sister is an actress as well and I grew up watching her in her school plays. Also watching the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air really inspired me.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Going on a worldwide tour with Glee’s life was a pretty outstanding moment in my career thus far.

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 advised not to take a roll and I fought against my rep and did it anyway. I definitely ran into some awkward issues on set. I would follow the advice from people who have been in the industry longer unless I truly feel compelled to do otherwise.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My music and new episodes of the show I’m in “the rookie” still come on each Sunday on ABC.

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?

It allows everyone to have somebody to identify with. Growing up seeing or hearing somebody that looks or sounds like you really can change the trajectory of your career choices. It also can inspire you to be in a position that you didn’t think you could until you saw someone else leading the way.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I was fortunate to have a lot of people give me great advice along the way. There were times when I was not being smart and tried to do my own thing, but thankfully there aren’t many things that I wish somebody would’ve told me other than this main one: don’t feel cornered to take a role or an opportunity if it conflicts with your moral compass. There are plenty more roles and opportunities that will come and it does not mean that you are going to be behind everyone else if you wait.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Learn how to live your life outside of the industry. It’s okay to take vacations and trips to clear your headspace and really take in life before getting back to the grind.

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. 🙂

The movement would be called #NotFlawsAtAll and organization I have considered starting as of recent. Encouraging teens and young ones to love themselves and the person they see in the mirror. not letting their past experiences or situations dictate their future.

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?

Multiple people have helped me so much along the way, especially my agents, managers, and entire team, as well as my co-songwriter Aaron Kellim. I write every song with him. He’s stuck by my side for a very long time.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is a scripture from the Bible. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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. 🙂

I think it would be fascinating to sit with Pharrell. I’d have so much to ask him about the music industry.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@titusmakin everywhere!

Photo Credits: Alex Stone

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