Tag Archive: aaron rahsaan thomas


 

aaron

I’ve spent today trying to think of a good anecdote about my friend Aaron that I can share leading up to the premiere of his new show ‘S.W.A.T.’ on CBS tonight.  I have plenty of course, most safe for work, of those the majority are stories either I alone know, or only a few other people know.

And that’s probably the best thing I can say about him.  He’s one of the good guys.

When we were kids, we’d call it ‘man code’ (and to be clear, we don’t have criminal secrets, but in light of how the chickens are coming to roost all over Hollywood this year, even the term man code now makes me cringe).  But we do both value a certain ‘say no more than what needs to be said’ mentality.  We’re both eldest siblings with sisters behind us, the KU and USC connection is public knowledge, so is Kansas City.  2017 has put it out there in different ways, but we’re both loyal to the religious communities we represent, even if it’s not the first thing out of our mouths. Love for black people, love for the Business while recognizing it as a business.

Here’s a story I’m not sure he knows: not all that long ago, I was dating a girl who didn’t live in L.A.  This was during the ‘social media age’ so in doing her ‘FBI profile’ deep search on who of my friends she was apathetic to meeting versus whose opinion she valued, Aaron was one of the two guys she was genuinely concerned ‘wouldn’t like her’.  That still kills me. But it speaks to a certain type of brotherhood that other people pick up on, which I can respect.

Long story short, on a personal level Aaron is one of the good guys. Professionally you can see what he’s working on starting tonight, 10/9 Central I believe.

Good luck homie!

 

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ART at NABJ 2017

 

art

Aaron and Shemar are picking up steam doing the press tour thing.  Stopped by NABJ this year and some of that is showing up on the Tube.

Enjoy!

 

 

2017 CBS Upfront

Got sent this last night.  For those interested, a nice interview in this link with Shawn Ryan and my friend Aaron Rahsaan Thomas about the whys and whats for the upcoming reboot of ‘S.W.A.T.’ as a show on CBS.

http://www.c21media.net/screenings/C21TV/black-and-blue-matters/10651/

 

 

commerce

No music yet, this one is mainly for the family and friends who couldn’t make it to Commerce.

A short video has been put together featuring Aaron & I talking a little ‘Trojan War’ along with some of the student athletes we met at the Texas A&M Commerce talking about their own experiences as student athletes.

It’s nicely edited together (while also reminding me to hold my diction a little better when I’m not in full Actor mode).

Enjoy!

 

 

jedisteps

So last night around this time I was in Texas with Aaron and my old professor Dr. Rodriguez talking about ‘Trojan War’ and the Business and life.  I’m familiar with Southern hospitality because of my roots but it was still a fun night for myself and Aaron and judging by the immediate feedback it seems the feeling was mutual.  I talked on a live microphone about a lot of the things many of you are used to hearing me say here: I’ve had an incredibly blessed life I wouldn’t trade with anyone else, I have more I plan to do, but the state of the world and my age has reignited my desire to be very active in helping the next generation do things I probably won’t see.

So short version I was on full Kenobi mode last night, thus today’s song choice.

Enjoy!

 

 

trojan_war_poster_

So now that the press release is out, I can announce I’ll be in Dallas at the end of the month with Aaron Rahsaan Thomas to intro and do a Q&A for our 30 for 30 ‘Trojan War.’  Dallas has always treated me well and we are both flattered to be invited to share our thoughts on the filmmaking process and probably a few other things if time allows.

Details are in the doc below, if you’re in the area, hope you can make it out.

trojan-war

 

artgetdown

So there’s the names you recognize because it’s been in the marketing. Baz Luhrmann. Nas. Nelson George if you’re a hip hop head.

The name not as heavily promoted but who played a significant role of his own is my brother in many things in this life, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, officially credited as a Co-Executive Producer on ‘The Get Down’, which you can start streaming tonight on Netflix (or possibly right now depending on when you read this.)

I’ve enjoyed the hype leading up to this as much as most of you have, and I know the sacrifices Aaron made to be a part of this project, so I have high hopes as both a friend and a fan for this one.

Six episodes now, with the latter six coming next year.  Can’t wait.

Congrats Aaron!  And the rest of you, make this a part of your weekend!

IMG_6482

Soon to be retired Kobe Bryant said something once I liked. Paraphrasing here, ‘Before you get the ring, they’ll say you’re one of the guys who can’t win the ring.  You get one, they say you can’t get two.  And on and on, so the talk never stops.’ So just focus on the work, knowing people will find some reason to criticize you no matter what you do.

This year, more than any since I first moved to L.A., I really fell in love with ‘the Process’ again.  I wake up every morning with a smile on my face like I used to. Having a year plus of meditation under my belt helps.  I think to be truthful getting burned a few times around the block helped as well.  I don’t have ‘plans’ anymore.  To be clear, I have goals and strategies in place to accomplish the goals.  But we know what God does to plans.  So I always give myself enough flexibility to deal with whatever unexpectedly comes.  I’m more relaxed with this mindset and it shows.

‘Trojan War’ is the gift that keeps on giving.  Having some space now since when it came out, I can digest all the different lessons I took from that experience.  My personal biggest takeaway from that project?  If I can contribute to and be a major part of a ‘dream’ project, without crossing a line I don’t feel comfortable crossing, either as a black man, a Muslim or a generally ethical human being?  Why cross the line on projects that are straightforward jobs?  Why cross the line in life? So everything I’m building and everything that’s coming, you can thank Aaron and ESPN for raising the bar and proving I can do it my way.

Some of you ‘Scandal’ fans became familiar with a line a lot of grew up with: ‘You have to work twice as hard to get half of what they have.’  So with my double minority status, does that mean I have to work four times as hard?  Or, actually, to get everything I want and feel I deserve, eight times as hard to really finish the job?

Challenge accepted.

I’ve never really had a ‘perfect example’ of a single person who’s covered all the bases I try to cover in life (racial, spiritual, professional).  It’s been a huge blessing and a huge curse at times to see no one really filling what I feel is ‘my spot’.  What I have embraced the past year, especially in the climate we live in, is the impossible standard I have to hold myself to, to even have a chance.  I make a genuine mistake, it gets used as proof I ‘don’t deserve the opportunity.’  I get approached sideways, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a genuine competitive threat, or an attempt to pull me down and away from my goals, I always have to take the high road.  Even if human nature would make it obvious I’d be more than willing to handle it another way.  Can’t do it.  Nine times out of ten, I’ll have a lot more to lose by getting involved in every minor slight.  For all intents and purposes, it’s been the progressive removal of my ‘off switch’ in service of something bigger than myself.

So, thanks Obama, for giving me an example to shoot for.

Been a great year, but more to come.

Back next week.

netflix

So the sizzle reel for ‘The Get Down’ came out this morning.  On top of looking great on its own merit, my friend Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (director of ‘Trojan War’) happens to be one of the creative people behind the scenes helping to bring this series to light.

So add that to the reasons you should be hyped to see this come out!

spikeartfradieu

Nope wasn’t in the room Saturday night, I was (literally) down the street.

But thank you internet (and the Academy) for letting us see this.  I’m big on letting people know you appreciate them while they’re here to feel your appreciation.

Your East Coast bias aside Spike, I can personally attest to two of the seeds you helped plant and nourish getting those standardized test scores high enough to grow into a movie producer and a movie director (and a LOT more).

And as you know there are hundreds if not thousands more. So thank you.

First, I could watch this introduction all day…

And then, his actual acceptance speech…

Enjoy!