Written by Shawn Thompson
“My dad taught me that ‘character’ is the most important attribute you have in life. It’s what you do when no one else is watching, that is what truly defines who you are.”
- John Edward
How would you define the John Edward brand?
Being real and standing up for what you believe in. It’s always good to be conscious and aware of pro-black issues. A few years ago, I would have been ridiculed for the same thing my people are fighting for now. I will continue to fight for what I believe in, whether it’s in style or not. When I say I’m pro-black I’m against anything that is not for my people. I am the face of every black man when I walk outside my house and I take pride in that. I truly feel we are our ancestor’s wildest dreams.
When was the first time you realized you wanted to be an entertainer? (actor/model)
I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer. As a child, friends would call me “Fresh Prince” because I was comedic like Will Smith. When I moved to Atlanta, I started seeing and learning more about the entertainment industry. Ironically, at that time, a friend from my hometown in Huntsville, Alabama, Johnny Sledge, was starting a modeling agency, named RadarMen and I signed with him. After a couple of years I started working with Farah Gilyard who was my publicist and she then made the connection for me to sign with Click Models of Atlanta; Farah also helped me get my first speaking role as Dr. Sharpe in the film, “XXI O’Day”, a Brandon Holland film.
How has being a father motivated you to continue to create and develop as an artist?
Being a father has made me go twenty times harder for what I want, I have a whole legacy I have to work hard for. I want to be someone he looks up too. Someone he can be proud to call his dad.
Tell us more about your journey as a Vegan, what sparked this transition in lifestyle and how has it made you look at life and health differently?
I’ve always been an animal lover ever since I was a child. I remember riding through my neighborhood as a child and seeing a dead bird. I felt so sorry for the bird that I brought it home and put it in my toy box; that’s how much I loved animals. You can’t save one animal and kill another so once I started researching and looking at the health benefits, I knew it was for me.
What values from your childhood guide you in your current life and artistry now?
The values that my father ingrained in me are still very much a part of my life. My dad taught me that ‘character’ is the most important attribute you have in life. It’s what you do when no one else is watching, that is what truly defines who you are.
How has the world’s current COVID-19 pandemic effected the way you think about the world as an artist?
Nina Simone said “how can you be an artist and not reflect the times.” I feel right now for artists is specifically
important. I think the artists right now will come out with the best content for where we are at right now. A lot of people might forget about this period of time but the artist will keep this moment alive.
Tell us about your most memorable acting experience
The film that I’m doing right now “SINthetic”. This is the most intense role I have had so far. I’m definitely gonna be a villain. It’s gonna show a totally different side me.
How has Click Model Management helped you to develop as an artist?
My incredible agent, Jenni L. at Click Models of Atlanta has helped me book awesome jobs and some billboards through out the country. They haven’t helped me develop as an artist but given me the freedom to develop myself, be my own person and be authentic to who I am as an artist.
Tell us about your most memorable modeling experience
One of my most memorable modeling experiences was in Amelia Island for a huge tourism campaign with an amazing model Sarah Naomi who is now on Tyler Perry’s “Ruthless.” It was a beautiful island setting and we were able to get a really dope spread in a few magazines.
Any future projects you can let us in on?
Definitely, “SINthetic” it’s a Ronda K. Production. We should be rapped up by November 2020. It is about sex trafficking (Atlanta is ranked #1 in America for Sex Trafficking) I play a villain in this one. I’ll be seen in a very different light. Other projects that I am working on are two short films ‘I am Nine’and ‘Annihilation’ of Man’ by Raxiel Liz – these movies should be out in Summer 2021.
Name some of your creative inspirations that have motivated your artistry.
Definitely Omari Hardwick. Ever since he was on the show “Dark Blue.” He was an artist who looked like me. When I saw him perform, I knew he was dope and would soon be a household name – I could tell he had that ‘it’ factor. He is someone I follow and look up to. He motivated me in my most recent work. He is a true thespian.
If your career was song, what would it be?
Rick Ross, Hustlin. I’m always hustlin, always trying to figure out what my next move is. My manager Kerry Kilpatrick is great about helping me book jobs. I want to feed my family, my grandchildren, leave a legacy.
Tell us more about your personal involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement and your thoughts about its current place in society
I am the Black Movement. I promote options and avenues for people to donate and fund our people because it’s important, its what we need, especially during a time like this.
What is your routine for getting ready for a photoshoot and/or acting role?
My main thing is getting a good night’s sleep. I prep anything I need to bring on set the day before which usually includes a lot of snacks since I am vegan. I will also meditate prior to walking on set then go knock it out. Simple as that.