Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sir Maejor

Who is Sir Maejor? You may not have heard of him yet, but, I can assure you, his name is one you will hear again. Overcoming obstacles, Sir Maejor has already started to make a name for himself after only under two years of being in the business. His determination and star quality is apparent. He is not only just The Albino Actor and Model. He is much, much more. Landing a feature role in FXs American Horror Story, as well as walking the runway at New York City Fashion Week, Sir Maejor is off to a powerful start. We can only expect wonderful things to come from him. And I, for one, am extremely excited to see where he will go.
Question 1: When did you first start modeling and acting? How did you come to the conclusion that was what you wanted to do?

Answer: It was earlier last year. I just woke up and said Im going to start acting and modeling.I had a friend who used to tease me and call me Shaun Ross. I didnt know who Shaun Ross was and he thought I was joking. Ive never heard of this guy, so I finally looked him up and I saw that he modeled. If this is this guy [Ross], and hes popular, widely popular as a model, I said, Okay, hes cool, but I think I can do it better.So you know, when I said "Im a do it," I just happened to do it. I wanted to pick two things that I never dreamed of. I never dreamed of being in acting. Never cared about modeling, but it wasnt until I just woke up with it in my head and my mind said, You know Im going to do it.So I did it. I used to be a radio personality. I started off with radio, prior to coming to Atlanta, and when I came here I came to get a radio gig. I was promised at Yale that I could go work for a couple different radio stations. When I got here it was a totally different thing. I tried to do collage radio out here and no one would take me cause I was not a student at those universities. Thats when I said, You know what, one monkey dont stop the show. We're going to start acting and modeling.So, thats how it began.

Question 2: So you call yourself The Albino Actor, its on your website. How has your Albinism actually helped you in your career? Do you think its actually helping you or hurting you because you will get type casted? Do you think that is something that will even happen?

Answer: At this point in time, Im not really worried about being type casted when it comes to Albinism. First of all, because thats what I am. I have fully embraced it. Has it helped me?  Absolutely. The reason how it helps me is because it distinguishes me from the other Joes out there. First of all, you got to understand that everything that I do is very strategic. Im not an idiot. I dont just make moves blindsided. So if I want to be seen and want to known as that guy with Albinism, I know thats how our society is based, on identification and labeling, and I know thats not necessarily right, but people are automatically going to label me as that albino guy, that albino actor, that albino model. So, I learned to take that. The word "albino" was always offensive to me. Its very derogative. Especially, depending on how you use it. And, so, I took a word that I never liked. And my mommy said Hey, Why do you call yourself albino? I know you dont like it. Why do you do it?The reason why I do it is because it does help me. Thats how American Horror Story found me. So, in terms of labeling myself, Im doing it because I know its going to be done to me. So, why not take it and flip it and make it positive.
Question 3: So you recently walked the runway at New York City Fashion week for designer Stevie Boi. How was that experience for you? Was if fun? Was it hectic?

Answer: Actually, it was very easy. First of all, it was very flattering that Stevie Boi reached out to me. He does some incredible work with a lot of people bigger than myself. So, the fact that he reached out to me with open arms and said, Hey I want you to come to my project, are you willing to make it happen?I was like Yeah!So, it was a great honor. Of course, I got treated like royalty as well because TV helps. It was a big deal for me.

Question 4: You also do regular modeling. Which do you enjoy more: the runway experience, or just regular modeling? Which is more fulfilling?  

Answer: I would have to say, I dont mind posing for magazines. I dont mind posing for different photographers. However, there is no greater gratification than that experience on walking the runway. You have people from all walks of life there at a show and, when youre walking for a big designer, the model really doesnt exist. The model is like a hanger for whatever designer youre wearing. So, to be even in that is a great honor. I like it all but, I have to say, runway gives me more of that adrenaline.
Question 5: You started modeling and then you jumped into acting. What made you want to take that leap?

Answer: Well, actually, I did it all together. Believe me, I started off with modeling, got some good shots out there as a door opener, because once the photos are floating around, people are going to start saying Who is this guy?And thats how it happened for me. I decided to do both at the same time, but I knew that you had to put one foot out there and, to start off by saying you want to model, you have to have some content or some substance. So, we start putting photos out there, start doing a few photo shoots, and thats how it happened for me.

Question 6: So Im a big American Horror Story fan, and thats even where I first noticed you. How did getting cast in Coven actually change things for you because it is a very popular show?

Answer: I was always the popular kid, so I wouldnt say that in my local community that it has really changed. I stand out because I do have Albinism and, so, popularity was never an issue for me. People know me from American Horror Story, you cant deny it. When Im other projects, like when Im doing other movies and stuff like that, you hear background actors say, Oh thats the guy from AHS!And I have to act like I dont hear it, just because I have to stay focused. Im shooting The Hunger Games, and I have two more days left so it will be total of seven days, Everywhere I went people were whispering Thats the guy from AHS.So, I guess it has helped. I go out to eat and people recognize me and people are taking pictures. I was at New York fashion week and I was in a club inside a hotel and I went to the bathroom and five girls were at the bathroom door when I came out. They were trying act like they were just using the bathroom and they waited for me. They actually came up with a conversational piece and they said,Oh, we like your eyebrows.They were waiting for me to say,Thank you,so they could hear my voice. Because they heard me on interviews and stuff like that, and I fell right into it too. I didnt know what was going on. So, they were like Are you the guy from AHS,and I was acting like I wasnt. I was saying No, its not me.They knew I was lying, They knew it was me, but you know stuff like that happens.

Question 7: You just mentioned that youre filming The Hunger Games. How is that experience for you? How do you feel that being is such a huge film is going to help you?

Answer: Doing The Hunger Games, its not a big role where I get a lot of camera time. It started off as a feature role and, of course, the directors have the last say. When you put things out there that youre going to be in something, it takes the surprise away. I have learned that I cannot voice projects that Im working on. Because I had put it out there, and no one told me not to, they have moved my role. So they had me in the project but, its not featured. So thats another thing. What else do we want to say? We did DC Comics. We just did a pilot for DC Comics prior to shooting The Hunger Games last week. DC Comics has a project called Constantine.  Were doing a TV series. They had me featured in there. So, things are coming along. I have accepted the fact that I am albino and that I will never change. My looks will never change. Once I started embracing myself and my identity, these roles started coming up. DC comics, they called me. As a matter of fact, the casting director worked with me on another project. So she remembered me, called me, and said,Hey, can you be here tomorrow?So its working.

Question 8: You were in Need for Speed as well, how was that?

Answer: It was great. I actually went to the movie theaters and I was there to see myself. Its kind of funny because when we were watching the film, the whole time, I wasn't really watching. Im not focusing on the movie, Im just focusing on looking at myself. I saw myself, but it was like in one scene. I shot like three or four scenes, but, of course, the director has the final cut. They have to make the final edit. They keep which ones they want and they delete the ones that they dont. So, the scenes that I was in the most were all deleted except for one where you saw me getting off of a prison bus, but it was background. I dont know if Albinism plays a part of it. One thing I did learn is that when I first started it wasnt easy. I wasnt getting casted for a lot of stuff. And heres the truth to it. Lets say Im in a scene with Robert De Niro. We know who Robert De Niro is. We know what hes capable of. We can almost predict what hes going to say next. If Im in a scene and Im in the background or Im standing in the same shot, Im going to steal his scene. The reason why is because not everyone knows who Sir Maejor is. Were still building that brand and were putting in work. Not everyone knows who I am. So if I steal the scene, whatever Robert De Niro is saying is being missed by the audience. Its like, Whos that guy? Is he black? Is he white? Is that an Albino?So, I become the trending topic and Robert De Niro is being ignored. Directors look at that. Its kind of a Catch 22.

Question 9: So, what can we be expecting from you in the future? Any secrets that you can divulge in?

Answer: Any secrets? Well, you might see that Lionsgate really likes me and they called my agent about me. So, were planning some stuff with Lionsgate. Were trying to get everything together. Till then Im going back to fashion week in New York. So, Ill be back in September.  Stevie Boi, actually, he said, Hey, I know youre bigger then you were before, but do you want to come back? I was like, Yeah, anything for you man. Well make it happen.”  So, well be doing fashion week in New York and were doing movies. I cant say what, but were doing movies.

Question 10: Finally can you give advice to anyone who is trying to make it in the industry or just in general?

Answer: First advice is never let anyone tell you no. Ive been told no by some of the biggest modeling agencies. Wilhelmina, they emailed me saying, Hey, we love your look, but youre just not a good fit for us.And there is really no good way to take that. Youre just not good enough. But, they actually pointed me in the right direction. They gave me some leads. Never let anyone tell you no. You have to just keep hunting. Also, you should never let anyone determine your net worth. Even after American Horror Story, you still get people that want you to do some stuff for little or nothing. When you know your net worth, and you know what youre capable of, and what you bring to the table, then you just dont settle for anything and thats something Im big on.

Credit for Interview: Sarah Ashley
Editor: Kc James
Owner: Chris Avery Bennet