By Tammy Reese
Hello Heart of Hollywood Magazine readers, it is our distinct pleasure to introduce you to Actor, Director, Producer, Business Powerhouse, Jerome K. Miller. He’s an artist who is aiming to master intertwining the dots. Those dots are film, storytelling, social entrepreneurship, international business, and community activism.
We obtained an exclusive interview with Jerome who is gearing up to move to New York City from Atlanta, GA in the fall of 2023 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy Performing Arts acting school to pursue a career as an actor and film director and fulfill the aspiration of living in his dream city since he was a kid.
We’re excited to learn about your experience studying abroad in South Africa and Dubai on behalf of Georgia State University. What can you share with us?
Of course, I’m absolutely down to share! Studying abroad in both South Africa and Dubai, 100% changed my perspective on life and how I should perceive it. For elaboration; it made the little things such as having the luxury to eat food more appreciative, because in South Africa, some people don’t have food to eat, or have the choice to decide when, where, and what type of food they’re going to eat. The experiences made me appreciate animals and nature more, while in South Africa, we got the opportunity to do a safari tour and when I tell you, I saw almost every animal from lions, tigers, giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, zebras, monkeys, chimpanzees, etc… then on a visit to Nkosi’s HIV & Aids orphanage where some of the kids, adults, and teenagers are born with HIV & aids stemming from their parents, or involvement with someone, and having the chance to talk with them it really opened my eyes that I have no reason to ever complain about anything in life because based on unfortunate circumstances these individuals were happy, weren’t complaining, living and enjoying their life, and the crazy part is they all live in a shelter and aren’t aware of how long their going to live life based on inheriting a disease or be inside of foster care until someone take them in.
While there, at one point, I decided to sit in a chair, sit back, and just observe what my eyes had seen, because it was unlike anything else. Visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned which by the way, you have to travel by boat for approximately 20 minutes to the island, shows you how excruciating the treatment of prisoners to the island and how their living conditions were. On my phone, I have photos of Nelson Mandela’s cell, and how small it was. Nevertheless, I can talk about these experiences day and night, but in short, traveling abroad to these countries was absolutely amazing and life-changing for my soul.
Materialistic things, I don’t care about, complaining about anything in life, I don’t really do, everything that God has created of this world I cherish it. I learned patience, compassion, empathy, and understanding that people have more excruciating life stories than you could ever imagine and not to take anything or moment in life for granted.
Thank you, Georgia State University, Paula Huntley, Dr. Mourad Dakhli, Dr. Glenwood Ross, Jamaica Villegas, and also every student who was a part of these experiences with me, for everything. As these experiences really changed my life!
What have been some other memorable moments in your career so far?
Meeting civil rights icon and legend Ambassador Andrew Young, having the opportunity to shake his hand, tell him thank you for everything that he has done for us people of color, taking a picture with him, and him signing his book that I received a copy of titled: An Easy Burden The Civil Rights Movement and The Transformation of America.
Attending President Barack Obama, first inaugural presidential ceremony in 2008 in Washington, DC to see him become the first black president of the United States of America.
Living life to see the age of 25, because my biological father didn’t have that opportunity, as he was murdered at the age of 24.
Traveling to Philadelphia, PA in 2018, on behalf of Greatest MINDS with founder George Chip Greenidge, on a free trip with lodging and airfare included to a Black Male Educators Conveying Conference with 8 other Georgia State University students, from different walks of life.
Being a co-author in a book titled: Men Magnifying Manhood Male Empowerment Volume 2 alongside Dr. Calvin Ellison.
Getting accepted into the IEDC (International Economic Development Council) inaugural Equity in Economic Development fellowship, where I spent the summer of 2022, in Tulsa, Oklahoma learning about the basics and fundamentals of economic development, providing consultation on the redevelopment of Greenwood district, which is where the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre occurred, was able to sit on board meetings with the Mayor of Tulsa, Mayor Bynum, attend events on creating affordable housing for the residents of Tulsa, learn about CDFI, was a public speaker at the IEDC 2022 annual conference in OKC, etc…
Lastly, being a first-generation college graduate and first-generation higher education college graduate.
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What have you not yet accomplished that you aspire to achieve one day?
The goal of redeveloping the community of Waters Avenue & Seiler Avenue of Savannah, GA from East 37 Street to East 41 Street where I was born, raised, and spent all of my childhood is the primary thing that I aspire to achieve. For articulation, when I say redevelop, I mean, from a socioeconomic, economic, community, and real estate development perspective.
The narrative of poverty, a wealth divide, drugs, no hope, no opportunities for entrepreneurship, or opportunities in general, is what I’m aiming to eradicate in the neighborhood where I grew up.
Another goal is to make my mom financially and economically free.
What do you hope to take away from your time at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy/AMDA College of the Performing Arts?
While at AMDA, I hope to take away what being in a little Hollywood (acting school) but physically being in the environment of Broadway/NYC is like. In addition, being pushed beyond my limits from a mental, emotional and physical perspective. Getting first hand experience of rejection of roles, before stepping out into the real world of film, experiencing critiques for the betterment of me, meeting creatives and artists from different age ranges, walks of life, and unfamiliar personalities, and an upper-echelon education with top-tier experiences.
What advice would you have for anyone who aspires to become an actor, producer, or director?
Pray, and ask if this is what you desire me to do while I pursue this journey and all that will come with it. The hate, the success, the fame, the peer pressure, the ups, and the downs, the money, the envy, the depression, the temptation, and the materialistic aspect of it.
Aside from that, just be your true authentic self, and never go against the work of art, that is your art.
What do you want your legacy to look like in the entertainment world?
Wow great way to end, with such a dope question: but a legacy to ultimately personify that I didn’t cheat the game and every time that I had to perform, I gave more than what I had to give. Essentially, Michael Jeffery Jordan, however, you want to decipher!
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Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.
Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.
Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Meagan Good, Jennifer Connelly, Laurence Fishburne, Mona Scott- Young, Geena Davis, Essie Davis, Vivica A. Fox, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Nelly, Ryan Coogler, Carmen Electra, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Giancarlo Esposito, Amerie, Leon, Patina Miller, La La Anthony, Neyo, Britt Lower, Michael James Shaw, Aleks Paunovic, Courtney Kemp, Janet Hubert, Tom Arnold, Michole Briana White, Matt Cedeño, Raven Goodwin, Amber Riley, Ross Marquand, Merritt Wever and many more.
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