Brooklyn comes to Houston…Huh? Well, that is if you have actor and musician Malik Yoba visiting the Bayou City. Mr. Yoba was in town as part of Black MPAC on February 9, 2013 for The Working Actor with Malik Yoba Workshop, Film and Video Production Workshop and Film and TV Panel Discussion. The workshops were held at the Midtown Art Center and the evening cocktail party at Nvy Lounge. The day of workshops and events to support the arts for aspiring youth was made possible through MPAC-Mack Performing Arts Collective, A 501(c) (3) Non-profit charitable performing arts organization founded by Jalene Mack (Houston, TX).
BSM had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the Bronx native. And if you’re a fan of his previous work on “New York Undercover”, Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” franchise and in his current TV role on “Alphas”. Read on to find out what more he’s been up to.
Photo source: blackmpac2013
The first half of the interview was conducted by BSM columnist, Darnelle Weatherspoon.
Darnelle Weatherspoon: As part of the The Working Actor with Malik Yoba Workshop you spoke to the kids about inspiration and their (acting) work. Are there any roles you have turned down simply because of your own values and beliefs?
The Working Actor with Malik Yoba Workshop; Photo source: MPAC Houston
Malik Yoba: I think it’s less about turning down roles. I mean you can only turn it down once it’s offered to you. Sometimes I don’t put myself in the mix… It’s more of that than getting someone offering something and me having to say no. It is usually about the time because I have three kids and family and I don’t always want to be so far away.
Darnelle Weatherspoon: I see you have your instrument…
Malik Yoba: Yes, I was going to play for the kids but we ran out of time. (Malik referring to the youth that participated in The Working Actor with Malik Yoba Workshop).
Darnelle Weatherspoon: Do you still play music?
Malik Yoba: I do still play music but it has not been on the same level as my acting – But I’ve been doing it for a long time.
Darnelle Weatherspoon: With the Tyler Perry movie franchise “Why Did I Get Married?” how was it working with such an amazing cast?
Malik Yoba: With most of the people in the movie, we were friends already so it was like going to camp.
At this point of the interview the Twins of Media asked a few questions of their own. Read on to see what Malik had to say about his role as MLK in the recently seen TV Movie “Betty and Coretta” and his thoughts on his children going into acting.
Asha LaShae’: With your acting career and you being here now with the children, I do know that you like to teach. What do you get from attending an event such as Black MPAC? What do you take away from the experience?
Malik Yoba: I don’t know if I see it as “taking away”. I have been teaching since I was eighteen and I’m now 45 and for me it’s just what I do. I enjoy seeing people grow.
“Great group of kids today!”
“I am a product of people feeding into me!”
Beautifully Said Magazine-Twins of Media speaks with Malik Yoba
Photo source: Jeff Chambers
Asha LaShae’: I do see that you poured the same sentiment you just mentioned into the children with this workshop. Speaking of children, do you want your own to go into acting?
Malik Yoba: I just want them to be happy! They have naturally gravitated towards creative endeavors but I also tell them that they have to get an MBA. In speaking to my children I say, “I don’t care what you do but business it at the heart of it.”
I certainly want them to follow their passion. I do a lot of things and talk to them about how much I want them to think because my father was like that with me. My children are 14, 12, and 10 and are showing proficiency in a lot of areas intellectually. My son likes building things and I’m involved in some real estate development so I sometimes take him with me. I talk to him about that and technology and he knows my developer friends. I just expose my kids to all kinds of stuff!
“I am definitely my father’s child in the sense of my hustle in fifteen different directions.”
Trisha LaNae’: Your portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the TV movie, “Betty and Coretta”…loved it! What are your feelings in taking on that role?
Malik Yoba: It was like the best role of my life. It was amazing! (Malik shrugs his shoulders to emphasize what more could he say…the role was wonderful for him to play).
Asha LaShae’: You have many wonderful things going on this evening (Black MPAC Cocktail Party) so we thank you for being gracious with your time and interviewing with us.
Malik Yoba: The Twins, I’ve been speaking with you all prior via social media <laughs> Good to see you!
At the time of press: The Black MPAC Cocktail Party took place at: Nvy Lounge, 2707 Milam, Houston, TX 77002
Malik Yoba and MPAC founder- Jalene Mack
Photo source: MPAC
Malik Yoba’s Working Actors Workshop Prt One at Black MPAC 2013
Video source: Houstonmpac
MPAC Mission Statement: Cultivating the interest of performing arts by exposing, educating, and entertaining.
The Midtown Art Center is located at: 3414 LaBranch Street, Houston, TX 77004.