My sincere appreciation goes out to Jenise Morgan & The Florida Courier for following my quest and allowing me to publish this story. I can feel the love. Thank you very much. I know somethings great will manifest from this story.
Note: To all my Floridian's, news paper copies will be available from Friday, Nov 19 - November 25th. Get them while supplies last. You know where to go.
Chasing his destiny
- Categorized in: Metro
So what did he do?
Dropped everything and moved to Tinseltown.
BY MOTOWN MAURICE
SPECIAL TO THE COURIER
Growing up as a teenager, I never completely understood why there were so many songs written about California. An artist either wrote about their "California Love," reasons for "Going back to Cali" or they would get listeners no matter where they were "Hollywood Swingin."
The California song list goes on and on. I’ve always loved the songs but not until I arrived in Los Angeles did I finally start to understand why this place is such a big deal. It’s without a doubt the Mecca of the entertainment industry. Most important, it’s a place founded to inspire any individual by keeping their dreams and visions alive.
A crazy move?
When I premiered "The Motown Maurice Show’’ on Jan. 23, 2010 in Tampa Bay, my sincere intentions were to revitalize Tampa Bay’s economy in an entertainment economy and create jobs. I was determined to have my show compete with "The Tonight Show’’ in L.A. and "The Late Show’’ in New York. Now that I live in L.A., I look back and understand why the reporter Eric Deggans from the St. Pete Times said I was crazy. It would have even made sense to say I was extremely delusional.
In heart, I never wanted to leave Tampa but I was pushed to the edge to the point where I had no other choice but to jump. Fortunately, before jumping I found an old college friend (whom I haven’t communicated with in over seven years) on Facebook living in Korea Town, Downtown L.A. Within two Facebook messages, I confirmed a place to live.
Left company, family, car behind
Following that confirmation, one of my former team members of "The Motown Maurice Show’’ booked me a plane ticket to LAX (Los Angeles airport) for $50. My destiny to be in L.A. was more the obvious. In exactly two weeks, I left everything I had behind. I left my company, my family and 2005 Dodge Durango and started planting new seeds in Tinseltown.
The reality is some seeds can’t grow in certain environments because of its foundation. Florida was generally founded as the state retirement. On the other hand, "It never rains in Southern California."
This state has over 300 days of sunshine, 800 miles of coastline and more film and television affiliations than you can think of. It’s the place where big dreams born.
Getting around Tinseltown
If you’re someone with big dreams, visions, goals and a burning desire in the world of entertainment, then the City of Angels is where you need to be. I will admit the competition is fierce, but it’s more pleasurable to be around so many creative like minds.
Since I arrived, I’ve been learning a lot of new lessons and have been refreshed by very familiar old lessons. Nevertheless, each week is a new experience and adventure that will ultimately lead to my conquest.
I spent my first week in L.A. getting acclimated with the city’s transportation system. In my opinion, it’s fairly decent. The buses run moderately rapid. At first, the subway/train was hard to find but when I found it, I was immediately mesmerized by its massive infrastructure.
The train won’t take you everywhere, but it will take you to a lot of popular locations at a reliable pace.
Fake Samuel L. Jackson, real Usher
That same week I signed with First Class Talent Agency and took my first stroll upon the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame. By my surprise, I ran into Samuel L. Jackson. Okay, well it wasn’t the real Samuel L. Jackson; it was a wax figure. It was so lifelike, so couldn’t I say I really met him? A couple days later I attended a party and stood inches away from Usher, Bishop Don Magic Juan and Fonzworth Bentley.
The following week made me say "Yeah 3X." I was cast as an extra for a Chris Brown music video entitled "Yeah 3X." Apparently my unique hairstyle was one of the things that caught their attention.
A Kodak moment with Chris Brown
It was shot at Universal Studios Hollywood. The shoot took all day but it earned me first some quick cash money. I also learned a very important lesson in celebrity interaction.
At the end of the shoot, I was able to easily take a picture with Chris Brown. A minute or so later, I approached him again and begin to tell him about my show while passing him my card.
He immediately cut me off and pointed to who I should give it to. Then I realized in the future it would probably be best to figure out who are the handlers of the celebrities instead of approaching the actual superstar.
Visited Leno; did Doritos recording
In Week 3, I attended a live taping of "The Tonight Show’’ with Jay Leno. This was my first time attending a late-night talk show other than my own show.
It was an awesome experience. It was even better knowing my show isn’t far behind. I also had my first traumatic incident. I went to a barbershop and they massacred my high top. I still haven’t fully recovered from that terrifying haircut yet.
During my fourth week, I auditioned for NBC’s hit game show "Minute to Win it,’’ acted in a promotional church video and also was featured in a recording for a Doritos commercial contest. Both the promotional project and Doritos commercial’s release is still pending.
Horrible advice from Carson Daly
Then in Week 6, I volunteered for Billboard’s Film & TV Music Conference and had an opportunity to meet and ask Carson Daly a question about breaking into the late-night industry.He gave me some advice, then immediately admitted it was horrible advice. I figured it was a hard question to answer anyway. I also auditioned for a game show called "Wipeout in San Diego.’’
When I arrived, I accidently skipped the first interview and walked right into the line where people signed up for the second interview. During Week 8, I conducted the second interview of the game show "Wipeout’’ on Monday, Nov. 8. I would love to tell you I’m going to be cast for the show, but it’s a very unpredictable situation.
Not exactly the game show type
They did advance me to the next round that same day, but I’m going to assume I’m not going to get casted because of my ambitions and accomplishments.Some game shows have a particular type they are looking for. I could be wrong, but I’ve been studying these auditions for a while now. It’s not too difficult to understand how some of Hollywood’s institutions operate. Hollywood is heavily guarded. They make it nearly impossible to get inside and even if you meet someone on the outside, they are going to keep the gates secure because they don’t want to make it easy for anyone to get in. Even if I met someone that has "made it," they will probably be programmed to keep me out at first. I respect and understand how their system operates.
Planning to relaunch show
On my 30th day in L.A., I wrote an evaluation of myself and my quest. Since then, I find myself evaluating myself almost every day. I came to L.A. with the primary purpose of hosting my own nationally syndicated late-night talk show. Over eight weeks later and I still have no clue how to accomplish that.
Indeed I know it’s not an easy task. As a result, I plan to be strategic about everything I do and take
advantage of the opportunities that will provide me exposure for now.
Joining a project that will provide me exposure will build my credibility for a major or cable network. My best idea since I’ve been here was to rebuild my team production team from scratch and relaunch the second season of "The Motown Maurice Show’’ live from L.A. As great as those ideas sounds, they all are extremely difficult to pull off with no money or connections in this industry as of yet.
No such thing as a big break
All I have is my integrity and the loving support from my family, roommate and fans in Tampa Bay. A great portion of my quest has been sponsored by my fans, friends from high school and family. Most people who come to L.A. are all looking for their big break. I recently realized that there is no such thing as a big break. One day I will break big but the concept of waiting for a big break can become hazardous. So what’s next? I honestly don’t know. That’s what makes my quest most difficult yet adventurous. There is no blueprint for success in Hollywood. Everyone has their own unique story. As a visionary not knowing what’s next can be challenging but I will make it through the storm. I haven’t achieved any significant success in Hollywood yet, but I know enough to know that I have what it takes to be success. To be successful you have to obtain two major components – one is the delusional component and the other is the fearless component.If you don’t have both of them, then you probably won’t achieve success in this city. If others have relocated to L.A. to pursue their passions, why can’t I? Why can’t you?
Currently, I’m being considered for a reality show on NBC. My phone interview went well and my in-person interview is very soon.
Until next time…
As the quest continues...