Princeton Drake Chats With TMI About His Passion For Acting

Hey Princeton so excited to be chatting with you! What would you say brought on your passion for acting?

Thank you, I am excited to be chatting with you as well. To answer that question, we have to go back to the beginning. When I was a kid I really enjoyed entertaining people and making them laugh. It didn’t matter if I was making a joke, if I was bouncing around the house, or if I was pretending to be  someone else, I really enjoyed entertaining people. It was one of the things that brought joy to my heart. As a kid I was very active, and I played many sports growing up. When I entered middle school, I joined a marching band and enjoyed that as well. When I was about fourteen years old that was around the first time I said out loud that I wanted to be an actor. Every since I can remember I have always dissected movies, memorized lines, and tried to portray different characters. However, growing up where I grew up, there were no acting classes available or any type of classes like that being offered. I grew up in a city where most people pursue careers in engineering, nursing, teaching, or you work for the government. That’s the perfect life. For me however, I always loved the arts of dance, music, and entertainment; but those things didn’t exist in my world at the time. With that being my reality at the time, I pursued another love of mine which was working in the medical field. When I first attended college, I was studying to be a nurse. As I was pursuing a career as a nurse, I felt like something was missing. During that time of my life, I felt a little lost and I started to seek the Lord for direction. I asked the Lord, what is you will for my life, and thats when things began to shift. During that time, the door for nursing started to close and the door for acting started to open. I then found myself gravitating toward people who were already in the arts field. Some of those people were musicians, poets, and actors. My passion for acting didn’t happen until I was twenty three years old. I had just wrapped UWF’s adaptation of “Intimate Apparel” a beautiful play written by Lynn Nottage. In the play, I played the lead male role, a character named George Armstrong. I will never forget when that passion hit me. It was our last show, it was on a Sunday afternoon, and there was a fire in my belly throughout the entire performance. That afternoon was magical and I felt like I had an out of body experience while performing. When the show ended that, I knew from day moving forward, I wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life.

What is one movie that has greatly influenced your life?

One movie that has had a great influence on life, is Marvel’s Black Panther movie. The movie Black Panther means more to me than I can even express with words. I’m actually tearing up because that movie was a complete game changer for me. That movie moved my soul and inner being. I never knew I needed that movie until I watched it. Watching Black Panther gave me hope, it inspired me, and it celebrated my blackness-African roots. I am a African-American male who grew up in Alabama and to be honest my black skin hasn’t always been celebrated or appreciated. I have had different experiences with racism throughout my life and it’s never easy to deal with things like that. However, watching Black Panther and seeing a world created with people who look exactly like me, be the head an not the tail, be above an not beneath, and be classified as beautiful, brave, smart, intelligent Kings and Queens will always mean everything to me. With that being said, rest in peace to the late and great Chadwick Boseman. You will forever be an inspiration to me. I am so grateful that I was able to witness your body of work and see you break the mold and stereotypes of African-American male actors and entertainers. May your legacy and work live on forever and ever.

What has been your favorite acting role to date?

My favorite acting role to date, would have to be my very small role as Neighbor # 6 in the television series NCIS: New Orleans. The episode is called Biased. The reason why this role is my favorite acting role to date is because I got to be apart of history. I got to be directed by the legend himself Mr. LeVar Burton. I got meet and be given a few lines to say by the radiant wordsmith Talicia Raggs. I also got to be a part of a story and subject matter that is very personal and real to my life. I won’t  go into to many details but just watch the episode and you will know where I’m coming from. 

What would be your dream acting role?

My dream acting role would be portraying and embodying a character in the Marvel Universe or biography of a real life person. I would love to play the role of Nezhno Abidemi (Gentle) in the Marvel Universe. Gentle is a Wakandan native and member of the X-Men. He is arguably one of the most powerful mutants on the planet. I also would love to portray the biopic and real life story of boxer Evander Holyfield. 

Is there anyone you are dying to work/collaborate with in your acting career?

Omg that list would take forever for me to get through. There are so many people I would love to collaborate with and work with in my acting career. However, I will list the ones that are on my current vision board: Denzel Washington, Ava Duvernay, Spike Lee, Robert De Niro, Nate Parker, Lawrence Fishburne, Gina Prince Bythewood, F Gary Gary, Lena Waite, Brad Pitt, Mahershala Ali, and Ryan Coogler just you name a few.

Do you plan on working in the entertainment industry for a long time?

Yes, I am committed to working in the entertainment industry for the rest of my life. I believe that God has given me the grace, the strength, the talent, and keen vision to work and thrive in this entertainment industry. I am fully committed, 100 percent. 

Do you have any projects in the works you can tell us about?

Sure, so recently I just booked a role in a feature film called, “Role Model”  with director named David Nemeth. I can’t go into too much detail about the role. However, I have had the pleasure of working with director David Nemeth before on a previous project and I am looking for forward to working with him again. 

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

If I could have a giant billboard anywhere in the world it would have to be in Times Square, New York City.  I have never been to New York City, but I often visualize myself standing in Times Squre and seeing a billboard of myself. Maybe one day that vision will become a reality. The billboard would be a quote from one of my favorite people in the world, motivational speaker Les Brown. The quote states, “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” I truly believe that my life is not my own. I was created to serve others with my gifts, my talents, my skills, and my abilities. With everything that I do, I just want to influence others and I help them reach their goals. I truly want to inspire others. I want someone to look at me and say, it’s because of you that I didn’t give up. 

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

This is a great question. I don’t think I have any unusual habits or absurd things that I love haha. To this day, I still love the medical field and I watch shows that might gross people out, such as Dr. Pimple Popper, Botched, and different shows of that caliber. As far as unusual habits, I do know that this year, I have had a really bad habit of saying the phrase, “Let’s get into it” after everything. The other day my mom called me and invited me over for brunch and here’s how the conversation went. Mom: good morning son, I’m making brunch, if you want to stop by and eat. My response, “Let’s get into it.” Her response was “huh” lol. 

What is your current go-to song?

I have two. My first go to song is called Enjoy Ya Life by musical artist Jared Brady. My second go to song is right now is called Song to Song by artist’s Bryant Taylorr ft. Xanzanxan 

What do you like to do during your free time?

During my free, I enjoy the sports of boxing-kickboxing. I started boxing- kickboxing three years ago, it’s a great stress reliever, and a great way to stay in shape. I also enjoy hip-hop dancing, reading, and spending time with close friends and family. 

Do you have any last things you’d like to tell your supporters? 

To all of my supporters and fans out there, I would just like to say thank you so much for supporting me and believing in my dreams. I really do appreciate all of the love and support. Here are just a couple of words of encouragement. Whatever it is that you want to do with your life or whatever it is that you want to pursue, do it now. THE TIME IS NOW. Life is too short for you to keep playing it safe and not take that risk. Have faith in God, believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who will push you toward your dreams, and never give up. Affirm yourself daily and never lose hope. I love you all. God bless. Princeton Drake. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions 🙂 

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