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089: Eme Ikwuakor

089: Eme Ikwuakor 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Dive In and Take The Risk

Today’s guest’s journey is a roller coaster ride full of defining moments, times when everything seemed to be working against him, but ultimately lead him to where he is today. From multiple heart attacks by the time he was 21 years old to getting cut from some of recent year’s most recognizable films, Eme Ikwuakor has continued to press on and shares how he took the deep dive into an artistic career.

Eme Ikwuakor is a triplet, born In Wheatridge, Colorado and the son of Nigerian parents (his father is a college professor in Nigeria). Attending the University of Colorado on a track and field scholarship, he was considering a sports marketing major until a college advisor recommended an acting course. Ikwuakor signed up and was quickly cast in the part of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. It became a life-changing experience. Always fascinated by history and African-American rights issues, Ikwuakor then became heavily involved in the Interactive Theater Project in Colorado, a professional acting troupe that specialized in theater for social change. This experience became a great influence on his career goals. During this period, he was cast in Ink, the critically-acclaimed, locally produced, independent science fiction feature that won Best Colorado Film at the 2009 Denver Film Critics Society awards and was considered “one of the best films of 2009. (JoBlo)” This positive experience taught Ikwuakor a great deal about how to independently produce projects, market and take chances. Arriving in Los Angeles after college graduation with a B.F.A in Performance Theater, Ikwuakor took a series of jobs to support his acting and producing ambitions. His life-changing project, Chance, was a short dramatic film, which he wrote, produced, co-directed and starred in. Its insight encouraged him to drop his day job of three years and focus entirely on his acting career. Since then, he has never been busier. Ikwuakor’s television series credits include Outlaw, Love Bites, Victorious, The Comeback, Silicon Valley, Castle, Hawaii Five-O and We Are Angels. In addition to Ink, he has been featured in the films The New Republic, Murder in the Dark and Not Safe for Work. He continues to work actively for social and political change. Currently, Eme is starring on ABC’s, Marvel’s Inhumans.

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Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“Sometimes it might take you five auditions to learn that one piece of advice to book this next gig.”

“If I hear a no, I know what I need to work on.”

VIDEOS:

BONUS: Joshua Beveridge

BONUS: Joshua Beveridge 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today’s conversation is a crash course into the journey of an animator. It’s about how a young man who never met an art medium he didn’t like chose to pursue a highly competitive and challenging career and truly thrived in his art form. We follow Joshua Beveridge’s early memories in a home filled with art history books, as a kid always painting and drawing or sculpting, to attending a College of Art and Design to being the Animator Director on “Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse”.

Joshua Beveridge is a Head of Character Animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks. His other titles have included Animation Director and Supervising Animator. Beveridge earned his BA in Computer Animation from the Ringling College of Art and Design before landing his first professional job on Disney’s adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Since then he’s worked on various teams as a Character Animator, Supervising Animator or Lead Animator in popular films such as “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Hotel Transylvania 2,” “Arthur Christmas,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and “Storks.” His work on Warner Bros “I Am Legend,” starring Will Smith and Alice Braga, garnered a 2008 Visual Effects Society Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in a Live action Motion Picture. Beveridge’s latest animated feature film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has broken the mold (again) for telling stories.

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Resources

LINKS:
QUOTES:

“There’s nothing impulsive about animation.”

“If you are afraid in art that’s usually an indication that you’re on the right path.”

VIDEOS:

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ALYSHIA OCHSE

Los Angeles-based actress, bestselling author, host of That One Audition podcast, entrepreneur, & mother.

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