I wish kids - specifically those with food allergies or who have felt left out or different - understand that it is okay to be 100% yourself. There is always a place for you, and a friend for you in this world. I know what it is like to feel left out, so I go out of my way to welcome and support others, and make the spaces around me a place where friends feel as if they matter. Also, there is ALWAYS time for one more knock-knock joke!
I love that I get to meet so many people working in Entertainment. I get to learn from some of the most incredible acting instructors, and tackle different characters. I appreciate that acting, as well as cooking and speaking engagements, have given a platform for me to support important causes and inspire other kids.
I recently participated in Ms. Taraji P. Henson's Unspoken Curriculum PSA for the Boris L Henson Foundation. The series of videos will address the needs for mental health support for the many things kids face within our cities and classrooms. Also, I had a blast playing young Jack in The Place We Hide (Amazon Prime). Although I enjoy comedic characters, the cast and director of this film made it easy for me to connect with a character with such a difficult, dark childhood.
I believe that we all have things that we can contribute to the world, and none of us should ever look down on others. I have strong faith, a family and core group of friends from school, church and swimming who are not interested in the industry at all. My relationships with them are based solely upon who I am, not what I do. This makes it easy to not get caught up in any level of hype.
Business Advice: No one cares how talented you are if you are a jerk. It pays to be knowledgeable, teachable, approachable, and kind at all times, no matter your position in life. It is also imperative that you learn about contracts and the ins and outs of any profession you choose.
Networking Tip: Relationships, authentic ones, matter. I have been blessed to meet and work with so many inspiring people already, and the biggest lesson that I have learned is that people, industry or not, are more likely to support and welcome you if you bring your authentic self, and if you aren't looking out just for what you can get. Be genuine, and the right "connections" and "opportunities" will come.
Look for Owen in several projects coming soon this year!