It's been a little over a year since the passing of such a great man, Thomas Mikal Ford. He was a devoted man of God, father, actor, director, comedian and motivational speaker.
Here's my story with working with Big Tommy.
So here I am again, interviewing another celebrity. Luckily, for me this time I was less nervous because I interned with him all summer 2012.
May 2012 I returned home from Greensboro, NC where I was working towards my undergraduate degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Bennett College for Women. I needed a internship so I went to twitter, like Trump loves to do.
Tommy tweeted about him working on a new film in LA. I tweeted him to see if he needed any interns, he then replied with his assistance's email address. I emailed her and I began my intern duties as the Social Media Manager for the Conflict of Interest movie @Coithemovie instagram.
Again, Twitter worked in my favor.
Being on set was fun. I had the chance to see the ins and outs of how a movie production runs. Long hours, catered food, running lines, hair and make-up, someone yelling "quiet on the set" and Tommy yelling "action". But before we all tended to our duties, Tommy would have everyone gather in a circle and he would lead us in prayer.
Once Conflict of Interest was completed, I asked Tommy would if I could interview him on his experience in the Entertainment Industry. He agreed and enlighten me that his career began in 1989 with Harlem Nights.
Becoming an actor was his purpose in life, he was assigned to do this, his gifts were his ministry. "Many are called but few are chosen" He quoted.
3 years later, He received a call from his good friend Martin Lawrence. Martin told Tommy he was working on a new show and wanted Tommy to be apart of it. Tommy's agents tried to talk him out of being a co-star on the Martin Show because the didn't think it would be a hit.
In fact, the show was based of off Martin and Tommy's real life friendship. His most fondest memory was working alongside Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Carl Anthony Payne, Tichina Arnold and Garrett Morris.
The Martin Show aired 132 episodes from 1992- 1997. The show was very successful. Too bad I forgot to ask him what his character's occupation was on the Martin show. I honestly think he was a Counselor.
I went on and asked him for his advice on how upcoming actors, actresses, directors and producers can get their big break. His formula was simple: study, learn, watch and execute.
For example: Tommy studied Jame Earl Jones, An American actor who was a "big guy" compared to the average 5'8 or shorter men in Hollywood. James mastered being the nontraditional Hollywood man without taking on "the bad guy" roles and still being an intellectual gentleman. That's be real, we know that's not a norm.
Check out our interview below.