"My Mom Always Told Me That I Was A Character" ___ John F. Kennedy
From his beautiful complexion to his charming demeanor, you can never forget a person like Brooklyn’s very own superstar John Fitzgerald Kennedy, owner of “Platinum Auto Leasing “ in Glendale, Queens. John admits how much he loves acting, as much as he loves sports and is very
prepared to step back into his role as an actor. With all of the experience under his belt and a resume to prove it, John intends to move onto the next level and is ready to be seen. His early roles of playing a cop has challenged him to get ready to push through the doors for other type of roles and he is working his way into movies with actors and directors like 50 cents, Denzel Washington and all of the big hitters that can make that happen. SkysOcean is looking forward to watching him on that big screen again. After all it isn’t everyday that you get to meet and interview a great professional actor and named after one our beloved presidents JFK. This interview was exciting, because It means that SkysOcean is on it's continued quest of finding great people, who are also chasing their passions. Who inspire you to keep working forward towards your dreams. (All photos taken from JFK's IG)
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Panama, I came to New York City when I was four years old and was raised in Brooklyn, Bushwick. I come from a huge family of thirteen, seven brothers and five sisters. Unfortunately, two of them passed away, my oldest and younger sister, one to Lupus and the other to Cancer. Throughout my life I have always worked hard to get to where I am at now, the fact that I come from a big family and me being the middle child, I was always striving to be better. Not saying better than my brothers and my sisters, just having a better lifestyle. Due to the fact that I watched my mom struggle with us. I told her she wouldn't have to do that with me.
Was your mom a single mom?
No, she wasn’t, but my dad was a police officer and an alcoholic, so he wasn’t around often. As I got older I developed a better relationship with my dad, but our upbringing was very rough. My mom was always trying to do the best that she can with just us. While working, getting us ready for school, cooking and cleaning. I remember, she used to have to cook, because she loved cooking, just to sell the food, so that we can get food and to basically put clothes on our backs. It was a struggle, people did not see it, because my mom kept us looking clean. She also didn’t put our business out there, letting people know that we were struggling.
You mean like social media today?
Exactly. You can call that fronting on the gram.
Being that there were thirteen of you, that meant you guys helped each other?
Yes, my brothers and sisters and I fought a lot, when it came to the chores, but for the most part we all had each others back. It was a good experience growing up with them.
When did you decide that you wanted to be an actor?
When I was about 15 or 16 years old, my mom told me that I was a character. I always tried to look smooth and dress a certain way. She once took my sister and I to a "Chips Ahoy" audition and ever since then I knew I wanted to do this. Then I went to "Queens Borough College", where I took Theater as my minor and majored in Business Management.
Do you remember your first role and what it was like?
Yes, my first actual role was Joseph in a play at Mount Moriah Church, which is in Queens and I did well. I also did another play there, then from there on God had his hand in it, because the doors opened up. I started taking extensive acting classes at the Creative Acting Company in the city, where I met Bob Lambert, who was one of the casting directors for the daytime soap opera “All My Children" and who I also learned my soap opera techniques from. Bob told me that I had talent and asked me if I would like to be on the show. So, I had to read for him and he loved the way I read and it just took off from there. I started getting reoccurring roles on the show, but I was doing what is called under five. Which is five words and under. So, I was getting a little bit more than the extra, but I still wasn’t a contract actor and that is what you want to be. So, I utilized that by learning how to be around the camera and becoming comfortable around other actors. Until, I started getting calls and when I worked on the show "Third Watch", one of the camera guys there referred me to a talent agent named Tsu Tsu Stanton, who only held auditions once a year. So, I called her and she actually used to be the casting director for “All My Children“, and the day I met her I remember seeing a long line and thinking to myself, oh my God, just for a casting agent, but I was like okay. I read for her and she’s another person that pretty much opened doors for me. I remember her telling me, that I can do better than just the typical thug role and she would often send me out on auditions that weren’t necessarily calling for an African American role. I started getting other shows, as well as independent films. So acting has always been in my craft, something that I always wanted to do, then I kind of took a step back at it, when personal things started evolving in my life, but now I'm back at it full force and I just want to take it to where I know I need to.
What kind of advice would you give a younger person that wants to be an actor?
Keep going don't stop, follow your dream. Listen, everyone gotta overcome some type of hurdle to get to the next place. You are not going to reach there by just wishing upon a star. You got to get through whatever obstacles you need to get through and you will feel good once you get there. Everything in life is a challenge. It’s all about challenges.
SkysOcean is always following passion and I can see that you are full of passion, not only in acting, but also in your own business “Platinum Auto Leasing“.
I have been in the car business for over twenty years and now I am a full spectrum broker, that facilitates the best deal for my clients. I alleviate them from going to the dealership and wasting their time with the sales person and finance manager. They keep you there to just sign the dotted line and not taking your time into consideration. I see the vehicle that you want, the specs, the color and once that is done I then find the car in one of the 150 dealers that I have a relationship with. I then facilitate the deal, make sure the deal is right for you. From that point, I pick up the vehicle from the dealership and ship it right to your door. So like that you are not inconvenienced throughout your day. The benefits of it is literally the better pricing, the good relationship developed and alleviating all that wasted time and opportunity that you can use doing something else. We all know that time is one of those commodities in life, that once it goes out we cant get it back. So, it saves you a lot of time from doing all that. I do all the foot work to make sure the client is happy and get into their car,
I’ve seen that from experience.
What is life to you?
What is life, wow. Life is about everything. It’s about family, it‘s about love, it‘s about perseverance. Life is everything that we do, life is air.
What other projects are you working on that we should be looking out for?
I’m working on two projects now. One short film "Tuc Stories" written by William Mcgarry and created by a good friend of mine Phil Tudeme. Where I play a sergeant. It was a good experience and we just finished it up a couple of weeks ago. The other one is a web series "Irving and Wilson" written by Melissa Griffith. I think we are up to episode six and I'm working with another good actor friend of mine, Christopher Ponds and Al Tejada. Filmed in Bushwick, Brooklyn and it’s a cop series, and I play the captain.
So, do you think you can relate to these cop roles because your dad was a Police Officer?
Yeah, You know I have always been around cops and have been acting in a lot of cop shows, from "Third Watch" Law and Order", "Snitches of NY", "Pressure" and a couple of independent films that I did with Juney Smith. Who used to be on the show "Hill Street Blues" and "Good Morning Vietnam" with Robin Williams. He has a a lot of credits under his name including independent films and I‘be played a lot of cops on his films. For some reason I'm always depicted as the cop. Now for this new one that I’m trying to do with 50 Cents I’m playing the thug.
They say it’s a thin line between a cop and a thug.
Yeah, because in order to catch the thug you need to think like a thug and to put yourself in that position. A thug to avoid a cop needs to think like a cop so he doesn’t get caught.
What other talents do you have?
I love all types of sports, I had an opportunity to play in college, but I went to work instead. I play softball, baseball, basketball and football.
So it’s safe to say that you are a man of all athletic talents?
That is correct. Yes, I love sports and I won’t allow it to stop. I will stop when my body wants to, but even then I’m still pushing it. I also try to sing second tenor from time to time, but I'm not great at it. I would need to get some formal vocal training.
Do you see beauty in America?
Yes and no you know, because it's becoming more difficult. People came here for the opportunity, and even though it's still there, it's just harder. What used to feel like the land of the free, doesn't seem like it anymore and it feels like the land of the cost. It's costing us everything.
What inspires you every day?
Besides life, my kids. All five of them, from the ages 25, 20, 21,19 and 16. They inspire me, knowing that if I can be better, they can also do better. Theye are a part of me. Also, knowing that I can do something where I can leave my name speaks volume. Wow, being able to know that I can leave a legacy behind for them is what inspires me.
Who's your very favorite actor?
I would definitely say Denzel Washington.
If given the opportunity besides Denzel, who would you like to work with and why?
I would like to work with Don Cheadle, I love the way he acts and I love his craft. Comedic, I also love Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Morgan Freeman, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt these are actors that I've watched and of course some of the older ones like, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Travolta. There are a lot of old actors and new actors, but just being in the same limelight as them would will be awesome. Of course working with Spike Lee and Tyler Perry would make a difference in my life. I'm gonna be knocking and pushing through those doors.
Everybody has their own little part in the world and one change can make a chain effect spread throughout, what change do you think you are making that is making a difference?
Many people do not know this, but I used to be a youth minister and people often reach out to me for encouragement. What I spread forward is whatever God speaks through me in giving people the encouragement to preserver in whatever talents or whatever it is that they are going through. I am someone they can listen to, but also give them that push that they may need at the time and I'm good at that. Especially with whats happening now, everyone needs some form of buddy system. I'm someone that they can turn to and I'm hoping I can continue to be that encouragement for them.
That's great, it only takes one person at a time to make a difference,
We loved this interview! Thank you JFK. Please don't forget to subscribe by clicking on the star. Also follow us on our pages as well. Thanks for the support.
Follow JFK on the screen and if you need a car he is the guy to go to!
Platinum Auto Leasing
65-60 Myrtle Avenue
Glendale, NY 11385
Denzel Washington: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denzel_Washington
Tom Cruise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Cruise
50 Cents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent
Breaking Point: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0965375/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_lk1
Lost Money: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371798/?ref_=nm_knf_i2
Snitch in NY: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482263/?ref_=nm_knf_i3