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Meet Maurice Mack

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maurice Mack.

Maurice, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My interest in the arts was birthed as child. As a child, it was the only thing that was as intriguing to me as sports, playing tag, or hanging out with family at birthdays, reunions, etc. I discovered early on as a younger brother what competition was about. Competing with my older brothers and younger sister, in swimming, basketball, football, and baseball, It lit a fire in me. One that would push me farther than I imagined. Ironically, it pushed me closer to the creative discipline. I realized that I was merely pushing my own imagination, my vision to write a short story, then perform it better than I did before. I came to understand that I was cultivating a gift. One in which I was only competing against my own abilities. There was admittedly a form of healthy balance. I believe it came from being raised by two strong, hard-working parents. So I grew up seeing my role models within my own house. They empowered me and encouraged me to think about how I could improve aspects in my life rather than waiting for others to do it for me. Having that pedigree and foundation in the household was invaluable. My father’s relentless worth ethic and determination was something that resonated with me. I sought to apply it to whatever I could while making it my own. My Mother’s intellect, vision, and inherent ability to be as loving to a stranger, as she was her own, captured my heart. I’m forever grateful for these virtues.

Early on in life, I stuck close to my younger sister and brothers. They became the guiding force in my decision to explore a less traditional path, coming out of Detroit in the early 90’s, I has experienced what being on both ends of the spectrum was like. Having all of my needs met and running towards my passions. While on the other hand, not having the essential resources to excel as a young writer. I found solace in spelling bees, math & chess tournaments while my sister (Aurea) followed suite. The evening that My Mom and Auntie Esther took us to Toronto, to see “The Lion King”, live in theater, I knew that I wanted to take all that I had seen and learned, and become a practitioner of the arts. My sister started modeling, as I started to attend more drama classes in elementary and middle school. Those were our moments of excitement. Rather than revel in our misfortune, My parents kept us all working, attending sports camps, visiting family and traveling. No matter where I was, I kept the notebook my father gave me and continued to watch films. There has been countless experiences that I’ve had that invigorated that fire for performance. I saw it as the most intricate yet indisputable way for a young black boy to illustrate his imagination.

The first time I saw “Boys In The Hood”, I knew that I could be the next “Ricky” to be in television with other actors. It was an incredible feeling when I was able to watch the film with understanding of the challenges, isolated violence, and determination that Morris Chestnut’s character portrayed. He knew he could use his gift to escape a hopeless situation. So I knew I was fortunate to find that in myself.

During my high school years, I proceeded to play sports and attend drama class and media production. One evening would change my life, placing the trajectory of my career pursuits at the forefront. While training for football tryouts, I came home late one evening. A typical evening was my Mother ensuring we completed our chores and homework. We’d all bond in the living room and watch Martin, Full House, Fresh Prince, or whatever was on T.G.I.F. One particular commercial break, my cousin and I were horse playing on the furniture, using folded up socks and loose pillows as football props. Our hardheadedness would persist. I was too ambitions and passionate by the time I had hit age 16. While sliding on the hardwood floor and spinning, I flung my cousin onto my leg while it was extended. My leg was broken accidentally while tearing my MCL in the process. I remember the pain, but more specifically the indescribable disappointment I felt in myself, knowing I wouldn’t be able to compete. NOTE: It’s the very night I decided to look within myself and ask deeper questions. While resting in the hospital that night, I remembered what My Father had mentioned to me on a phone call. “You’re going to respond to tragedy because you’re not a failure, son. ”

After hearing a doctor tell me. Since then, I’ve gone from the doctor telling me “You may not run again”, to training at The Second City Chicago, Moving to Los Angeles (May 2018), to now physically training for a Biopic about an African American cyclist. I learned that pushing my own limits and having that expectation of my own vision, was the ammunition I needed to fuel myself as an artist. I enjoy telling stories for those who haven’t had the opportunity to tell them for themselves. And I want to empower those who go unnoticed, or who are underrepresented. While there are several artists that inspire me (Denzel Washington, Sidney Portier, Sally Fields, Natalie Portmen, Hillary Swank, Daniel Kaluuya, Derek Luke, Viola Davis, Ashton Sanders, Lea Seydouz, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and several others; I find the biggest motivation to be from within. Because of it, I have decided to build a production company that highlights original ideas, with the intent to surpass any bar that is set for underrepresented talent (talent of color). Clear Lens Cinema was created to give a viscerally transcendent view of what storytelling can and will be. I am creating a fully digital production house that identifies ways where I am able to create, produce, collaborate, and examine society through a lens without limits.

So as an Actor & Writer seeking to gain traction in Hollywood; I realize how important it is to collaborate and grow with the right team. I promise to give the performing arts discipline every piece of imagination and creative fiber I have within me while seeking to find original ideas, not borrowed ones.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been full of ebbs and flows. The importance lies in what I have to gain from the challenges. The sacrifice can either strengthen you or sway you. Aside from injury, the loss of my grandparents forced me to handle grief and celebrate life more. If it weren’t for these experiences, My life wouldn’t be as rich. So in hindsight, I have deeper, more grounder stories to tell.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an Actor & Writer first. AS I prepare to launch my production house (Clear Lens Cinema), I wanted to create a company where I could be my own first project, so to speak. Because I came from a city with less than Ideal resources and opportunities than Hollywood, I want to ensure I am reaching people and audiences everywhere. I want the work we produce to appeal to society as a whole. I believe film can push culture forward. This is the reason I am deciding to focus on original content. To show people that greatness can truly come from nowhere. An idea that you cultivate without influence or bias.

I am proud to be heading up this challenge, as we embark upon a new era in entertainment. With respect to the wonderful films I so lovingly see, the books I read, and the adaptations I have had the privilege to see and learn from; I felt my truth and challenge I wanted to tackle, lay the field of original content. One that empowers creatives to create without permission while being socially and artistically responsible. I’m excited to say that my writing partner and friend, Alexis Wolf and I are currently working on two Original Films, that are being written as Full-Length Features, This is the foundation we want to build here at Clear Lens cinema. So my challenge is to bring something to the work that I haven’t done in the previous performance. Whether that’s in my acting, writing, producing, or collaboration.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
At this very moment in my life. I cannot say I’d start over, due to the fact that I have met and interacted with some people that feel like a direct source of divine alignment. Perhaps it’s cliche to some. However, my response to is; If I started over, would it be guaranteed that I would be able to make the same impact or greater on those that have looked to me for encouragement or motivation? I believe humans are created to bond and ascend collectively. So Being an inspiring artist, requires that I keep that at the forefront of my mind. Giving all I can to my work, for the reverence of others.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @mauricedmack
  • Twitter: @mauricedmack

Image Credit:

Photos taken by Matt Kallish (LA Photographer).

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