Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Strong.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I remember it like it was yesterday. At the time, my college sweetheart was pregnant with my daughter Kialah and my oldest daughter was three. It was May of 2006, and I was training to be a professional Long Jumper. My coach Aaron “Prime” Goodman told me to go to an audition at Dorsey High School for a Nike Football commercial. Coach P knew we were expecting, and I was living off financial aid and minimum wage. He told me to go prepared and “show up and show out”. Coach was from Jacksonville Florida aka Duval County and when P spoke you listened. He had a Duval twist when he spoke and made bold statements to break through to his athletes ‘like “Barbecue or Mildew!’ These phrases stuck with me through every curve of my life. Prime was a very private man who had a passion for speed and technique. He recently passed away and if it wasn’t for him telling to go to that audition. I would have never discovered my love for Film, Stage and Television.
Ultimately, I booked that audition with Nike and It turned out to be one of the biggest commercials for Nike at that time. Star-studded with football legends Michael Vick, LaDainian Tomlinson, Bryan Urlacher, Troy Polamalu, Marlon Brisko, Steve Young, Matt Leinart, William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry, Deion Saunders, coaches Urban Meyer and Don Shula, just to name a few. This was my first experience ever in film at this magnitude. This groundbreaking commercial was directed by Rupert Sanders. I remember catching Rupert by himself as I was looking at some playback. I had no business being there. Not knowing who he was, I interviewed him and asked who he was and what his job was on set. He replied I’m the Director. Naively, I asked him where did he attend school to learn how to do direct; he said he didn’t go to school to learn film. He followed by stating he had a passion for creating content and pursued it with no plan B.
As my career has blossomed over the years, those words stuck with me. Have a passion for what you love to do! I kept that energy with me. In my first film, “Wrath of Cain”, I was able to work with the late-great NIP$EY HU$$LE; from there, things begin to take off. I appeared in numerous national and international commercials to national and international tours with the likes of such Hip Hop, R&B and acting legends including Vivica A Fox, Carl Payne, Snoop Dogg, Omar Gooding, Gary Dourdan, LeToya Luckett, Vivian Green, Demetria McKinney, Kyla Pratt and Da Brat.
In 2013, I had the opportunity to play an ego-driven character in the hit web series “Black Boots.” It was about Greek life at an HBCU and the real-life drama and struggles of crossing the burning sand and balancing life as a college student. In 2015, I meet the women who no question changed my life forever, Vivica A Fox; where I was cast in her Lifetime docuseries, “Vivica’s Black Magic.” The show was about the lives of erotic male entertainers striving to work together to create a Las Vegas male revue type show. Prior to booking the show and in between gigs, I worked as a male exotic entertainer and MC In LA. The show was one of the #1 trending shows in the country and we were broadcast in seven different countries.
Fast-forwarding to 2019, I have a recurring character on soon to be released comedy sitcom titled, “Casting The Net” directed by Primetime Emmy Nominee Andrew P. Strong. I can also be seen in “POZ ROZ”, currently airing on YouTube
As far as stage plays, I’m currently touring seasonally with stage play guru JeCaryous Johnson. In 2020, I will make my fourth tour with this camp in the plays, “Two Can Play That Game”, “Set It Off” and “Redemption Of A Dogg”, starring Hip Hop icon Snoop Dogg.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been a smooth path along the way.
As a single father since the age of 17, you give up the smooth road to success! Every emotion known to a human being I’ve been through to become the man I am today in this industry.
I originally came to LA to become a professional track and field athlete; you wanna hear God laugh, tell him what you got planned.
At 17, I acquired full custody of my daughter and 16 years later we have survived it all; homelessness, financial struggles, living in hotels, hunger, lack of resources, lack of knowledge, destroyed relationships, mental health issues, death, broken promises; YES, I’ve experienced it all!! Getting in my own way and so much more has contributed to the rollercoaster I have endured to get where I’m going!
Profit the Problem – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Acting and Music have been the core of my focus. Outside of being a full-fledged entertainer, this year, I have launched my own company, M.a.d.d Euphoria; an herbal, all-natural supplement company. Our star product is the sea vegetable, SeaMoss. SeaMoss is a powerful herb from the sea that contains 92 of the 102 minerals our body is made of. Heavenly promoted by world-renowned Dr. Sebi, our mission is to heal the body from the inside out with this product.
As a child, my grandmother consumed herbs. She adopted practices she learned as a military wife traveling the world. My mother was born In Japan and raised in Ethiopia until moving backs to the states in the late 60s. 2017, I had a life-altering knee injury that lead me to the herb life. Doctors suggested surgery and my grandmother told me to take herbs and rest; and here we are a year later, no surgery and a company that can give back!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me means being able to take care of my family utilizing the passions God blessed me with and settling for sub pair efforts from self.
Success would be me playing a vital part in building a team of like-minded entertainers looking to carve out our own lane In TV, Film, Music and Live Entertainment; which is in the works currently with my peers at Artistic Standard.
In my personal life, giving my children the chance to really experience and appreciate the joys of life is a success.
In my career, success would be defined by the lives I’ve touched along the way. Along the way, I’ve learned entertainment has no form, no shape, no limits and no explanation at times. I guess I’ll stick to working hard, calculating my steps and believing in my ability… when it’s all said and done, we will see what my success reads.
- Phone: 562.334.0431
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @mrmikestrong / @profit_the_problem
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/profittheproblem
- Twitter: @mrmikestrong