We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Welbeck Activist, Actor, & Filmmaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin Welbeck, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
“If you build it, they will come” That quote has been the most significant lesson I have learned. I can’t count how many times I have felt the thing I was attempting or desiring to do was way too big for me. Feelings like I wasn’t qualified or capable of fulfilling the task. That people would not show up, or support my events or even watch my films. That there was no way to get the finances necessary to accomplish certain goals. That I was just way too in over my head. But regardless of all those thoughts and feelings I could never quit. I’d hear God tell me or confirm in me that He was with me and to just go forward. And every single time I have been met with success and favor. There would be times at some of my outreach events where I’d just pause and look at everything and start crying to myself. Being on the other side of accomplishing something bigger than you is a feeling I can’t really explain. Being able to tangibly see your hearts desire fulfilled is simply a beautiful experience. Realizing all the lives that were impacted in a positive way because I chose to not run from the very thing I was afraid or worried to do is breathtaking. Many people choose to live in excuses and excuse themselves out of their dreams and ambitions. STOP IT. Now more than ever we can not afford to make any more excuses. Stop looking at what you don’t have and what you think you can’t do and start looking at what you do have and what you can do then start to work that while trusting God with the rest. Too many lives are attached to the other end of our dreams and goals for us to not achieve them. If you steward your vision right, if you steward what you have and just go for it, a way will be made, the people will come and you will see that you were more capable than you could ever have imagined.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a filmmaker. My production company is called FireSpark Pictures which I started in 2019. It came about because I was tired of waiting for someone to tell me when I can get the opportunity to do what I love to do. I also realized that everything I’ve learned throughout my life has actually prepared me to produce and create my own films and do it well. Realizing that I had the opportunity to not only be seen the way I want to be seen but also I had the power to tell stories that could motivate, inspire, and impact lives was all that I needed to go for it. The name FireSpark was chosen because I want for whoever is watching my film to feel something on the inside of them light up. I want to be the spark that lights the flame that gets people to be creative, and go after their dreams. The spark that restores the joy and ignites their passion. In less than a year I was able to shoot 2 17-20 minutes short films. One, called VIRAL, is currently doing really well in the Film Festival Circuit and has won some awards such as Best Inspirational Film at the Los Angeles Film Awards. The other, ASHES TO ASHES, I made in the midst of Covid-19 and the quarantine and it is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Both films I had no idea what I was getting into or what I was capable of. But I made it my business to study with all the resources made available to me. And work as much as necessary to save the money to finance my films while still providing for my family. I was adamant to make my films and to make them in excellence. I clocked in countless hours on youtube teaching myself everything I needed to know about film equipment and other aspects of filmmaking. I purchased my own equipment so there wouldn’t be an excuse of not having what I needed when I needed it. And I committed to the work I set out to do. My life has been full of seeing things through and doing all things at my best. I hadn’t had much real prior experience in acting before I moved to my Hollywood to attend an acting conservatory school. I was always the underdog. Everyone else had been acting, singing, and dancing for years and had so much natural talent. Me, all I had was my ambition to never fail, my knack for story telling, my charm and my work ethic. And that’s what I used all the way til graduation. After college, I was able to do some wonderful random gigs here and there but many while I was struggling in my personal life having to live in my car with a friend of mine in same boat. There were nights where I would get done performing at a concert or working on a film having the time of my life and then have to drive to some parking lot where I could hopefully be able to sleep without being bothered. It was definitely a rough season having to use a bathroom in Carls Jr. every morning to brush my teeth and get myself together. I always stayed positive though. It was during that season where I really got close to God. I spent alot of my free time helping out at church and feeding the homeless (even though I was also homeless, most people did’t even know) and eventually one day that church offered me a job which ended up getting me on my feet. The biggest take away from that time was to never let what I was going through keep me from doing good in the world and to people. I was always covered. Jesus always had me. I also learned to never give up. So many people call it quits when the going gets tough not realizing how close they are to their breakthrough. Pursuing this industry and living in this town is definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you can manage to allow it to make you stronger and wiser instead of killing you you will find yourself one day in the manifestation of everything you dreamed of. Right now, I’m still committed to accomplishing everything I am destined to no matter what life throws at me. Whether its through my films, my non profit (Cre8 The Change) or my personal life my mantra will always be as follows: Love God… Love people… Change the world!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend came into town the main thing we would do is eat! I’d take them to Dulans in Crenshaw for some soul food. Then fancy it up and go somewhere like Nobu or Mastro’s. And pig out somewhere like Wood Ranch. If theres time, definitely go down to Anaheim and eat at my favorite burger joint, Angelos, as well as making it a day of Disney. I’d also do things like go to the observatory, hit the beaches, and find a dope spot to go dancing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely owe everything to my mom without her support, sacrifice, and example would not be here at all. Also to the mentors in my life: DeVon Franklin & Troy & Tonya Rowland. Their wisdom and faith in me has been key for my growth. Lastly, my 12th grade drama teacher, Mr. Ron Burglass who believed in me and helped me find this path that led me to Hollywood.