We had the good fortune of connecting with Rogelio Douglas III and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rogelio, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My dad taught me that in life I will always be making choices; and with every choice made [good or bad] needs to come an acceptance of responsibility. When I think about risk, I think about taking responsibility because taking responsibility is a risk. There’s pressure and the stakes are high because… “what if?” What/who am I willing to love and glorify at the risk of being judged and rebuked. “What if?” What am I willing to expose about my true self at the risk of being shamed. “What if?” How far am I willing to go at the risk of losing people who aren’t able to love and support me unconditionally. “What if I don’t make it?” Have I risked enough to acknowledge that though most odds were against me, I’ve accepted that I am not a contender. You know, I think the most important factor behind my success is that I applaud where I am today, but I embrace the fight. I’m not asking for things to be hard but, it’s too easy being complacent. Through taking risks, I gain wisdom which then serves as a new tool for navigating my journey. All of those questions above are questions I am STILL working on answering better and more confidently. Risk-taking is a process not a product. It is an experimentation with a hypothesis. So, in this walk in faith, I’m getting better at taking risks each time because I’m learning and strengthening my mind, body and spirit. I remember at 12 years old when I first decided that I wanted to be an actor. In those early moments I finally understood what “money doesn’t grow on trees” mean. I also learned it doesn’t grow on family trees either – not mine anyway. But, it was in those moments that I felt stuck to the point that the fullness of my entire body and spirit needed a release. That decision to pursue this career anyway was a process of risk-taking and it felt so good. And, yes, sometimes you have to wait. I had to wait to become of legal age in the U.S. I had to wait till we could afford better internet service because AOL dial-up wasn’t it! I even had to wait tables but, even those are all micro risks being taken. Don’t let them become excuses. And, DON’T LET OTHERS DEFINE THE SIZE OF YOUR RISKS!! I believe my opportunities come from taking risks. That’s where I find the ‘sign I’ve been waiting for’ or the ‘moment.’ So, what if I take that risk, and I find joy? I get to be responsible for self-love. I get to share my conclusion.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The beautiful and most exciting thing that I’ve been learning about myself is that I am more than an actor. I am more than a spoken-word artist. I am more than a student. As a creative, I am someone else’s hope. I am a dream in another dimension – one that allows people to see beyond the barriers of what seems “impossible”. Not too long ago I did a poetry workshop with Rabih Ahmed who is a poet, educator, and performer. She gifted me with the phrase “Love. Light & Poetry” and then she gave me the opportunity to fill in a blank. Love. Light & _______. Ever since then, it’s been on my heart to tell people that I am Love. Light & Black Therapy. I would hope that my shared art becomes so radiant that it provides a moment of release and relief for others. I’m currently working on a production produced by Netflix/Secret Cinema called Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience in Downtown LA, and I can’t express how rewarding it is when I’m gifted the opportunity to make someone genuinely laugh and smile. Even more so, I can always feel the impact on an audience member once they see a character of color. It is so profound. We end up connecting on so many levels. Believe it or not but, just that small moment could potentially be a minute or an hour of therapy for that child or adult. This is why I do what I do. I’ve recently been doing a lot of zoom performances and pre-recorded plays online, and it’s always been interesting to gauge how much space I take up as a Black & Afro-Latino heterosexual man. I’m also working with Little Fish Theater, Shakespeare by the Sea, Playground-LA, Robey Theater Company, and Company of Angeles, and I’m grateful for the relationships but also for the patience they offer in trying to produce art with intention and inclusivity. That’s what I want to do; easy or not, just move forward with intention. I’m preparing for a new phase in my life – a new way of ministry and therapy – and I just want to remember that expectations set the atmosphere for greatness. So, expect the great.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, I always tell my friends that visiting LA for one week is just not enough! However, let’s see what we can do. First off, I love the places that remind me a little of home and keeps me grounded. I like Caribbean soca, reggae, and Afro-Latinidad music. I love a really good and spicy jerk chicken as well as a fulfilling Sunday brunch. And, I absolutely love Taco Tuesdays! So, I honestly would take Best Friend to a couple underground clubs and underrated spots around DTLA and Hollywood. I also love Treehouse Rooftop, and anywhere there’s an Afrolituation party – look them up! Many of my favorite spots we will not be visiting given the current status of life but, the beaches are always a nice place to chill and reflect. I would go up towards or even just north of Malibu beach. When we’re hungry, some of my favs are Versailles Restaurant, Janga by Derrick’s Jamaican Cuisine, Honey Kettle, and I’m still looking for my FAVORITE taco truck and sushi spot. So, that would be our goal! A night out might be at Mama Shelter, Pearl’s Rooftop, Lock & Key, and Savoy because you have to at least once! I’m not that into museums, though there are many great/fun ones in LA, but I am into random hikes and mountains. My absolute favorite at the moment is Los Leones Canyon: It is a hike! But depending on the time of day, and the weather, I’m telling you the payoff at the end is oh-so worth it! The views are amazing! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The amount of genuine love and support I’ve received across all the organizations, institutions, families and communities whom I’ve been blessed to share my light with is just incredible. I’m so thankful for the women figures in my life who keep me accountable and encouraged to be a better man not just for them but also for the friends and young boys growing up watching me. I’m so grateful for those who understand that we may not talk everyday but, they know that I know… that THEY KNOW the vibe! When we meet up again, or even just when the group chat is jumping, I’m taking full advantage of that moment. I’m often told that my support is a testament to how kind and respectful I am. Well, I credit much of that to this one person. This one is dedicated to my father, Rogelio Douglas, Jr. son of grandma L. J. Bynes from Brooklyn, NY. I come from family that works hard day in and day out. My dad works three to four jobs at once, is in pursuit of another degree right now, and still glorifying his God every step of the way. He’s an intelligent and incredibly patience man that I just adore and appreciate. Thanks, Pop.

Website: RogelioDouglas3.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rogeliodouglas3

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RogelioDouglas3

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RogelioDouglasIII/

Other: IMDB: www.imdb.com/name/nm7708332/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

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