We had the good fortune of connecting with Ronin Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ronin, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My family is my everything. They empower me and are very much my inspiration to work and create. Because of this, it is important that I pour into my family as much I pour into my career/businesses. I come from a family of workers, however, my mother also valued living life. This value had a profound effect on how I view working and living. Having worked in cubicle farms and groupthink environments, I’ve been drained of all creativity and life before. It’s a horrible place to be. I was all work and no life. I made the decision to pursue my career as an artist because as much as I value work, I know that I can’t neglect living. Living life informs my work, so I can’t do one without the other. Thankfully, I found love, life and inspiration in my family. I often let my son join in when I’m live streaming on Twitch or editing film projects. I never complete a project without getting my wife’s approval. My family validates and sustains me, so my work and life balance and serve each other. As a result, I can create from a place of love and freedom. I’ve come a long way from sitting in cubicles!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
From Las Vegas to Howard University, from the Air Force to Florida State University Film School, to now, my life has been a constant rollercoaster thrill ride. Through ups and downs, I’ve learned to live with gratitude and serve others more than myself. This gives me a sense of freedom that I didn’t have prior to going into business for myself. It’s never been easy but the reward of creating from a good and true place is what I’m most proud of today. MojoSoDope Films is a company I started to create quality films and content relating to the Black experience. Surreal, funny, raw and insightful, I wanted to create a network filled with organic content that I genuinely have a blast creating. Life’s too short to not work from a place of love and have fun while doing it. Between a horror series, a mental health “Convo-Show”, a podcast, a morning gaming show, short films and other visual projects, MojoSoDope Films is working to build a niche community within the entertainment industry focusing on engaging Black content(scripted and unscripted), self-love and mental health awareness. I created DKYKTS (Don’t Kill Yourself, Kill The Stigma) as a subsidiary to MojoSoDope Films that will focus on the mental health aspect of my work. I hope to start a foundation under DKYKTS to provide opportunities to underprivileged kids in my community to travel the world, as traveling has helped aid my mental health by resetting my mind when it’s cluttered. This is the project that I’m most excited about! The most important lesson that I’ve learned along my journey is to continue to run my race. No one else can run my race and I can’t trade mine for someone else’s. MojoSoDope Films is built on thriving and advancing, no matter the odds. I would like MSD Films and it’s content to be a testament to our innate ability as humans to endure and finish each race we run.
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?
Living in Inglewood, there’s no way I wouldn’t take my best friend to The Serving Spoon for brunch. Then we’d make a pit stop at Jamz Creamery before I take them to the Getty Museum for the day. One of the days we’d definitely go to the Santa Monica Pier and then to Venice Beach for some Hot Dog on a Stick and street performers. Salt & Straw is a must visit before we leave Venice. Later in the week we’d go up to the Griffith Observatory as the sun sets and enjoy the skyline views. Kenneth Hahn Park is also a great place to explore. Then, we’d end most nights with some laughs at Comedy Union or hanging out at Universal Studios City Walk.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve received a lot of love and healing from my choir group, FReSHGen at Faithful Central Bible Church. I’d like to shout out them and our choir director, Chris Cave. They’ve been amazing and I’m grateful to count myself among them.
All photos/stills are of Ronin Lee or MojoSoDope Films projects.