We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Cofield, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, how do you think about risk?
I’ve had a pretty difficult go at taking risks early on — especially the two biggest ones that have shaped me for who and where I am today. I’ve always wanted to pursue a professional acting career but I was afraid to take the risk. I had just graduated from college, ended up with a really good (but) flexible job and thought.. that was it. It wasn’t until I understood that there was more to life than what I did at a cubicle for 40 hours a week. With the influence of close loved ones and the desire to get the most out of a career, I decided to pursue the journey there with acting. That was risk number one, believing that this idea was attainable. Now it meant that seeds will be planted to take the next big risk — which is leaving the 9-5 life to pursue acting full time. This move wouldn’t come for another 12 years surprisingly. Now, 12 years may sound like a heck of a long time (I mean, it is lol) but during this time I diligently worked on my craft, built up my portfolio and cache as a respected actor within my film community then felt that “more” needed to be done as I reached my ceiling. I took this next big risk because jumping back and forth between acting and a full-time job literally suffocated me. It started to have an affect on me physically, putting strains on relationships and then I started questioning my talent & ability to really leave and commit to pursuing art, full-time. Along this journey I’ve felt that my career as an artist was/is my life’s purpose and by not taking those huge risks, I think my life would have been a lot less fulfilling.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I try to be the best version of myself each and every day. With that said, I want to be the best actor I can be with each opportunity. I feel that a huge chunk of my purpose is to make thought-provoking art that helps move my culture forward — the African American culture specifically. I’m really thankful for the relationships that I’ve been able to cultivate within this community. I think because of those relationships I’ve been able to maximize opportunities that help align the art, with the purpose. It is an extremely tough business, and if you don’t come into it knowing who you are and what you stand for, you’ll easily lose your way. They’ll be challenging days where you’ll question your talent and ability to keep going, just allow yourself to feel those feelings then think back to the foundation of why you do “this” in the first place. Hopefully that’ll help get you back on track.. Now with the unfortunate events of the pandemic, I do however feel it has allowed me to find the silver linings — appreciating the huge strides I’ve made thus far and preparing for the next phase of my career when things resume (some kind of) normalcy. So all in all I’d like the world to know that I’m just a really chill human, aspiring to inspire..
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.
If I have some friends passing through, I always like to pass through Venice Beach, show ’em where they shot White Man Can’t Jump. Hit up a few museums along Miracle Mile, drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to take in the view and we definitely have to hi up Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles since it’s such a staple in LA 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My tribe of family & close friends deserve the biggest shoutout as they’ve been extremely instrumental in my journey. There have also been two books of huge influence that I refer to whenever I feel like I’ve lost my way — “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and “SynchroDestiny” by Deepak Chopra.
Malichi Matcho Alaa Reda Mylineal Films Lionel Tarus Squint/Opera