We had the good fortune of connecting with C.J. Riggs and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi C.J., can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I actually have two quotes that I try my best to live by everyday. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” This was said by Marianne Williamson and those words still push me to do/be better in every aspect of my life. I first came across this quote while watching “Coach Carter”, a film my mother and I will forever cherish. These words opened my eyes by helping me get out of my way and hone in on the talents I have. As human beings our potential is limitless which is why I’ll be writing, acting, producing, and/or directing as long as I can. Another one of my favorite quotes comes from Anne Frank, “I don’t think about all the misery but about the beauty that still remains.” It’s a powerful quote that will live with me no matter what struggles I face. There’s always a beautiful sunset, a baby’s laughter, or in my case a creative concept to write about that starts a conversation. I’d like to think that no matter what state the world is in, there’s beauty that still remains somewhere.

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.
I really love when art sparks conversation or is an accurate reflection of what is current in our society. Right now we as a people are shifting to have a conversation of mental health and how that takes a toll on a person’s ability to trust in relationships. I wrote “JADE” and “JADE 2” with this concept in mind. I felt very proud knowing that the audience perceived every main character needing therapy and needing to invest more in their relationships with communication rather than violence. Right now I’m excited about another script I’m writing that will develop into a short film as well. I can’t say much about it but audience engagement is always my favorite part after a release. This road hasn’t always been easy with personal struggles getting in the way of professional advancement. But I often focus on the beauty that remains in the story and realize that my work will impact people. I’ve learned that growth is essential no matter the circumstance. The better you are the better your story because of what you’ve overcome. I want the world to know that I am a very persistent person no matter the obstacle or situation. The best part about our industry is that there is no “correct” path, but as long as I keep going, eventually I’ll be where I always envisioned.

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?
This is an incredible question! First off, I’d definitely take them to our nearest Dave & Busters for some gaming. So I hope their up for some gaming and a few drinks that night! We’d probably wake up the next morning to head over to Rose’s Cafe, one of the best breakfast spots Atlanta offers. I’d buy us tickets to the Coca-Cola Factory and Aquarium just for sights to see downtown. The next day I’d have to surprise them with Six Flags tickets! Spending all day at Six Flags is the ultimate euphoric feeling especially while on vacation. If it so happens to be the same week of July 30th, we’d head over to the Kendrick Lamar concert! Then we’d end their trip at Top Golf on Industrial Blvd where we’d compete for the highest score. I love to do physical activities so I hope their ready to be everywhere and do everything!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a lot of people that definitely deserve recognition in my story. I’d like to shoutout my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ first and foremost. He has blessed me with not only the gifts to get me this far but the people to help me along the way. My lovely mother, Belinda Terry for sure is another example of someone who pushes my brother and I to another level. Even if I didn’t want to do something, she always knew that it would result in me loving it. It could have been anywhere from sports to small plays during church. She always had me involved in something. She is the real reason for me going after anything that I want in life. My brother, Kris Riggs for being the big encourager he is. If I’m ever stuck, he doesn’t like to see me quit which is what makes him a great basketball coach. My sisters, Indya Riggs and Brittney O’ Rourke are two of my biggest inspirations when it comes to writing and their constant belief in me means more than I can say. My father of course, being the disciplinarian in our family. He believes in consistency and stability which helps me in professional areas and my personal life. My stepmother, Iris Riggs gives great advice. Her best was “Work with what you got!” Honestly nothing has ever been the same since. I’ve learned to appreciate and use who and what I have to work for my creative good. My grandmother, Mammie Martin being a beautiful, strong, and independent woman is enough inspiration for our entire family. Regina Bryant, my girlfriend who works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. She deserves the world based on that and just teaching me so many things about the industry. Shawna Lewis is another mother figure in my life that speaks encouragement over my career and teaches me more about the business aspect of the entertainment industry. Also, Madison Upendo, Jordan Smith, and Walter Bailey have been the strongest support system any friend could ask for in this life. Lastly but not least, a lot of teachers, mentors, and past directors along the way deserve recognition such as Jody Evans, Joseph Frost, Jason King Jones, Robyn Paley, Dr. David Sollish, Dr. Elissa Sartwell, Anita Smelley, John Maxwell, Raymond Caldwell, and Dr. Tracy Ford.

Website: http://www.cedrickriggs.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/205_prince

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjriggsjr14

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAEyhRl88oylenUVfAguUrw

Other: IMDB Link: http://imdb.me/cjriggs To follow The Story of “JADE”, tap here: https://instagram.com/thestoryofjade_?igshid=NWRhNmQxMjQ=

Image Credits
The cover photo is credited to InFocus Photography. The 3rd Photo is credited to the CEO of “Midnight Coffee Productions”, Alix Oliver.

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