We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric “KoolKard” Hawkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eric “KoolKard”, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think without risk a person’s opportunities are limited and you short change your full potential. Most things in life that are worth having usually require certain sacrifices and risks in order to achieve them. My biggest risk was picking up and moving to NYC with my living quarters up in the air. I hadn’t quite yet solidified a place to live when I took a leap of faith and boarded the plane and told myself that God will have it figured out by the time I land. That decision changed the trajectory of my life. I have learned and experienced some amazing things and met people along my journey that have acted as conduits to where I am today. Moving to NYC was a risk that has paid off in many ways.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I will have to say that I am an actor first. I have been acting since the third grade and hold a minor in Theater. Acting is a realm in which I can step into and escape reality. In this sacred place it is where I release all of the colorful creativity God has invested in me. It gives me life and peace. I won’t say what sets me apart as an actor, but I can say that I have a photographic memory that enables me to memorize a script in a matter of minutes; which then allows me to fully dive into capturing the inner life of the character instead of wrestling with words a lot quicker than most. I have had some breakthroughs and special moments in my professional acting career, but I am still on my journey to becoming a consistent working actor. I am learning and growing one audition at a time. In between bookings I keep myself busying by creating and building my Youtube talk show called Kickin’ It With KoolKard; It streams live every Tuesday night at 10pm Eastern. The Kickin’ It With KoolKard show has morphed into a platform for me to provide value to the end-user by having guests that will be transparent about the pitfalls, breakthroughs and successes that they have experienced in their respective fields. I do my best to ask my guest questions that I think someone wanting to pursue their profession would need me to ask. That way, I can provide them with value and clear cut answers with no strings attached.

I am most excited about where the show is headed and all of the cool influential people that I get to meet along the way. My goal is to eventually grow it into a national television show on a major network. I feel like what sets my show apart from others is that regardless of success or status, I do my best to get to know the person and not the idea of the person or celebrity. That way I keep it genuine, cool, conversational and they feel comfortable opening up to me about whatever I ask them.

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?
Some of the cool spots that I would like to pin point around the Atlanta area would be the Atlanta Comedy Theater, the Painted Pin, the Belt Line through Piedmont Park and the Inman Park area, Slutty Vegan, The Gathering Spot, The Trap Museum, Ponce City Market, Virginia Highlands, and Breakers Korean BBQ, Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that I could thank for where I am in life today, but to keep it professional I will just speak on the most influential person in my professional career. I will have to give the flowers to my good brother Lionel Bussey, also known in the music industry as LB. He is an extraordinary singer, songwriter, producer and product placement specialist who was mentored by and worked with Devante Swing of the legendary R&B group Jodeci. LB was one of the original members of Da Bassment Crew from where artists such as Missy Elliott, Ginuwine, Timbaland, Playa, Tweet and so many more rose from. It is he who took my best friend Carlos “Chi” Pittman and I under his wing while we were living in NYC trying to make it in the music business. He groomed and taught us what it really took to be a star in the entertainment business. Years down the line he would provide Carlos and I the opportunity to experience living and working with Devante Swing in California to grow our talent. It is experiences like those that will last a lifetime and catapult you to excellence. LB currently works and tours with international superstar Flo Rida, whom he considers a brother. Carlos currently owns a signature hat brand called Caps By Cap. Although the path that you take in life doesn’t always lead to the destination you set out to arrive at, you will definitely end up polished and truly where you are supposed to be if you stay the course. LB polished us for our arrival.

Instagram: @koolkard

Linkedin: Eric Hawkins

Twitter: @koolkard

Facebook: @koolkard

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/kickinitwithkoolkard

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