We had the good fortune of connecting with Jermaine Greaves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jermaine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I would say that taking risk has bought out the best in me in my career as an event planner actor and a disablity rights activist. In Taking risk, you learn how to make moves that benefit you in the long run. In taking risk creatively I learn what kind of things I can do with my ability and skillset and how those skills can overall benefit me In the long run. I started event planning In 2009 as the only event planning in nyc i has to throw events to prove i was just as good as other event planners i work in afropunk and the Brooklyn music festival to gain experience and I plan different parties and events throughout nyc and the 5 boroughs. As a professional actor my start in acting has to be school plays in elementary and middle school were I would sing or dance I was usually the only one in a wheelchair performing and on stage. In college I join a chorus to begin to sing and enjoy the experience so much I begin to audition for American idol and the voice and agt where I didnt get chose but it build my brand. In 2016 after I didnt get in touch with my doctor for months I started a CLOTHING brands Www.notliketheotherkids.com because I need help with get a new wheelchair so I create a campaign to get a new wheelchair. The brand is now four years old and we have given back to Puerto rico relief efforts and a way to help those who are disabled. I also started a movement call Www.instagram.com/blackdisabledlivesmatters in the wake of the 2020 protest movement because during the time of the protests I want to highlight black disabled voices in history as well as the fact that 50% of cops are killing unarmed black disabled people. In term of risk I take as an actor is showing up on set and let them know how to treat me on set. I have done a doordash commercial with seasame street that was featured in this year superbowl and a pbs feature on my activism. It so empowered to see my work moving people in different ways.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art has taken me places I am proud of but the journey to get there wasnt easy. When I started as an event planner. There weren’t any promoters willing to pay me early on but eventually I learned the game and I has people around me that were about their business. But losing money on event or just going through difficult time managing artists it becomes stressful. Eventually I let the importance of focus on the work and being clear on people responsible in business. It is not good to be friendly in business, people take advantage of that. So in an business research be clear on what your role is and be about the business your focused on. Constituency is key. I took a break from event planning in 2017 and refocus my energy on acting and activism. It has being the best thing I have ever done creatively. I have been featured in a carbon health commercial and a doordash commercial for the superbowl 2021 for sesame street 2021 the commercial is call nom nom. I have also started a blackdisabledlivesmatters movement cAll Www.instagram.com/blackdisabledlivesmatters in nyc and it grows daily
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.
Since I am a new Yorker their are so many great bars and gatherings to visit lot45 in Brooklyn, friends and lovers in Brooklyn as well a great bar and workspace. As well as lakou cafe a great haitian spot for wonderful eatery and good time. I would also say visit governor island as well as Brooklyn museum as well as times square to get a feel for the city and it sight.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want shoutout my mom for raising. a son who strong confidence and who can stand on his own I love her for her ability to love me in all of my gifts. I want shoutout dave noodlez for being a great collaborator for Www.notliketheotherkids.com thank you for everything
Myles loftin Stas.ginzaburg