We had the good fortune of connecting with John Oz Layne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John Oz, what do you attribute your success to?
Tenacity. Being in the Television/Film arena presents daily challenges and major hurdles. In order to overcome these, one must persist and take firm hold of the situation to work through the challenge and overcome the hurdle to manifest the desired outcome.
To do this, you have to focus on the objective, analyze the situation, formulate a plan, and execute it. This, despite any potential foreseen drawbacks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Teacher . . . . . Naturally. And I love doing it!
I literally started my career in the classrooms of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I went from a Janitor, to a Security Guard, onto an Assistant Teacher and ended as Administrator. I specialized in Conflict Resolution and trained Teachers, Administrators, Students and Parents in Negotiation and Mediation (this would later prove to be instrumental in future endeavors).
It ended abruptly with a car accident that left me unable to walk. the Doctors said it was permanent, I knew it wasn’t. Remember what I said about tenacity? I started walking 15 surgeries and 1 year later. THIS is what I’m most proud of!
That led me to moving to Atlanta GA where I began pursuing my passion which is Entertainment. I wanted to be an entertainer but I ended up becoming a Manager and Consultant utilizing my skills and natural abilities to teach and guide young people in their pursuits as performers.
Through all of those things mentioned, I learned the importance of faith and persistence. I learned the need for a solid Team. I also learned the value of true Friendship. It was those 4 things that combined to put me where I am today.
Great Urban Eats is all about educating people on the healthier alternative to food classics and favorites and Jamestown Filmworks is all about our motto: “Edutainment for The People”.
In everything that I do, educating and helping people will always be at the forefront of it! It is my reason for doing what I do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being a Foodie, and Atlanta having no shortage of awesome food spots, every activity that I plan has, at its’ core, great food! Have you ever had a Cheesesteak Eggroll? Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks has em and they are simply amazing!
A burger at Slutty Vegan will change your life!! The Crab Cakes and Sweet Potato Biscuits at Sweet Potato Cafe are to die for!
Supreme Burgers offers a tour de force of Burgers with options you’ve never heard of or seen before.
Taco Pete’s Bistro puts a soulful spin on Tex/Mex classics. Tasa’s Roti Shop will place your entire being in Trinidad within Cobb County.
Besides these great food locations, Midtown and Atlantic Station are must visits. These 2 areas are rare walking neighborhoods in Atlanta and have plenty of sights to see and places to visit. You just may end up a part of the show that is probably happening on any given sidewalk. Little 5 Points offers the same on a more eclectic scale.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have too many people to thank for my Success over the years: my Mentor – Reverend Melvin Black – has always been instrumental in helping me to navigate my Professional path along with my Spiritual responsibilities. My wife – Camille Layne – helps me by supporting in any way she can. She even learned Sound to help me record the first Episode of Great Urban Eats.
Also, I cannot forget my best friend – Marrio Harper. That guy has and is involved in every aspect of what Great Urban Eats is!
Lastly, and certainly not the least of these is my Business Partner and Friend Brad James who recognized what I was doing and he, along with his Fiance’ Keshia Knight Pulliam, put me in position to do much more by making me President of Jamestown Filmworks which is partnered with Great Urban Eats. This support is huge because I now have the needed resources to produce quality television with and beyond Great Urban Eats.
Great Urban Eats Mshon Pulliam