Monthly Archives - August 2017

Vivid Talk™ Radio | Gabrielle Johnson

I Had to Believe Again

It’s funny how when you’re younger, you take risks so easily.  Think about a baby. When the dad is playing and throws the baby in the air, the baby is usually having the time of his life. The baby laughs hysterically, probably while the mom is having a nervous breakdown. And of course the dad does it again and again, just to hear the baby laugh and giggle. The baby doesn’t know to fear. The baby never thinks the dad will drop him or her. The baby just has faith that the dad is going to catch him. The mom fears the baby will get hurt, but the baby is having a wonderful time.

I seemed to always have faith as a child. As a young person, I would speak something and it would happen. I would desire something, and it came to pass. I never really thought about it not happening. Just child like faith, I guess. As an adult, I knew I wanted to be a scriptwriter. I studied screenwriting in college and just believed it would eventually come to pass. I was asked to write a stage play that would give hope to a hurting people. I did so, and with the Fishers of Men ministry, we produced the first show in December 2000.

I went on to produce the show several times after that first one. Some did well, some did not. Over the years, I started looking for an Executive Producer, someone to invest in the show in order for us to take it on tour. At one point, I spoke to a producer, and he told me he did not want to review the show on DVD. He wanted me to stage a live production. I did so, at my expense of course, but he didn’t show up. Another time a pastor wanted to support the show, so he said. I sent him my only copy of a show we did in Alabama. I told him that it was my only copy and that I needed them to review it and get it back to me. He never got it back to me, and he never helped produce the show. Another time we did the show, it was by invitation only. We invited producers, investors, businessmen, etc. It was very classy, and we laid out the red carpet for them.  We got a lot of interest and people that just wanted to see the show for free. Each show we thought, "This is our moment. This is the time. This one is going to be our big break." 

The show had an excellent storyline, great music and the best actors and acting this side of heaven. I say that because I couldn’t understand why it didn’t take off. Why wasn’t the effort and work we all put into it getting the rewards it deserved? Not Tony’s or Emmy’s, I’m talking about the big-break-type rewards. Each time we did a show, no matter how it did, I always went home and started planning the next one. I would dust myself off and start again. I had such an awesome cast, and we were in this together. We vowed never to give up, and at some point somebody would pick up the show. We had faith to believe it would happen. Each show, after the very first one, I funded myself. One other person that truly believed in me and absolutely loved the show, invested in the show as well. He believed the show would be a hit and that eventually we would get the investors needed to take it national.

Well, we did the show some years back and had an excellent turnout. I went forth believing this is the one that will take us over the top. The box office didn’t do well. I couldn’t pay my actors. Again. This time I went home and felt defeated. I didn’t have the zeal to get up and try again. I realized I was actually angry at God. I was embarrassed. I was exhausted and just could not understand why. I knew God gave me the script. I knew He anointed the unbelievably talented actors, and I knew He gave me the message. So, why God?

Even when the show wasn’t as successful as I would have liked, I still tried again and again. Years went by, and I was still kind of down. I had so many projects come to mind, and I would get excited about them, and then stop. I would be so excited about a creative endeavor, start doing the research, and stop. I did this several times. I would start a book and wouldn’t finish it. I would start a stage play, screenplay and project and just stop writing. I was depressed. I was frustrated, and some days I didn’t want to get up in the morning. One thing I know about myself, if I’m not creating, I’m not living. 

I didn’t understand what was happening to my faith. I didn’t understand what was happening to my zeal. I went to God and admitted I was angry with Him. I believed what I was doing was what He told me to do, so why wasn’t it successful? Of course, He’s God, and He knew I was angry with Him. He knew I was hurt. Failure is a part of success. Was I doing the shows for fame and glory? Or was I doing the show to truly minister to the lives of hurting people? That’s where my true frustration came from. 

When I repented and humbled myself before God and admitted I was angry at Him, He showed me. He showed me some things in me that He was pruning and purging in order for me to go to the next level. He showed me that where He was taking me, my character needed to be able to sustain me there.  It was at this time that I finally realized why I would start things and wouldn’t finish or wouldn’t have the excitement I used to have when I started a new project. It was because, I was afraid to believe again. I was afraid to get my hopes up again. I was really afraid to let myself get lost in something and see it die with me. I didn’t have the energy or the faith that I once had when God would give me an idea. I had lost hope. I knew what I went through was still to grow my faith. God had to get me to a place like Abraham. The Word says that Abraham believed beyond belief–when there was no evidence and no reason to believe. Abraham believed beyond hope. So, I brushed myself off and began again with my new swimsuit line that I mentioned during my guest appearance on Vivid Talk™ Radio, knowing that everything is working for my good–knowing I will trust and believe God–even when I can’t see any reason to keep believing.

Vivid Talk™ Radio | Host, Gwen Witherspoon & Keith "SirKeithington" Reed, Jr.

Visionary Profile: Keith “SirKeithington” Reed, Jr.

One day a couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling randomly through my Instagram feed when I discovered fashion stylist, Keith Reed, Jr. His Instagram handle is @sirkeithington. The name caught me first. Then, the pictures. Then, his posts. It was evident that this man is a visionary. I had to talk to him, and I was delighted when he accepted. This is a visionary profile of Keith Reed, Jr.–or better yet–SirKeithington. I feel like I should greet him as, "SirKeithington, Dah-ling!" 

Q: You describe yourself as an ordinary guy with an unordinary vision. Tell me about that.

Gwen, I mean...I'm just your average Joe, a kid that lives in New Jersey. The vision and the dreams that I have are only things that I know that God can do through me. I know I wouldn't be able to accomplish any of those things that are in my mind and that I really feel in my heart without His power and control. What I mean by "ordinary"–it's because of the fact that I know they're so big, I can't do them alone. That's exactly what I feel and what I see in why I believe I'm sent here on this earth.

Q: So, tell me about A Gentleman's Journi.

A Gentleman's Journi is a personal consulting/styling services company. What we do is we save people time so they can spend time doing the things that they really love to do–like spending time with their family and their friends. And then, we save people money. Of course, that's another big thing so they can put it towards things that actually mean something in life at the end of the day for the future. And to have people looking and operating at their best. When it comes to blue collar, white collar, creative projects, music videos, photo shoots, even movies–we facilitate those services to cater toward whatever category or lifestyle that person or company needs.

Q: Have you always known that you're a visionary?

Yeah. I've known that since I was a kid. Even in preschool, I would always daydream a lot. On my progress reports, my teachers would say, "Keith. He's in the room, but he's not in the room. He's always looking up into the sky and daydreaming." Even when it comes to what my dad has been doing for 35 years. Seeing him do and travel across the world, I'm thinking in my mind, "I want to do that, but I want to do it like this and like that." I was always dreaming with the end goal in mind.

Q: So, tell me some more about the vision. What's the big picture?

The big picture, Gwen...The way that I see the company that my brother and I have been blessed with is that this isn't just a company about fashion. This company is made and designed to pour into people's lives on an internal level. In the industry, some people use fashion and clothes to cover up. It is our job, and one of our passions, to make them express through clothing who they really are. And that's not hiding anything. When it comes to digging deeper and developing that character and making sure that the inside matches the outside. That is the overall picture. When it comes to the influence that we're going to have, we are going to be all over the globe, not just via fashion, but when it comes to mentoring kids, when it comes to having different programs across the globe when we're giving clothes and giving resources to people that don't necessarily have the means to have them. We are going to be developing different relationships that puts us on different platforms that allows our light to shine on these platforms where darkness is. Being recognized as one of the most influential fashion consulting brands in the world, if not the one. It's going to be something epic that only God is going to be able to do. In a nutshell, that's it.

Q: How does attention to detail in styling parallel attention to detail in life?

It's the little things that really count and really go the long way. I'm a big, big advocate of being my best self in private so that I may be able to be the best person that I can be in public. And just the little things when it comes to doing what you're doing in private–when you wake up in the morning, what is your routine? What are the little small things that people don't necessarily notice if they don't have that eye, but they have a big impact on your life later on? When it comes to what I do when I wake up in the morning, when it comes to how often I am praying and meditating, and when it comes to being an advocate for things that I really, really am passionate about, in private–not so much on a major stage. When I translate these different things into fashion, it's the little small things like the handkerchief in your pocket, or the pin on your lapel, or the cuff on your shirt–even the cuff in your pant or the small little color in your shoe that goes with the collar of your shirt, that brings the outfit to life. Little things like that really go the long way, and they make the difference.

Q: Tell me more about the "journi". What's this visionary lifestyle like for you?

Well, it's tough! It's not easy. There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes, especially when you're alone. You start to feel insecure about different things. You sometimes get distracted by other people and what they're doing and how much success they're having. Those things play a part in making you question, "Maybe I should do it this way?" That in itself, that is a job. That's an 8-hour situation all by itself. But when it comes to really locking in to–number one–who you are as a person and what you know God has put inside you, submitting to what He has for your life, and allowing Him to lead it. That definitely brings a different perspective of peace and relieves the anxiety from your shoulders at times, if not all the times. Those little small things, Gwen, they can really have a massive impact on somebody's life–or on your life, or my life as an individual, if I'm not conscious in identifying, "Why am I feeling this way?" At the end of the day, if we don't identify why we feel the way we feel, it's going to end up hurting us in the future. It may even hold us back from what we're supposed to be doing.

These questions cover only the first 12 minutes of "Visionary Profile: Keith 'SirKeithington' Reed, Jr." Click here to listen to the full interview.