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REGINALD T. DORSEY DOES IT AGAIN STARRING IN “KINGS OF THE EVENING”…PART I THE O’SWANKA

American Film and Television Actor/Filmmaker Reginald T. Dorsey was born in Dallas, Texas where he lived until he was 10 years old. His family then moved to San Jose, California where he was an outstanding student and High School athlete, excelling in football and track. The quest for him to act proved to be more powerful though than his athletic dreams. After attending an open call with his mother back in Dallas for extra work in the film “Book Of Numbers,” Filmmaker Raymond St.Jacques spotted the young 13 year old and wrote a lead part in the film for him.

The rest is history as they say and at 16 years old he left home for Hollywood to pursue his calling as an actor and filmmaker. Now a veteran in the film and t.v. business his respect and passion for his craft is even greater after many years of sacrifice and dedication. His credits are extensive, “MIRACLE OF THE HEART; A BOYS TOWN STORY,” “21 JUMP ST.,” “BOOKER,” “RETURN TO LONESOME DOVE,” Critically Acclaimed “SOUTH CENTRAL,” “THE CHEROKEE KID” and The Award Winning “KINGS OF THE EVENING,” which he also produced are just a few from his body of work. Kings of the Evening stars, Tyson Beckford as Homer Hobbs, Linara Washington as Lucy Waters, Glynn Turman as Clarence, Lynn Whitfield as Grace, and the man of the hour, Reginald T. Dorsey as Benny Potter.

A true “Texas Cowboy” his whole life, Reginald’s other passions are raising horses, competing in rodeos, most notably The Bill Pickett Invitational and others where he has won Championships in Team Roping and Team Penning.

His work with children and touching peoples lives in a meaningful way continues to be a source of inspiration for him as an artist and as a man, giving all the glory to God for his many blessings.

Today I get the pleasure of having my very own little chit chat with the man himself Reginald T. Dorsey, who played Benny Potter in the award winning movie, “Kings of the Evening”. Wow it’s great to be able to finally catch up with him and share with our viewers not only him as an actor but most definitely, the movie “Kings of the Evening”, starring Tyson Beckford, Lynn Whitfield, Glynn Turman, Linara Washington, and yours truly, the fine, the handsome, the smooth, the cowboy, Mr. Reginald T. Dorsey.

The Heat: Mr. Reginald T. Dorsey, welcome to The Heat Magazine. So are you calling us from California?
Dorsey: Yes I am, 72° sunny and beautiful.
The Heat: Well I’m here in Hotlanta, where it could be sunny today, raining tomorrow, snowing the next day or flooding and we’ve even felt an earthquake this year…(we giggle) I don’t know why they call it Hotlanta, they should call it Changinglanta…(we giggle again),
Dorsey: Especially considering all the things that have been taking place lately in Georgia; earthquake, capital punishment, and everything else huh?
The Heat: The capital punishment issue is very sensitive with me. I’m trying to stay away from thinking about it because I’m almost ready to leave.
Dorsey: Yeah, I can understand that. It has us out here, I won’t say surprised, but just as upset. No doubt about it. Again it doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve seen and witnessed a lot of things but at the same time when it comes to issues like that it’s up to us to be vigilant in terms of our approach, and our resolve.
The Heat: Interesting, what was the most shocking to you?
Dorsey: That Troy Davis didn’t get an opportunity to present his case before the courts again. Another was that some of the people sitting on that board were also African American.
The Heat: I can understand you on that.
Dorsey: How we, as African Americans, can sometimes be just as evil to one another. I expect for certain things to happen the way they’ve always happened in America and Hollywood, but the thing that hurts me the most is when I see my own people do those same type of things to one another. Given our history.
The Heat: So, how is it going in Hollywood for African American filmmakers?
Dorsey: I grind despite the challenges I’m faced with in Hollywood. What disappoints me though is when I see African American executives and filmmakers not taking an opportunity to help other African American filmmaker or actors, who have proven themselves time and time again.
The Heat: It seems to me, the place where “we” have gotten here in America is such a jealous and envious state. Some of us are so jealous and envious that life literally has no meaning, but to be about self.
Dorsey: Exactly and fear has a lot to do with it. Again, just like with Troy Davis, the African American judge sitting on the Supreme Court, it would have been so courageous of him and all the judges just to have simply given the brother the benefit of doubt. A man’s life was at stake here!
The Heat: We are truly in a bad state of mind when it comes to “us” standing up for one another.
Dorsey: That’s where what I do is so important in terms of the effect that it has on our people. What we see in film, what we see in the media, what we hear in the music, has a devastating effect on our culture, on our children. It’s important, for me personally, as a filmmaker that I present films and things that will inspire our culture. That will inspire our children. I’m keenly aware of these things when I do a film project.
The Heat: We certainly are proud of you and wish there were more like you in the film industry that took that same approach. I see that “Kings of the Evening” received a number of awards from some pretty big festivals. In 2008 the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Festival, San Francisco Black Film Festival and in 2009 at the World Festival Houston to name a few, and 2011 you received a nomination for the Black Reel Awards. Question, what happened to the NAACP Image Award?
Dorsey: We didn’t get one, can you believe that? I’m almost 40 years strong grinding everyday to uplift the images of my people on film and I can’t even get an NAACP nomination, never mind winning. I can’t get a nomination from the very organization that claims they want to support positive images in black film. Can you believe that? I’ll tell you what did get a nomination in 2009, “Precious” got a nomination. We couldn’t even get a nomination against “Precious”. Let me see, we had, Lynn Whitfield, Tyson Beckford, Glynn Turman, Linara Washington, and Reginald T. Dorsey and we can’t get a nomination, amazing. But Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz gets a nomination, two people that aren’t even actors! I’m not hating on Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz for the work they did in “Precious”, but I’m like we’re all experienced veteran actors who have paid tremendous dues in this industry. If we can’t get a simple nomination from our own people, what does that tell you about what’s really going on in Hollywood?
The Heat: It tells us it’s just as screwed up as everything else in America and especially the entertainment industry.
Dorsey: What’s funny when I think about it, the NAACP did to us, what the parole board did to Troy Davis down there in Atlanta. Not to equate the weight of that particular situation by any stretch of the imagination to receiving a nomination or an award, but on some level, in terms of, not doing what you know is the right thing and what that ultimately represents. What I wanted to accomplish by putting together “Kings of the Evening” was for it to reach the mass African American community and beyond . To have a huge audience throughout the world so that people could see us in a different light. Like you said, we are in a very crucial time and that’s where having at least an NAACP nomination could have supported and helped us. We must be accountable and consistent in our positions in order to reflect what we are truly representing.
The Heat: Now when you say putting it together, what else did you do other than starring in this great movie?
Dorsey: I produced it. Andrew P. Jones directed, produced and he and his father Robert Page Jones wrote it.
The Heat: Where did they come up with the idea for the film?
Dorsey: Andrew’s father, Robert Page Jones, read an article in a newspaper one day on a tradition that had taken place over in South Africa for years. This tradition was being presented by the Zulu South African Tribesmen who called themselves the O’swanka’s. They would have these underground fashion contest that would take place during apartheid so that they could give themselves a sense of dignity and a sense of pride, even though they were up against the most heinous and racist government on earth. These men still felt like they had to carry themselves with a sense of dignity and the only way they could do that was to have these underground fashion contest. Robert Page Jones thought how interesting that would be if one could take that tradition, which had its root in South Africa, flip it a little bit to take place here in Southern America during the depression, and show how our people during the depression, as well as today, needed something to inspire them.
The Heat: You did a great job with it.
Dorsey: Thank you…thank you. Everyone really worked their behinds off to bring this film to the Big Screen and to put a story out there that we thought, not only spoke to African Americans, but spoke to the world in terms of inspiration, hope, and dignity. All those things were essential for me to be involved in this film. It was one of the best scripts that I’ve read in years and I had to be a part of it.

Continued in: Reginald T. Dorsey Does It Again Starring in “Kings Of The Evening”, – Part II Buckcoonery

Much Love! One Love
Feel “The Heat”

Photos courtesy of: Ron Betrone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5zaRzFR8ZU&feature=colike

Nik-O-Licious
Nik-O-Licioushttp://www.cnikdace.com
One of the hardest working women in the Entertainment business today! From Music Video Producer to Script Writer to Author to Personal Life Coaching to now Senior Editor Entertainment and New Artist for The Heat, this girls got game! If it's worth working on, she's on it! Talented, Intelligent, and Sexy, yeah, you get it all in her! You got a story to tell, she has an ear to listen and the skills to put the pen to paper! "I see your lips moving but ain't nothing coming out! Shut-up and start walking, talking gets you know where". Wanna get your skills and talent seen by the world, holla at cha'girl at cnikdace@theheatmag.com or nik.theheatmag@gmail.com
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