Laquan Copeland: Diversifying His Career in Entertainment

Laquan Copeland: Diversifying His Career in Entertainment

In the glitzy world of Hollywood, where dreams are made and shattered in equal measure, navigating a successful career in the entertainment industry is no small feat. Actor, writer, and director Laquan Copeland is a Georgia native who packed up and headed to the City of Angels in pursuit of his passion. Copeland’s journey serves as a testament to the resilience and determination required to thrive in Tinseltown and the nuances of building a multifaceted career and leaving a lasting legacy.

Laquan Copeland’s foray into the entertainment industry started in Columbus, Georgia, where he took his first steps toward honing his craft in acting, writing, and directing before making the bold leap to Los Angeles in 2017. Speaking about the challenges of the industry, I emphasized the mindset required to weather the constant auditions and inevitable rejections. Copeland acknowledged the sacrifices and duality of the entertainment career, stressing the importance of passion and purpose in propelling individuals forward.

“That’s the thing people don’t get to see,” Laquan says in a moment of reflection and gratitude. “I think that’s why, as artists, each win means so much. You realize the sacrifices that you make. Auditions come (at any moment) and you have to go in front of casting directors, producers, and directors, in the midst of everything, and be this prepared, top-notch actor. They don’t know that you just got the call 30 minutes ago and that you have this going on in your life or that you got this that just happened urgently. You got to put on this kind of “face”, and it’s like, “I gotta act. I got to do my job.” And I think that’s the duality of our career. And like you said, it is a kind of mindset required to do it. And I respect those who do it.”

Personally, since moving from Philadelphia to Brooklyn then Los Angeles, and finally Atlanta, I found that every city has its own personality and norms. Even though my final move was the opposite of Laquan’s journey, I’ve realized the cultural differences between Copeland’s Southern roots and the dynamic and cutthroat environment of LA. Copeland candidly shared his initial culture shock, underlining the importance of understanding the city’s culture, building a strong network, and learning the flow of the industry to succeed in the City of Angels. His experiences shed light on the often overlooked aspects of transitioning from a warm, welcoming culture to a more guarded and connection-based environment.

“It was a culture shock for me in the beginning because it took a minute for me to get acclimated to LA,” Laquan says. “What I prided myself in was learning the culture of LA, learning the flow. And it’s like you said, everybody knows somebody, but at the end of the day, it’s like, who you know? But more importantly, who knows you? And you really started from the ground up. You really have to lay out the foundation, especially if there are no networks, there’s no nepotism, no connections involved. And it was honestly a monotonous kind of process for me in the beginning.”

“It goes back to your purpose and your passion,” Laquan continues. “You have to know that you’re not only supposed to be here, but you’re called here, to complete this mission and that assignment. And anything that gets in the way of that, you don’t pay dust. And I’m grateful that it was that passion, honestly, that really fueled me in terms of, okay, let’s figure it out because now we’re here. So what are short films? What are student films? I need to have a demo reel. What does that look like? What do headshots look like? Is this green? How do I go from green to experience? And you start coming across this person that’s connected to that person, that’s connected to this person, that’s connected to that person. Slowly but surely, what I realized with us, just as people, as long as we continue to stay dedicated, stay consistent, and keep that passion on us, it may take a little bit of patience, but eventually, we’ll get right on that path where we’re going.”

One of the most significant projects in Copeland’s career is “Midas,” a coming-of-age heist film that he worked on as an actor and writer. Set in Hartford, Connecticut, known for its insurance industry, the project provided Copeland with a rich cultural experience that deeply influenced his character’s portrayal. “Midas” offers a fresh take on the heist genre, eschewing the typical violent themes and instead focusing on the character’s motivation driven by his mother’s illness, reflecting the idea of doing anything to save a loved one’s life.

“Each of the people in the heist has a bigger purpose as to why each of them individually do this,” Laquan explains. “But Ricky’s purpose is because of his mom. You know what I’m saying? Because of her sickness…because she’s ill. And, you know, I feel like, as people, sometimes when you’re pushed to a certain point where there’s no end and your back is against the wall, you will do any and everything to get an opportunity to save a life, to be there, especially take care of the ones you love. And so I felt like that was the basis of this project, and I think that was what attracted me most. And then why I thought that it was so uniquely different from the projects that I’ve seen.”

In addition to his acting and writing endeavors, Copeland also discussed his platform called All Black Anime. This platform reflects his commitment to creating meaningful and potent projects with a focus on black representation, outlining his ambitious goal to write, produce, and act in television series that celebrate diversity.

“And that’s one thing that I’ve really been proud of,” Laquan says with a glow of accomplishment. “It’s something that we cultivated and created. And what I always tell artists, actors, and creatives, always create your own table, whether it’s leveraging yourself on social media, whether it’s creating your own ideas, or writing your own things, but don’t just have that one thing, because I think the best thing about me being an actor was that I wasn’t never frustrated or stressed about when’s the next audition or all over the place, because I was able to have my kind of own table that was building and developing over here.”

Laquan Copeland

The conversation also shed light on the challenges of building a career in the entertainment industry, emphasizing the importance of being selective about roles and not being afraid to say no. Copeland’s insight into the industry’s demands underscored the need for an unwavering mentality and a robust support system to navigate the inevitable highs and lows.

One of the most compelling aspects of Copeland’s journey is his emphasis on leaving a lasting legacy beyond acting alone. He stressed the importance of diversifying one’s career to create a body of work that can resonate with audiences over time. This sentiment aligns with the emphasis on the need for balance by engaging in multiple projects to build a sustained and impactful career.

In a world where the entertainment industry can often appear mystifying and daunting, Laquan Copeland’s insights offer a beacon of hope and inspiration. His unwavering dedication, commitment to meaningful representation, and emphasis on leaving behind a legacy of impactful work serve as a testament to the resilience and determination required to thrive in Hollywood. As Copeland continues to carve his path, it’s evident that his multifaceted approach to the industry and his commitment to meaningful storytelling will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape.

As we reflect on Laquan Copeland’s journey, it’s clear that the path to success in the entertainment industry is not just about talent, but also about resilience, passion, and a commitment to creating work that transcends the ephemeral nature of the industry. Copeland’s journey serves as a testament to the potential of steadfast determination and multifaceted creativity to make a lasting impact in the ever-evolving world of entertainment.

Watch Laquan’s Interview by clicking below…

Listen to our Podcast with Laquan by clicking below…

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