[THE STAGE] SEAN BAKER: STRENGTH OF LOVE
Hands down, Sean Baker is one of the hardest working brothers out here in the acting game. We first met for the initial run of The Baz Brothers’ Strength of Love back in 2015, and since then, he has done a host of additional roles and projects. One of his more recent roles was the lead in the hit film Making Moves, which was also written by The Baz Brothers. We’ve also been watching as he’s been preparing for the highly anticipated biopic “All Eyes on Me”, which centers around the life of slain rapper Tupac Shakur. Coming up very soon, Baker will be hitting the stage once again in the reboot of The Baz Brothers’ Strength of Love alongside actors Chandra Currelley, Dwayne Cottle, and Strength of Love newcomer Meelah Williams. He’s constantly on the move, but we got him to slow down just a bit to talk to us about the play, as well as all else he has cooking right now.
U.G. Digital Mag: You are one of the hardest working brothers out here man…
Sean Baker: Just one of em [laughing].
U.G. Digital Mag: I see the many projects you work on man. What gives you the drive to work as hard in the paint as you do?
Sean Baker: First of all, thank you so much for mentioning that. I’m one of a lot of brothers out her making a name for ourselves. What drives me is this is my passion. It’s what I love to do. It’s not a hobby, and it’s something for me. Since I was young and performing, my mother would have me singing and dancing for her friends. I was doing something in entertainment, and it was always in me. What drives me is it’s my passion. I live, eat, and sleep this.
U.G. Digital Mag: The first time we connected was during the first run of Strength of Love. You’ve done so much since then. How did you first connect with The Baz Brothers?
Sean Baker: It was with "Strength of Love". I heard of the audition, sent in my headshots and resume, and prayed for the best. I believe when I got there, they said I was the first one, super early, and they knew I was what they needed. Now don’t quote me on that [laughing]. We had a great time, great connection, and they have a real passion for what they do. We don’t always get to work with a lot of writers and directors who have a true understanding. It’s a different experience when you work with people who have a love for the arts. They really understand what it is to do this, and there’s a meaning and method behind what they do. Since then, we did "Making Moves". That was my first leading role. They gave me that chance, and it helped me transition. To see that and work with them seamlessly was great. Now I’m doing "Strength of Love" for the second time around. It’ll be another great experience.
U.G. Digital Mag: I’m quoting you on what you said man [laughing]. I see what you’re doing and your work is impeccable. I’ve never seen anyone work as hard, and I realized that the last time I came out to Atlanta. You were all over the carpet man, and just working. In the interview we did for UGD Live, I recall talking about your character for Making Moves, and it completely resonated with me and my journey. You did an amazing job in the movie bringing that to life.
Sean Baker: Thank you brother, I appreciate that. I enjoyed doing the film, and when I read the script, it resonated with me as well. In following our dreams, we have to make certain sacrifices. It’s one of those life imitating art and art imitating life moments. It made it that much easier to tell the story because I literally lived a portion of the story. I was able to bring my personal experience to the situation and make it believable.
U.G. Digital Mag: That made it even better though in my opinion.
Sean Baker: Definitely. It levels up everything. As actors, we may get roles where we may not have experienced everything the character went though, but with this, I just had to dig back into my memory. It was like playing out my life. That made it that much easier and brought that much more authenticity to it.
U.G. Digital Mag: You have people backing you like Chandra Currelley and Meelah Williams. How is it to be back in that mode of this production?
Sean Baker: It’s funny you ask, because we had a table read, and of course we have new faces. As of right now, with Chandra Currelley, and Dwayne Cottle, they are familiar faces. I’ve been working with Chandra for years. It’s wonderful to say I’ve been working with her for years. For someone of her caliber, it’s a blessing. Familiarity is always good. Meelah is doing an excellent job. It’s refreshing to work with different people when you can. If it has to happen that way, you pray there’s chemistry with everyone. We’ve had our rehearsals, and it’s been great. I love working the project period. It’s a great thing, and Meelah has been bringing a different energy to it, and it’s refreshing. I love her energy. We are bonding and connecting in a way that the audience will get what they need. They can see the story from a different perspective. We have different people bringing new energy. Change is not always bad. Sometimes it’s good. We’re all learning the different nuances to telling a story. At the table read, we expressed the fact that it’s like we’re learning new things again. It’s like it’s the first time.
U.G. Digital Mag: What do you feel like you were able to do to refresh your character, seeing as how there will likely be people coming out who saw it the last time?
Sean Baker: It’s funny because the other side of it is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When I look at it with a refreshed vision and new set of eyes, I’m not changing the dynamics of the character. For me, and looking at it again, it’s more in the details of the story. There’s different emotions I can tap into. I may find a scene where my character can show more emotion, or less emotion, or show a different range of hurt. Maybe it’s deeper in the back story. It’s something else that can be brought to the surface. It’s like Coke or Pepsi. Same great taste, but a different rapper. It’s different energy and a different way of telling the story.
U.G. Digital Mag: I’m looking forward to this man. I know it’s going to be great. Tell everyone where they can check you out online?
Sean Baker: My website is being reconstructed, it’s www.seanbakeronline.com and definitely at Instagram @seanbakeronline, Twitter @theseanbaker, and Facebook @Seanbaker.
U.G. Digital Mag: We’re consistently checking you out and following. The Tupac feature you’re a part of, when is it dropping?
Sean Baker: We had a new production company jump on, Lions gate and Morgan Creek, and it’s looking like June for it to come out.
U.G. Digital Mag: I appreciate you man. Any kind of final words, comments, or words of encouragement?
Sean Baker: It’s like a mantra of mine man. I always say do it with passion, or don’t do it at all. I don’t care what it is: dancing, singing, or being an architect. Do it with passion, or not at all. And secondly, I need y’all to come out. February 10, February 11, and February 12. Get your tickets, today!