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Conversations with CeeJay Joseph

Today we’d like to introduce you to CeeJay Joseph.

CeeJay, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story started many years ago in Orlando, FL when I was a child and decided that at some point in my life that I wanted to become an actor! The dream to become an actor or enter the entertainment field really began with the desire to perform different characters as it relates to their voice in cartoons. Since I enjoyed cartoons and what kids didn’t, I was intrigued on what was behind the screen and how it all came together.

Growing up, there wasn’t anyone in my family who was anywhere near that industry so I didn’t know where exactly to start. By the time I entered junior high school, I somehow learned about acting school, specifically Lisa Maile Acting School in Winter Park, FL. Both my parents at the time worked on Saturdays, the days the classes were in session, so my dad’s sister, my aunt was tasked with the assignment to drive me to class. Well, just after attending one class, my aunt had been diagnosed with an eye condition and stopped driving altogether, so no more acting class. However, during my junior high and high school years, I was involved in the performing arts with being a member of the choir and marching band, both bringing an unprecedented level of joy.

Prior to graduating from high school, I lost my awesome dad to cancer and made the decision to enlist in the United States Navy. Years after serving in the Persian Gulf and fulfilling my initial enlistment, I decided to move back home to Orlando and finish what I had started and completed the basic acting course, the advanced acting course and hired a private coach all at Lisa Maile Acting School. Full circle moment. My acting coach Kevin J. O’Neill recommended me to his talent agent Sandi Bell and she signed me! One of the first acting projects I can remember was portraying a lawyer in a low budget, well a no budget movie titled ‘Lawyers’, which wherever it is, it can stay there! From that point, I started booking various projects that included commercials, industrial films and eventually made my way to the theatrical stage.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When I think of a smooth road as it relates to acting, I think of Eddie Murphy who literally auditioned one time EVER in his life! So, no it has not been a smooth road. I mentioned in the opening question that I lost my dad to cancer in high school so that affected my decision not to attend college and instead enlist in the military. During the early years of my acting career, I would find jobs that would give me the flexibility to attend auditions and acting jobs, such as sales where my income would fluctuate week by week. With that fluctuation, there were times where money was low to the point of having my car repossessed. But, I’m grateful that after several months I rebounded to continue to pursue my dream. One of the most challenging aspects of my career and for most people for that matter, was the once in a lifetime pandemic. As an actor, you want as many auditions as possible to get past the rejections to find the yes’s and during 2020, there are no auditions to attend. So the mental aspect of this business is navigating various challenges and rejections to maintain a level of faith and positive outlook to move on to the next audition.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a professional actor, host, voice-over artist, producer and talk show host and I’m a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA). I do my best to specialize in C.reating E.ntertaining E.xperiences with J.oy of A.rts for Y.ou! I express it in that way since that is the meaning of CeeJay!

One of the things I’m most proud of is sticking to my dream and now being able to live the dream on a certain level and never giving up. I adopted my mother’s saying of having moments where you give out, but never give up. Another proud moment in my career is having multiple opportunities to portray Jesus Christ in various productions at my church, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. I’m known for being able to take a character from paper and breath life into him where viewers can believe the story that I’m trying to convey and evoke various emotions from my audience/viewers. In addition, I’m currently carving out a “known for’ moment in my recurring co-star role as Principal Heaney on The CW’s ‘Walker’. I was in episode #17 during season one, episode #2 in season two, and will have more appearances as the show rolls on. I think my creativity in various areas, such as creating my own talk show (Casual Jay-versations) and various productions sets me apart from others.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Well, I would first give credit to God who I believe blessed me with the gifts to have some level of talent to entertain people. I certainly give credit to my family who always supported me regardless of any highs or lows of me pursuing a career in this crazy business. That would also include My Bride of eleven years who have sacrificed and supported me through the years. One of the ways she has helped was through encouragement when I didn’t land a role that I really wanted (I actually want them all), rehearsing or running lines with me and simply by being the wonderful woman that she is.

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Image Credits

Kristine Canterbury
Joseph Earle
Tiffany Brown
Tori Lenton

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