How did you get involved in the Arts?
I believe my darling mother stirred up the Arts in me from a very young age.
My mother bought me a guitar when I was 6 years old and until this day I still play the guitar, However it was through my musical experiences over many years that put me in the environment of the Arts industry. First being scouted as a model on the streets of London to then transitioning into Acting through Modeling work.
How important do you feel the arts are to our culture and society?
I feel the Arts is one of, if not, the most important industry to our culture and society.
Whether it’s through watching a TV show, a movie, or listening to music, they all resonate through our most frequent senses, which is hearing and vision. If we watch something violent to often then our sub consciousness will be more likely to react to things more violently, or if we listen to uplifting music to often then our reaction and approach to life will be exactly that (uplifted).
I personally think in this era we are living in most main stream music is unfortunately portraying life in a negative and violent demeanor which has a huge influence on the youth today, this also applies to the TV shows and films we watch that portray certain characters which fit a cultural stereotype and the youth will often follow this system in real life.
What does success look like to you?
I believe success is determined by the one who measures. Therefore in regards to myself success looks exactly how my life is going right now.
We each have a purpose in life and through that process we achieve goals with good and bad experiences, as long as we stick to our purpose regardless of the outcome that to me is being successful.
What are some things that an aspiring model should know when seeking to work professionally?
To better answer this question I can break it down to 6 bullet points :
1. Set yourself some boundaries and stick to them, also make sure everyone with you work with is fully aware of those boundaries to.
2. Be professional , be on time , and be nice to everyone, especially the clients that booked you.
3. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually so that your always at your best and stay ready!
4. Keep a record of the date, time, amount and client that you work for because sometimes agents will forget and so will the client when it comes to pay day.
5. Rejection doesn’t mean failure, sometimes it can take twelve “NO’s” for one “YES” . If you really want it bad enough then you have to keep going through the dry sprouts and stay consistent.
6. And finally have a side hustle for when those dry sprouts occur. Save money, create a business or invest because this will also support your modeling career as well as setting you up for the future.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being African American male in the entertainment industry?
Like everything in life there’s pros and cons but in particular to this subject I often notice stereotypical roles, genres and categories.
I personally think the system that has been created works as a disadvantage for the African American culture both men and woman. For example if you look at most Modeling agencies database you will find predominantly white European/American across the board with a few shall we say “ token black or mix race faces”, thank God more so in this day and age the diversity has gotten much better from when I first started out but there’s still room for more improvement.
In the same breath the advantage of this system can benefit those who are accepted into the system allowing them to not be up against as much competition compared to the other cultures. This concept also applies in acting to.
Tell us details about your most proud project to date.
To be honest I haven’t got just one proud project because in this line of work many projects are so different and fun. The first one that comes to mind though would be a Volvo Commercial I filmed in 2019.
It was four days of filming on the beautiful Spokane lentil fields in Washington during peak summer. I got to drive the latest luxury SUV Volvo everyday with an on set family which became a real family by the end of the project . Everyone from the talent to crew was amazing, even the catering service was the best I’ve had on set to this date. It’s definitely a project I will never forget and it’s actually still airing so feel free to check it out.
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About Donnie Riser A Model turned Actor born and raised in the Uk, is now a rising star in America. Best known for his worldwide Television commercial appearances such as “ Menswear house, Volvo, Arm and Hammer toothpaste, coco cola , MTV and many more. He has also featured in Two reality Tv shows as a recurring Role and is now making a name for himself in the Film industry.
Donnie has recently made a Co-star appearance in the U.S TV show Hit “ New Amsterdam” as Doctor Finlay and has recently had opportunities for lead Roles in other Hit shows such as “ The Game” “David meets man ” and “ Law and Order “. Alongside pursuing his entertainment Dreams Donnie is also an entrepreneur and CEO of the Skincare line “ Wowo Stix “ which has taken the Amazon Market by storm. He plans to use his success to inspire younger people to be the best version of themselves so they can also help others to succeed in life.