Interview with Mehcad Brooks | The Most Grateful Person on The Planet
With his role as James “The Guardian” Olsen in CW’s superhero series Supergirl and his appearance in the Fall 2018 release of the Tyler Perry film Nobody’s Fool, Mehcad Brooks is well on his way to becoming one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. When you look at Mehcad’s life story, which by itself reads like a treatment for a screenplay, you will understand why he considers himself to be the most grateful person on the planet. His upbringing and near-death experiences as an adult prepared him to become the amazing artist and human being he is today. Mehcad believes that the things he creates in life are fulfilling an agreement he made before he was born to impact the world. His thought-provoking answers to questions about his life, the entertainment industry, his debut album entitled May 20th, his work, and especially his music career, is imbued with the benefit, the love and the passion that comes with embracing very unique events in his life. Brooks will inspire you to contemplate how to reflect on your own life experience and give you the insight, willpower and drive to succeed in your own aspirations. In Mehcad’s life, the inspirational quote, “you live every day but you only die once,” has been put into question, which you will come to realize after you immerse yourself in his interview.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Mehcad Brooks?
The most grateful person on the planet.
- How has your personal life path embraced your conscious decision to become an actor?
My decision to become an artist in the first place may not have come from the healthiest place. It may not have come from the fullness of my heart and the wholeness of my spirit. My life was rough, I suffered close loss at an early age which continued to into adulthood. I passed away in 2009 and crossed over to the other side, but it wasn’t my time. Two years later to the day I was hit by a car and went into a coma. And all the while I was acting in film and TV. Juggling my spiritual, emotional and, at times, physical health with my career in my adulthood was something my childhood prepared me for. As I got better holistically, I became a better artist. As I got better as an artist, sometimes the character or the song I was recording made me think about my life and how and with whom I was spending it. To say it very simply, it’s symbiotic; overcoming my hardships and the lessons I’ve learned in life have made me a better artist. And being a better artist has made me a better person in many ways.
- There are many talented people with a burning desire to successfully make it in the entertainment industry, but not everyone does. Why do you think some talents like yourself find their path to what they want?
I have tattoos on both of my shoulders, the left is of the Tree of Life with the inscription, may I plant seeds for the growth of humanity. On the right, I have a fortification made from a crown on top of a crown of thorns, inscribed into the thorns are the words, Kingdoms are earned. I think that you have to align yourself not only with your gifts, but your purpose. What’s your larger mission? If your larger mission is to be famous and rich then bless you, but I’m not really sure how that works out for people. My larger mission is to help raise human consciousness. Maybe that sounds lofty and grand for an actor, but that’s why I’m also a musician, entrepreneur, writer and activist. I feel that when your larger purpose is for the good of humanity, the Universe conspires with you in an unimpeded way. It wants you to win as badly as you do. That could be bringing joy and laughter into people’s lives, it could be bringing the essence of cool into people’s lives or you could be bringing new and different ideas into people’s lives. When you align your gifts with your larger purpose some kind of magic happens.
- We create labels to identify the meaning of a person, community or experience. How do you think the entertainment industry could influence a positive change for those who are considered “minorities” in our society?
I think the entertainment industry has a responsibility to reflect the society it entertains. I think the word inclusion, while pleasant and achievable, is misused. Embedded in the word means that I need to be included in your depiction of our society. The truth of the matter is: our world is not inclusive, or rather exclusive, but it is diverse. I think Hollywood has a responsibility not only to celebrate Crazy Rich Asians or Black Panthers, and Downton Abbey, but desegregate the formidable conventional ideology of America being white and told from a straight-white-male perspective.
- What is your greatest satisfaction in portraying different characters and personalities?
Delving into another being’s skin can be scary, exciting, enriching and sometimes downright insane and because of that, it’s fun. Most people go through life living one life. As an actor, storyteller and a performer you get to have several lives. The farther you go in your career, you get to bring your own personal growth into those characters and sometimes those characters can improve your personal growth. It’s a beautiful relationship.
- Your character James ‘The Guardian’ Olsen in the CW’s superhero series Supergirl, is a fan favorite. How would you describe the progression of the relationship between James and Supergirl?
They are friends and coworkers. While he’s her boss now, they once shared a romance that didn’t seem to go anywhere. But, I feel like this reflects your last questions. The more time James has spent with Supergirl he has grown to love and respect many things about her, the more I’ve recognized all the things I love and respect about Melissa Benoist, the actress playing Supergirl.
- Please tell us about the process of giving life to James while staying authentic to yourself and what it represents beyond the character?
I think that he and I started off as two guys who didn’t know each other but, as I said before, there is this symbiotic relationship and I have almost been in this consciousness arms race with James. The more I grow as a person, the more he grows as a character. The more he grows as a character, I grow as a person. I’d like to think of him as the Barack Obama of Superheroes, James as ‘The Guardian’ is the everyday hero, someone we can all be. We’re never going to have superpowers, but we can act heroically. I think I’ve improved James Olsen and he’s improved Mehcad Brooks.
- Why do you think Supergirl has such a great response from the media and is loved by the audience?
I think because we tackle topical issues fairly and from multiple perspectives. We shine lights on things that are important for people and we expand upon them through a prism of truth and mindfulness, and I think people are hungry for that.
- This fall you can be seen in the Tyler Perry film Nobody’s Fool opposite Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick, and Miss Pyle. Please tell us about your character and how it feels to be part of such an amazing cast.
It feels incredible to be a part of such an amazing cast. Playing in a sandbox like that doesn’t come around often, so you make the most of it and have as much fun as possible and hopefully, people are seeing how much fun you are having and want to continue watching you having that much fun. That’s what comedy is about.
- Your recently released music album entitled May 20th was inspired by two significant events in your life. What’s your message and the story behind the title of this album?
May 20, 2009, I died. I passed away. I crossed over to the other side, I saw all the things that people talk about, the light, waiting through a field of thick darkness yet knowing you’re in a loving harmonious oneness with the universe. I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. I’ve tasted it, I understand what it means to disassociate yourself from who you’ve always thought you were and the body you thought was yours. And I guarantee you at the end of this beautiful journey you are going to ask yourself the same question that I asked myself. Did I do what I agreed to do before I was born? Or did I just somehow allow my life to happen to me?
The answer to that question for me was music. May 20, 2011, I got hit by a car head-on. The other car was going 65 miles p/hour, I was stopped at a stoplight. Next thing I know I was in a coma and I had a very similar experience and after I got out of that hospital I was ready to fulfill my agreement, but it took a long time to heal. On May 20, 2012, I met a holy man who opened my eyes to a connection that these experiences kept reminding me of. He showed me a way to connect to that voice of oneness without having a traumatic experience invoke it.
The next day I began my music career and I never looked back, so what you hear in my debut album is me fulfilling an agreement made before I was born but with the benefit, the pain and the passion that comes with overcoming very unique and traumatic experiences in life.
May 20th really tells my story and I’m very happy that I was brave enough to put that out there in the world. It touches on some of the weakest moments of my life and I’m grateful to be able to share this with the world from such a position of strength and positivity.
- Do you have any practice or habit when you want to transition from fear to faith? If ever, so.
Yeah, meditation is one. I do a simple meditation called Japa. It’s a vibrational meditation, it’s super easy and you can do it pretty much everywhere. I do a lot of what I call ego inclusion. I think most of us are aware when our egos are talking if we examine our interactions and reactions with each other. Most of us beat ourselves up when we realize our ego has voiced its opinion loudly enough for us to put it into practice, but I don’t think we should be so hard on ourselves. I think that we should include our ego’s voice, it just wants to be loved just like everything else in the universe. It just wants to be heard just like any idea you’ve ever had. Incorporating your full self, the ego, the higher consciousness can have a balancing effect of how you interact with the world. Incorporating the ego’s voice doesn’t mean that you act on your ego. It just means you don’t beat yourself up for being a human being with an ego. And one really simple thing that anybody can do is set an alarm on your phone towards the end of your day, every day, that reminds you to not be so hard on yourself.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
Yes, I’m part of the NAACP, The HRC, The Harvest Youth Foundation in Austin Texas, and I devote my time to environmental and political charities including the preservation of land, freshwater and voter registrations.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
The entire creative process is joyful to me. Joy begets joy so it just feeds me and it gives me the energy and the clarity I need to keep going. To me, creation is the essence of joy.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks. What is your take on such a statement?
I don’t hear anything untrue about this statement or anything else Hicks has said. However, I will expand upon it. I think you already are the person you want to be and have everything that you want to have if you put yourself in the conscious space of it. Being who you want to be, you aspire to be in a space that you inhabit. Having something is an achievement marked by space and time. We live in a spacetime continuum and space and time are the two major facets of our dimension. If you hold your space in the essence of already being what you want to be and having what you already want to have, then the only component left to play itself out is your actions, which is essentially your perception of time. Doing something takes time. If you hold your space in knowing who you are and what you already have, then it’s just the doing that takes time. And when you would achieve your dreams, people see that as prophetic but you in that conscious space will only see it as the time it takes to do it.