What do Martin Lawrence, Casey Kasem, and Taraji P. Henson have in common? They have all had something to say about the acumen of Terk Stevens. We’ll meet him and find out how he has helped others and may be able to work with you … on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: TERK STEVENS ON THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
Guests: Terk Stevens
Date: August 24, 2016
Frank: What do Martin Lawrence, Casey Kasem, and Taraji P. Henson have in common? They have all had something to say about the acumen of Terk Stevens. We’ll meet him and find out how he has helped others and may be able to work with you… on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Yes. Those are my babies. As always, thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.
Entertainment industry mover and shaker, Terk Stevens is with us today and I’m curious how important is it to… how important is who you know to breaking in the entertainment industry.
Terk: That’s a funny question. To me, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.
Frank: Uhuh. Alright, so how do I get someone to know me?
Terk: Like I always tell people, all my phone calls get returned. That’s important like in this day and age, you can reach out to people and they just acting like they didn’t see the text or they missed the call. So for me, it’s—I feel fortunate that all my calls get returned. If I can’t do it with three phone calls, I just can’t get it done. For me and that’s just how I measure things. I wasn’t comfortable saying that for a long time but then it’s to the point we have to understand your value and know your value. So… Because it’s a matter of just being there with a too good work. People know you and then there’s a little bit of luck… you know… my definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Nancy: Opportunity, yeah…
Terk: And… So I’ve just been fortunate where I’ve been in a position where I have had this always done good work and just being good to people. So when you’re good to people—you’re not going to really find anyone that’s saying anything bad about me. You just won’t—I can’t believe that there’s anyone that would have anything really bad to say about me.
They may have been disappointed but those disappointments happen. Those things happen in life but they’re not going to say “Oh he’s a bad dude” or “you can’t trust him.” So that has been a good thing.
Frank: What’s one of those hallmark projects that you’ve worked on?
Terk: I think every one of them is a hallmark for me, man. I mean, I don’t know, I think in the beginning you know… I just spoke to a group of kids that [unclear] on Friday and we talked about when people request something of you, it’s because they believe in you and they believe that you can deliver. So for me, most of the situations that I’ve find myself in in projects, I’ve been invited. I didn’t have to force myself into it.
So as a result of that, I’ve heard the invitation. I heard it well. What I mean by that is like somebody say “Hey man, I need or something” and it may not have been my specific field at that time but I knew it was something that I could deliver because they asked and if it didn’t work, I’ll be like “I can’t do that, man. It’s just I don’t know anything about it.”
So for example, how I got into the film world, television world was I got in Monty Ross and Monty man, he’s just been… He’s been like… he meant the world to me, man. I met him based on I came home and there was a childhood friend of mine named Wan Scott who was—Wan, we were young, he was an artist like he could paint, draw, sketch and I wasn’t aware that Wan was writing books, writing scripts and so Wan came over to the house man and Wan was like “Hey man, I’m writing a script” and ironically, at that time when we were working, I was reading his script, my phone just happened to ring and Monty called me. When Monty called me, I was like okay, and he said, “Hey man, I got your number from Bryan over at BET and I’m working on my directorial debut as a filmmaker and I would really like to talk to you.” I said “Okay,” for me I was like, why is he calling me about this? But I said, “cool.” He said, “I’ll be in D.C. tomorrow in Georgetown. Can you meet me at this theater?” And I was like, “Cool.” And I said, “I’m going to bring my boy with me. I didn’t want to come by myself.” He said, “Oh, it’s no problem.”
So when I hung up the phone, Wan was such a huge Spike Lee fan. I never forget man… Wan was like, I said, “Man, there’s some dude named Monty called man and he wanted us to come to this theater, he was doing a movie.” And immediately Wan was “Oh man! Is that Monty Ross?!” I was like, “Man, nah he didn’t say his name was Monty Ross.” He said, “Man, Monty, that’s Spike’s right hand, man man!” and I was like, “Dude, he didn’t say nothing about no [unclear] Spike Lee. We’re going to check this dude out.”
And so, we get in the car the next day and we drive and [unclear] Spike was standing right there in the corner, brah.
Terk: So then he said, “Man, there goes Spike!” I’m like, “I know. Chill bro, hold on, hold on.” So I was kind of marvelled by it but Wan was like gig—because you know, he just was a huge Spike Lee fan. So we parked and we go out and then went over to [unclear] and I said, “Hey man, I’m looking for this dude named Monty.” And then Spike said, “Hey Monty!” and then Monty came out. And it was a screening of private test screening for Jungle Fever. You know, it was a test screening, they want to test it and immediately, I was like man, this is dope. And I had already been in the music industry at that time.
Frank: That was kind of like Samuel Jackson’s Break Owl role.
Frank: I mean he really knocked that out of the park.
Terk: Yeah, as a matter of fact he won the Audience Award for that performance. I think it was the San Francisco—it was a Cannes Film Festival that year. But to make the long story long, from that moment, we went out to dinner and then Monty invited me over for breakfast the next day and he’s, “Oh man I need this. I need help with this.” It was when he was asking these things like I was like, “Sure, no problem,” because he was giving me direction. By him giving me direction, I could take that direction and said, “Let me call somebody I know. Blah, blah, blah…”
But then, as fate would have it, he went home that night and he called me. He said, “Hey Terk,” and I said, “Yeah?” He said, “Didn’t you tell me [unclear]” I’m like, “Yeah.” He said, “Carol was here.” And I’m like, “Carol who?” And it was interesting, Carol at that time was his girlfriend and she got on the phone and Carol had been a model in our very first music video. I was just stunned and then it all played back immediately about 2, 3 years earlier in Vogue had album with this party in New York.
We ran into Carol and then she introduces, “Hey this is my boyfriend.” And I remember that he was a tall dude with glasses. I said, “Man, we met in Vogue. You know, album with this party.” And from that moment man, I stuck to this dude—like I was his little brother. And he just had me everywhere, myself and Wan. He believed in us and I never [unclear] on my birthday, my 25th birthday and he took me out to—we went to BBQ’s in New York, man. He said, “Hey man,” and at that time Spike was 40 acres [unclear] film works was like the—they were the [unclear] filmmakers. They were huge. He said, “Man, you ever thought of making movies? I can teach you.” He said, “Man, we’re the best to ever do it.”
Terk: And it was true. But what no one ever really knew was before I even got into the music industry and I was this kid man, in junior high school [unclear] school, I always had a desire to want to understand that part of the entertainment industry. It was a small burning desire to want to be a part of that world but we never had access to it. Like nowadays, it’s different. Back then, it was just like trying to get to the moon.
Terk: And you know, when you have a burning desire, how do you fill that fire to really got there… So that’s the thing that’s important I was trying to tell these young people on Friday was that, the Nike commercial used to say “Just do it.” And…
Frank: It don’t say it no more?
Frank: Okay, alright.
Terk: I think they have a new campaign. But I remember it was like “Just do it,” and when you work towards it, the law of attraction—you know, with God’s blessing, he will give you what your heart really desires. So everything I do, I just walk in my purpose. Now that I understand it and know my purpose, it’s like a magnet. You walk on the street and this thing just ching, ching, ching… they just gravitate towards you. That’s what happens. That’s what’s going on with me now.
So for me, you know… that was just my invitation to the whole entertainment, the film world, the film of tv world—not music.
Frank: We’ll find out the rest of that.
Welcome to Frank Relationships, a show for you my brethren who like me, are too young to be considered old and too old to be considered young. It’s also for those of you that love and support us. We’re here to provide weekly wisdom, conversation and the information that’ll help create loving and flexible parents and partners.
I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. If you’re listening to the show on Blog Talk Radio, please follow us and if via iTunes, please subscribe so that you can effortlessly get the show each week. And if we deserve it, please give us a favorable iTunes rating.
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Greetings to my super duper co-host. She’s beautiful, she is the consummate generalist, Nancy Goldring.
Nancy: Good morning, Frank.
Frank: How are you?
Nancy: I’m great, thank you.
Frank: Great, great.
Nancy: I’m excited to be here.
Frank: Yeah. We haven’t danced… it feels like a long time.
Nancy: I’m telling you…
Frank: And it hasn’t been a long time but it just feels like it.
Nancy: Feels like it, yeah…
Frank: I missed you.
Nancy: Thank you. Wow, thank you.
Frank: We’ve got a special guest today that’ll help us develop an understanding of the entertainment industry. He’s a former member of the hiphop and RNB group, Whistle. Now how often can you say that about a group? Hiphop…
Nancy: And RNB.
Frank: …and RNB.
Terk: You need to say it loud. [unclear] say it now.
Frank: Yeah, yeah.
Terk: Everybody does it… we were the first to ever do that. we’re first to do it.
Frank: Whistle’s hits included “Barbara’s Bedroom”…. (singing) I was in Barbara’s bedroom…
Nancy: (singing) in Barbara’s bedroom…
Frank: And bugging…
Nancy: Bugging? You got… oh my goodness… Yes…
Frank: See? A lot of folks listening, they don’t know nothing about that unless they’re at my age.
Nancy: Now I know those two songs—
Nancy: —but I didn’t know that… There’s so much I didn’t know.
Frank: Jeff, you know about that song.
Jeff: I was playing that on the radio in 1988?
Jeff: That right?
Jeff: I knew you looked familiar.
Terk: Yo! Wait a minute, that’s when I walked in and like “Wait a minute, you [unclear]…”
Terk: Yeah, that’s right.
Jeff: And BET.
Terk: BET, right. Kind of like, wait a minute… As a matter of fact,—
Jeff: We played with some—
Nancy: There we go…
Terk: That’s crazy because I came [unclear] I know this guy—
Jeff: He’s going to bust me, I know it.
Terk: No… Because that… right around the corner here, it’s interesting, yes at BET, at the studio. When I said, “I know this guy.” I walked in, I know this guy. I was like, I said, “Well man, maybe he’s been around” but yeah man, that’s where my television experience came in over which is [unclear].
Jeff: I’m sure.
Terk: Yeah. We just gotten those guys, man and… when I walked in, I said, “He looks so familiar”—liek ah, nah…
Jeff: It’s a small world.
Jeff: Here’s a small world.
Terk: That’s what it is. And I used to sit in on those editing sessions, man. So when I was in Whistle, we did a video solo with Donnie Simpson. I would never forget, man. I was hanging out at the green room. So that’s how I got into television and television started in high school. So when I was a [unclear] high school, we had—
Frank: You got to let me finish my intro.
Terk: Okay [unclear]… I didn’t know it was intro, [unclear].
Nancy: Listen, you know the game was a [unclear], right?
Terk: I thought it was a commercial break. I thought it was a segway, bro.
Frank: After his 10 year with Whistle, he leveraged his understanding of the music industry as an artist on to the administrative side. He’s worked with entertainers such as Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton, Kid ‘n Play, Taraji P. Henson and currently, Morris Chestnut.
So, if you want to know how important who you know is into breaking it into the entertainment industry, how to break into the music business specifically and what the major traps are to avoid so that one has industry longevity, then stay tuned as your Frank Relationship Team talks about the entertainment industry with the ultimate facilitator, Terk Stevens.
Welcome to the show.
Terk: Oh man…
Frank: Or maybe you should welcome me.
Terk: [unclear] I got excited. Because Jeff, I was trying to put it together…
Frank: Before we get too deep into today’s subject matter, I want to check in on what’s going on in the news or what’s going on in the world around relationships. Terk, please don’t be bashful. In fact, you may want to kick it off. You got something you want to talk about, we want your thoughts also. I don’t hear you jumping at the bits, so Nancy, Nancy what?
Nancy: He doesn’t hear you jumping at the bit, I’m not jumping either.
Nancy: Come on.
Frank: It’s my turn.
Frank: Okay. I got a quote that I [unclear].
Frank: It says… “Truth is, everybody’s going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for” by Bob Marley.
Nancy: Everybody is going to hurt you, you just have to find the ones worth suffering for which you wouldn’t know until you were suffering? You would know who would be worth it until you were in the throes of suffering…
Frank: I don’t think that’s true.
Terk: Repeat that again.
Frank: Everybody’s going to hurt you—and this is, I’m turning it into my own version so I’m not, you know… I’m not taking this [unclear]…
Nancy: He’s incapable with the right quoter….
Terk: Yeah, because that’s just too vague and I don’t care about if it’s Bob Marley. Now I don’t really that’s… A lot of people they just become so intrinsic about the person’s… as a fan like [unclear] hell no, I believe in that statement, everybody’s going to hurt you.
Nancy: Yeah… I’m like I haven’t been hurt by everybody.
Terk: If you summarized that, I got to hear the whole thing.
Frank: Okay. I’m saying it again. “Truth is everyone’s going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for.” And so, what I hear is that there’s… Basically, I did a video that’s touched on this recently that joy and pain are intrinsic parts of human relationships.
Frank: And it’s just certain people are worth experiencing the pain side because of how much joy you get from dealing with them.
Terk: But the keyword is “certain people” like here’s—
Terk: That was the blankest statement “everyone’s going to hurt you.”
Frank: Everyone’s going to hurt you.
Terk: Everyone’s capable of hurting you.
Frank: Everybody’s capable of—
Terk: That’s different that everyone’s going to hurt you.
Frank: Well, okay alright.
Terk: You know what I’m saying? That’s just my take on it. I’m like everybody’s capable—everyone IS capable of hurting you but… you know, if Bob says “Everyone is going to hurt you,” I’m like… that’s like some shot [unclear] some deep hurt…
Jeff: Consider the source.
Jeff: When you grow up in Jamaica under the conditions he did, that’s a given.
Jeff: So you have to be suspect. I think it means pick your battles.
Terk: Right. I agree with that. It does [unclear]. And then when you look at it that way, under the conditions of that time, yeah I can understand it.
Nancy: It sounds more like pick who you’re going to battle with.
Terk: But that leans itself back to the position of relativity. Everyone’s experience is different. So a person that had lived in that time or on those conditions and here we are at 2016, we all have different experiences. I never forget, man, you know all strong winds [unclear] one day I was talking to and the conservative [unclear]… and all [unclear] “Hey man—“
Frank: In many ways, the cool conservative. He’s actually an interesting guy.
Terk: Right. I did not like him for many years until I got to know him and I love him like my brother. So but he said, “My experience is not like yours.” He grew up as a conservative, republican, parents were well-off. So he didn’t have the battles that a lot of African-American expect him to fight because that’s just not his experience. So what’s interesting about that is that it’s true.
So when people [unclear] we always want everyone to have the same experience and then we can’t understand that this person—there’s a black person out there that want to vote for Trump. And those that don’t, I’ve set with them thinking that’s wrong.
Frank: You know there’s a set of sisters, literal sisters who stump for Trump.
Terk: Yeah, man. Yeah… Yeah…
Nancy: Stump for Trump?
Terk: I forgot their name… they crazy…
Frank: Yeah, yeah…
Terk: Because it’s really before—
Frank: It’s entertaining how [unclear]…
Terk: [unclear] it is…
Terk: You know, Diamond and Star, I think their names are… I shouldn’t have given that kind of credit but… [unclear]….
Frank: So anybody… Nancy… Oh speaking of Bob Marley, since you and Jeff have me on some years, I’m curious about the impact of Bob Marley when… At the time of his death, he passed I think in 1980. So what was the—what do ya’ll think of him when he was alive? I mean, he’s talked about album sales and life after death. I mean he’s definitely lived on…
Frank: …in his work.
Nancy: No question.
Frank: And I mean, maybe the only rival to him is maybe Tupac and I hear you got a Tupac story, Terk but I’m curious.
Terk: At the time of his death, I wasn’t really aware of him.
Frank: Yeah because you…
Terk: I just knew—
Frank: You’re my age.
Terk: I just knew who he was. I just knew the name but as I got older and I expanded my musical base, I’m like “man, it’s amazing.” But see, what most of us understand, let me get on his education real quick about the origin of music… So the reason why people have this kind of lasting career or their music lives forever, the origin of music is really was a form of communication. It was never entertaining. So that’s how people communicated and spoke to one another. That’s how music was created, was to communicate.
So when you look at it at that perspective, then you get a chance to understand why music affects us the way it does and the reason why it has such lasting effects in our lives is because people are speaking to your spirit. You want to go to a spiritual perspective you know… like Satan was the minister of music…
Nancy: Yes he was.
Terk: …and he controlled it.
Terk: So that’s a whole another conversation. So when you understand those two, very strong dynamics and its purpose of what music did and how music affects us, then you can really understand when people really pursue or create musical content from its real origin and that is to speak to people. And it’s to, you know… Bob Marley, we wrote songs, he spoke to a condition that is applicable at any time and any era. Whether it was 1800 or whether it was 2200.
So that’s the reason why he’s had that impact and then it still affects… and then it was basic, when you’re simple about Reggae music and the Caribbean sound, it didn’t have to have too many accents in terms of how we create music. They were simple with it. The basic strum lick of a guitar, a basic kick drum and like Lionel Richie says is when he thinks about song writing, is simplicity is the key.
So you keep that in mind it’s like (making reggae sounds)… It’s just a rhythm. So that can transcend any genre, any group, any people, any era because it’s simple. It’s not too overly done, it’s not overly played. So with that being said, I think that’s the reason why he’s been able to resonate for so long.
Nancy: And the lyrics speak to [unclear]…
Terk: Yeah! Yeah…
Nancy: Speak two people, yeah…
Frank: Jeff, what you got?
Jeff: I know it’s your show. So I’ll try to brief. There’s a reason why that album is called “Legend.”
Jeff: Because he is one. And you mentioned Tupac, Jimi Hendrix also postpartum.
Frank: Yeah, yeah.
Jeff: Become more of a legend. I was 20 when he died. Reggae was bubbling under. Bob Marley was not the first Reggae artist here.
Frank: Right, right.
Jeff: Reggae hits back—you know, Montego Bay in the ‘60s and all that… BUT his lyrics and what he represented to the people spreading it worldwide.
Jeff: And thanks in large parts to a guy named… Chris Blackwell, Island Records.
Jeff: It became a worldwide phenomena and he was probably 5 years before coming THE biggest artist in the world. He probably is now. In fact, there was a debate last week who’s more famous Jamaican, Bob Marley or Usain Bolt. It’s absolutely Bob Marley. But today, you know…
Jeff: I still would walk past to Usain Bolt on the street, maybe recognize him. Bob Marley? Forget about it. So what he represented to the Jamaicans, what he does now? There’s still a statue of him. You land in Kingston or Ocho Rios and you’re hearing “Stir It Up” and he had about a dozen hits. He could’ve had 300, you know but it is that post. And just one side note—I think George Harrison, might have been Eric Clapton, he made Bob Marley’s, one of his songs great hit “I Shot The Sheriff.”
Terk: Eric Clapton.
Jeff: Okay, Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton said, “Bob Marley’s music was his attempt to play rock ‘n roll. “Attempt” because he never got it right.
Jeff: And thank God.
Terk: Yep, yep.
Frank: Yeah, wow, wow. Nancy?
Frank: What’re your thoughts on…
Nancy: Marley was already gone when I found out who he was and…
Frank: So you were a nerd?
Nancy: Thank you, Frank.
Frank: Yes, yes… Is that what I mean… Yeah, that’s…
Nancy: You know, I…
Jeff: Past tense.
Nancy: Thank you, Jeff. I’ve recovered… on some level. But yeah, he—reggae music, Marley, that kind of was happening around me but I would not have called myself a “fan,” I had definitely respect for Marley and I enjoy his music. But when I think of what it means to be a fan like did I own his music, did I go to… I went to a couple reggae clubs that probably has some of the best fun I’ve ever had…
Frank: I wonder was that about the music or some…
Nancy: No, it was absolutely—
Frank: …some accessory to the club—
Nancy: The club crime. So but I did, more than anything in those clubs, I think it was the… I don’t even want to say something as general as the energy because there’s energy in every club but there’s a certain primal nature to partying in a club where reggae’s being played. There’s a…
Terk: I would agree with that.
Nancy: Yeah. There’s the natural roll and floor, the body, there’s no… I almost want to say “no inhibition” and yet there’s no disrespect.
Nancy: And so…
Frank: That’s a fine line.
Nancy: Yeah, it just [unclear]… there’s just so much room to be in that environment and so I feel if he was party to anything to me, it was that striking the match at another level of liberty that I didn’t know it was available until I entered that world.
Frank: It’s interesting that this conversation can become one of Bob Marley and really from his quote and just… how many places we find ourselves going on the show.
Nancy: Yeah, yeah…
Jeff: Are you sure it’s about relationships?
Jeff: And relationship that I have with Bob Marley as a personal one as is any music fans. He takes me to another place.
Jeff: I listen to that live, it’s a 23-minute song, the live—I don’t even remember where… Live at the Roxy, let’s say. I think it is. It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable music.
Frank: On another note, on a relationship note, he had many women…
Frank: …he had many children…
Frank: And it’s my understanding when he died, I think it’s part of the rasta culture that you just, you let the chips fall where they may. You leave things to—there’s no will, there’s no… You don’t inherit anything—
Nancy: Just keep living…
Frank: —unless you go to court, fight about it, that sort of thing. He just, he was out.
Terk: But I think… [unclear] Marley who was really the [unclear] in his life…
Frank: Yeah, yeah…
Terk: The one who he really, really genuinely cared for and loved, and he probably loved all of them but there’s always that one queen…
Terk: …that’s always there and right from the start, I think she’s the one that really—and I’m not sure [unclear] but when people say Bob Marley and Rita Marley so I think she’s the one like most great women in a man’s life, no matter how many trials and tribulations they go through, they’re the ones that keep it together. I think like you know, Rita Marley is probably that runs that state…
Frank: Yeah, I believe she is.
Terk: Ad rightfully so. So there’s always that one no matter how much you put her through…
Nancy: Sure, she hangs on…
Terk: …or she just has that kind of impact. She hangs in there but she has an impact with men, as a relationship show. No matter what, there’s that one person—I think one who would never really understand that in spite all our mistakes, bad decisions, and best intent to move positively forward, we hurt the people that we love, there’s that woman who always has that piece of you.
Frank: Yeah. I [unclear].
Terk: And that always has a piece of you. And then I think she unbeknownst to her, is the one that has that sense of entitlement, you know.
Nancy: But that takes me back to this. I don’t know that you know who that woman’s going to be until you’re—
Nancy: —in the [unclear] with her.
Terk: Right, right. That’s a fact.
Nancy: That’s why I said I couldn’t really connect with choosing who it’s going to be. There had been people that impacted my life in immeasurable ways and I could not have known that when I met them.
Frank: It’s the joy factor. It’s how much joy you get or how many assets tangible/intangible that you get from a person that makes the pain that you are going to encounter worth it or not. That’s what I hear and think.
Nancy: Well, let me say this to you about that… because the only thing I can say about that is… That the quality of joy you get or gain or experience with another person may be what keeps you going back and for the joy and the pain.
Terk: But is it really joy or is it contentment? Like I find myself in relationships where you want to walk away from it and then you don’t walk away from it because there’s some connection that’s there. And I don’t know if it’s really joy or just think that there’s a connection that you may have with a person.
Frank: It’s value.
Terk: Right. But you don’t see it as value.
Frank: Yes you do. You may not admit it but you—
Nancy: It’s value that connection you mean?
Frank: You value something. That’s the reason you keep coming back. There’s some value there.
Terk: Let me meditate on that for a minute.
Jeff: Read Marley’s quote again.
Frank: Marley? “Truth is everybody’s going to hurt you…”
Jeff: Talking about women. He’s talking about women.
Frank: Okay, alright.
Nancy: No, but he’s talking about everybody, Jeff.
Frank: [unclear] kind of find the one worth suffering for.
Jeff: That, your life made is worth suffering for.
Nancy: I think he—
Jeff: Male or female.
Nancy: Male or female.
Frank: So here’s a transition for—
Nancy: I think friendship yeah…
Terk: Well see, if you look at it from that perspective, I think it’s dead spot on. Your kids, anybody that you—
Nancy That you’re in a relationship with.
Terk: —you’re in a relationship with that you know, that if you look at it at that perspective then I can agree with that statement.
Nancy: [unclear] like pulling your hair out.
Frank: Okay, alright.
Terk: I can agree with that blank statement where the truth is the people that you care about that you let in your circle, they’re going to hurt you. So I can live with that statement [unclear].
Nancy: And they can only hurt you because you care about them.
Terk: Right, exactly.
Frank: Alright. So moving into something a little more—I guess I want to say “current” but that didn’t really fit. Who watches Power? You watch Power, Terk?
Terk: I watch it every now and then.
Frank: Come on. You don’t watch Power every now and then.
Terk: Yeah I mean I just don’t have time to.
Frank: it’s like watching the wire.
Nancy: Thank you!
Frank: That’s like watching the wire every now and then.
Terk: Let’s be clear, man. You know people that I know I don’t-it’s very rare. Like so the first season of Empire, I watched every episode and Mo, you know Morris is one of my best friends so…
Frank: Morris who?
Terk: Chestnut. So I haven’t even watched an entire season of Rosewood. I did a screening here for the pilot last year but… So I just have it. People that I have—I guess I close to it so I just haven’t had a chance to really watch it. So [unclear] and I are friends and I haven’t really watched an entire season of [unclear]. I know about it and I’m in-tuned with different behind-the-scenes from a distance.
Frank: Alright. So I’m going to give a little history. It’s season 3 right now…
Terk: I’m aware of that.
Nancy: You know the [unclear], didn’t even asked me. Isn’t that deep? Go on Frank. Please, move forward.
Jeff: Leave him alone. He’s worth suffering for.
Nancy: He is, he is Jeff… He is, god knows…
Frank: Okay, alright. Well, the protagonist, Omari Hardwick? Is that his…? Yup. He is—
Terk: [unclear] right?
Frank: Yes, [unclear]. James St. John? I forgot the name. I’m a fan of the show but I don’t know their names. So he’s the protagonist…
Terk: St. Patrick.
Frank: St. Patrick, yup.
Terk: James “Ghost” St. Patrick.
Frank: He has at the beginning of the show, meaning at the first episode of the show I the first season, he became re-acquainted with a woman that he went to high school with…
Frank: The Puerto Rican woman.
Nancy: Who’s a police officer/investigator.
Frank: She’s a district attorney.
Nancy: Yeah, got it.
Frank: And so they reconnected and they’ve started a relationship but he is also married to a sister who is…
Nancy: Deep into the lifestyle.
Frank: Yeah, what the he—you know, okay Nancy. I’m sorry…
Nancy: That’s okay, Frank. That’s alright. Keep it rolling.
Frank: And she knows where the bodies re, she’s part—she’s a G in her own right.
Frank: Well when he started dealing with the Puerto Rican woman and… What’s the… Tasha. When Tasha, the black woman, his wife, found out about it, she basically dipped. She got angry and was of the position that no, this relationship’s over…
Frank: Now, when I think about these two women, they are both powerful women. When I look at him and his dealings, especially in his third season with both of them, like he needs both of them. They both eat off the same plate… I mean, Angie… Angie at some level, she’s getting into the life where she’s very supportive of Ghost and his other activities, whether she really wants to or not but she loves him and is going to look out for him even though when it’s conflicting with her job.
It seems though the two women, I think it would be incredibly powerful if somehow, they worked together… Like if they just took it on as polygamy because of both of their strenght, their power, their savvy… If they would’ve talked to each other as though they were family—
Terk: Would that happen in real life? I mean my mother, my father… My dad left my mother and then he re-married and they got to the point where the new wife was calling my mother. They’ve had conversations and things like that so it happens in real life.
Frank: But was your pops still—did he continue to be in relationship with your mom?
Terk: That was definitely over and done with. But my mother’s a counsellor and adviser in the house. So that’s before she got her degree and became certified… But at the end of the day, there was no polygamous relationship… it’s a rarity but those things do exist, well people can do that. but yeah, it’s a reality. And fortunate thing about beige human, that fortunate thing about those kind of relationships is that they are practical realities and you have to get to a point when you know a person is not doing good, you have to make real grown-up decisions and those grown-up decisions is that there’s no way in the world that that world mischievousness can balance out where the woman who’s a cop or the DA can be involved in a relationship with a man like that and not see that there’s going to be a blind sign.
Frank: Oh yeah.
Terk: You can get away with it one or two times but to live in it, it does not work. All good thing come to an end.
Nancy: Right. The question is how’s this [unclear]?
Terk: And so I’m just saying’s like for people who’s listening out here, fact and fantasies is that you know… there’s nothing good can come out of evil. There’s nothing good can come out of evil. You can…
Nancy: Okay but here’s the thing… What’s evil? How he makes his money or the dynamic between him and the two women? Because there are people who’s going to be listening that are going to say that is all evil.
Terk: Well all. All aspects of it so like well I can’t say, see I’m a little bit different. I can’t say that a person has multiple relationships and they all know about each other in the works. I don’t think that’s evil. I think that that’s a world that they choose to live and it works for them. It may not be applicable to everyone. You understand what I’m saying? So what I mean by evil is that this man is living a lifestyle that’s illegal.
Frank: Is illegal evil? Is illegal wrong?
Terk: Yeah. See, there’s a difference between—because everybody, everyone can find righteousness in their own world.
Terk: So even though—so we have the laws of the land, then we have the laws of scripture. You understand what I’m saying? So the laws of scripture supersedes the law of the land but scripture tells you that we must always obey the law of the land.
Terk: So as a result of that, and this is where it gets very confusing with man on earth is that man on earth looks at the scripture and even though the scripture that god enforces, but the scripture dictates to us that we must obey the law of the land. Obey the law of the land is whatever the laws of the land may be even if we may disagree with it, if you break there are consequences.
Frank: Alright. So you’re three fifths of a man. That’s the law of the land or you do what your slave master tells you to do or you die and can get hung. So obey the law of the land—is that make it right?
Terk: What do you mean by that? You got to be more defined. It’s very vague and [unclear]…
Nancy: He’s saying not all the laws of the land.
Terk: Yeah but you [unclear]… At that particular time, you must obey them but those laws, those—to be able to publicly hang people, that’s not the law that stands today.
Frank: No, I mean—
Terk: And that wasn’t even a law back then. Those are consequences ignorant people who are breaking the law then because that was committing murder.
Frank: Well if there was a time where a slave master could kill his—
Terk: But that’s past tense, bro.
Nancy: [unclear] they were property.
Frank: No, no so when we are in that past, if we are standing in that past right now…
Terk: But we’re not. So I can’t—
Nancy: Well, all time are simultaneous. So you could say we are.
Frank: So if you’re taking the position that the law of the land, if you do not obey the law of the land, you are wrong.
Terk: You broke the law.
Frank: Well, yeah you’ve broken the law. That doesn’t make you wrong.
Frank: So if you’re looking at it from…looking at atrocities—
Terk: I know where you’re going with it.
Frank: Alright, like slavery, would you say it was okay in terms of let’s say, if scripture—you could look at the—
Terk: Well see that’s what I’m talking about in terms of relativities. So the reality is that the people that are suffering is not okay. But to white America, they really believed that was okay. Because of that, the system, the racism that exist today is still embedded there because people still believe in that because it’s embedded in them.
Frank: But what do YOU believe is my question.
Terk: I believe that… I’m answering the question for you. I believe that slavery was wrong. But it was the law of the land.
Terk: You understand what I’m saying?
Terk: So even if it was wrong, we have to obey the law of the land. [unclear] because they’re practical truths no matter what. We did what we had to do. So when you have something—the greatest thing about any society is that you know, you can make change. Historically speaking in the world, all things will and must change. You understand? So that’s the real practical reality. All things will and must change in this evolution process. So the practical reality of that is that how do we go about change? So we have Christians that get upset about gay rights, right? So I’m a Christian, so my thing is that we lost that battle. We should’ve fought harder. You follow what I’m saying? So if you don’t believe in gay marriage, I don’t believe we should change the… because by belief, is that we should change the institution of marriage as I was raised to believe but at the end of the day, I’m not going to be radical about it. It’s like, you know, you should have [unclear] voted against it. They have that right. See one of the things I do know for a fact is that all people have a human right. There’s a human right. The human right is that as a human being, that things that you want to do, you work towards succeeding at that. So if you want to take prayer out of school, somebody did that. if you want to be able to have polygamy, you could change that law, like the Mormons in Utah… You have the rights to make those kinds of adjustments and changes and you fight for those things.
So that’s the system that we live in. If you can apply the system Donald Trump here behind that what he says, where his bankruptcies is… it was his right. He used the system to benefit him.
Terk: Right. So that’s how we have to do it. So how do you go about making those changes? Understand the system and you beat the system legally. Some people don’t have the endurance to run the race, some people don’t have the [unclear] all to make the change… But these are laws whether I agree with them or not. These are the laws of the land and we have to learn how to effectively make a change. Now they may not be right in terms of how it affects you but it’s really he law of the land.
Frank: Was Nat Turner wrong?
Frank: Okay. But…
Terk: And as a result of that, he became a martyr like everybody else and we have changed. Now I tell people this all the time, [unclear] what the subject that was going on with police brutality…
Frank: Well he didn’t obey the law of the land.
Terk: Right, right.
Nancy: No, he fought against it.
Terk: But there was a price and he paid for that. The price of freedom is death. So that’s what I’m saying, this is a long road we’re about to go down but—
Frank: But the question was, the question related to if you are wrong, if the legal system, if the law and not obeying it makes you wrong… And you said the legal system is superseded by scripture.
Frank: And yet scripture includes the legal system. So it’s kind of a circle.
Frank: However, if I asked you if you break the law, “the law of the land” are you wrong? According to you, you are. But if I asked you if Nat Turner was wrong,—
Terk: He was wrong. He was—you see, you’re not going to get me on that one, bro. What I’m—
Frank: It’s not—
Terk: What I’m saying is that he like, when people fail to realize is that you can break the law, you are wrong for doing it even if it was for a good cause. You understand? Even if it’s for a good cause, you’re breaking the law like they sat in in those restaurants knowing that there was white only, and that was the law. Even if it was for a good cause, it was wrong.
Now they were supposed to go to jail, they shouldn’t have gotten beaten up. You know what I’m saying? That’s my point. The brutality of it is how people respond—
Frank: But beating them was legal.
Frank: But beating them was legal.
Terk: No, beating them was never legal, bro.
Frank: Yes it was.
Terk: No, beating them was never legal. What happens is that people took it upon themselves to enforce violence.
Frank: No, police officers beating them because they sat it—
Nancy: Timeout, timeout, timeout. This show is actually supposed to be Terk and getting into the entertainment business.
Frank: Okay. Alright.
Jeff: I don’t know where you been to know where you’re going.
Nancy: Oh my goodness…
Frank: Alright, alright. Lionel Richie. You brought Lionel Richie up and I saw—I went to a concert of his about 2 years ago. It was magical. I mean, the resume… His resume, his book of songs—
Frank: Absolutely incredible. Give me something more of Lionel Richie.
Terk: I don’t have anything other than my boy, Chuckie Booker. You know, his music director. I mean, I’d love the Commodores, I love what he represents but I mean I don’t know him personally.
Frank: Okay, okay. Alright.
Jeff: I produced 4 of his videos but I don’t know what you mean by give you something because you got it. He’s a consummate professional.
Jeff: He makes a lot of money because of his publishing.
Terk: He controls it too.
Jeff: And he’s smart with it and when you think of the ‘80s, there’s you know, on one hand, it’s Michael, Prince, Madonna, Lionel, Tina and then there’s a couple of groups in there too but that’s pretty much RNB in the ‘80s. I’m old enough to remember the Commodores and he was a part of it and though he says he still is, they were the elite [unclear]…
Frank: What’s he saying I terms of they still [unclear]?
Jeff: He will always be a Commodore.
Terk: Even though he don’t talk to them, they don’t work together.
Frank: But they’re not even the same people anymore.
Jeff: No, no, no…
Jeff: I’m sorry…
Frank: He doesn’t—I don’t think there are any of the old Commodores that he worked with that is still in the group.
Jeff: Walter—there might be one or two. a couple of past… I mean, but yeah. But again, use the word “legend.”
Jeff: Go see Earth, Wind and Fire. There were only two or three.
Frank: Yeah, right.
Jeff: But they’re… so it’s a good cover band.
Frank: And add to a conversation about a legend, Smokey Robinson who also did the song writing makes a grip off of the publishing… He’s also worth speaking at the level of Lionel Richie, if not maybe even more so, or higher.
Jeff: Oh more. Mow town is him and Berry. You know…
Frank: Yeah. Wow, okay. Lionel Richie, Taraji. Okay, you’ve mentioned Taraji P. Henson and you mentioned Empire. So what have you dealt with or done as it pertains to her?
Terk: I mean, we just have a friendship. I mean her career is managed by a friend of mine [unclear] Pam is her publicist. We just have a great friendship and I work with them in terms of different marketing strategies when things come out. for example, she has a new book coming out right now, so I had a meeting—me and my partner, Trick we had a meeting with him last week and she has a new book coming out. So I get a call and say, “Hey Terk, we’re trying to push this book. Help us push this book ad handling some appearances for her.” But I mean, a lot—
Frank: And what would you do? So you get a call like that, what do you do?
Terk: We have a meeting… When I go to LA, I spend time in the office. I utilize the office space and we just have a great relationship. So just to be able to assist in terms of some strategies, in terms of whenever there are projects. So what happens to overall, give it overall concept of how fallen into this, it started with me as being an artist and as a recording artist, Whistle, I fostered really good relationships with people with other artists, right? And I never forget like with [unclear] and Tony Tony Tony, at that time I never get—we would have these conversations on the road and I would always say “Hey, you should try this. Let’s do this issue.” Give them different strategies and they got to a point where people are like, “Oh man, you know I like the way you think. That’s even how I got I Whistle. I became friends with the guys first and then they wanted me to be the road manager and they overheard me singing one day. They said, “Yo, this kid can really blow” and they invited me in the group.
So throughout the years, with having personal relationships with people, we would share thoughts and ideas. They were like, man they thought my ideas were cool. So they would lean to me to help them with certain projects whether it was a record coming out or what have you and I would help try to market and promote those records and those songs. So I indirectly became like an adviser or a friend that would help outside of being an artist or colleague and that kind of grew. It grew to the point where when I no longer was pursuing music, the group broke up. I started working with friends—I don’t know how the hell I fell into that with actors. It started with Allen Payne, with New Jack City and AP and I… Allen Payne and I became very close friends and [unclear] spending time with him, I got a chance to be with actors. With that, you [unclear] relationships.
So the first thing started with New Jack City when I was at Howard, me and this dude named Frank in San Francisco, we did this New Jack City party who invited Wesley and the whole cast down. It became this big event. We were the first ones to really before anyone were doing them in the country to do these parties around these films with these actors. They started to expand and grow. So I moved to Michigan and I was at Michigan State and I was at Michigan State University. I became the director for the coalition [unclear] education.
So I had a budget. It was interesting to do just whatever I want and a friend of mine invited me on the set of this music video of Maxwell. I get to the set, my boy was like one of the assistant DPs (director of photography). Morris walks in and Malcolm Lee and all these other guys walk and say this… And I knew Malcolm because of Monty Ross which is Spike’s… Malcolm is Spike’s cousin and just being over at 40 acres, I remember meeting Malcolm, he was over at Georgetown at that time. I was like, “Yo” we kind of connected and I said, “Yo, Malcolm.” [unclear] we became friends and he told me he was doing his movie called “The Best Man.” So I said, “Yo, I want to help you promote this film,” and I had already done a couple of them like ring master with Jerry Springer. I was promoting these movies on college campuses. I said, “Yo, you’re my man. I want to help you with this film,” and I kind of reconnected with Morris because I met Morris through Allen Payne during his big hay day.
From that, everything that they did, I was really promoting and helping to market these projects. So it leans itself to the same thing what happened to Gabrielle Union. I was at Michigan State and I would do these big celebrity basketball games. I would do all these different projects and I would invite them in and give them this platform before they all broke, before they became these big stars. And so that’s what happened. Being able to have platforms in college campuses and expand that. so she and me started to take off so my relationship started growing. I’ve always produced.
So with the relationships, I was able to really continue to do that. Produce and have these friends that will be able to come and support my projects things I do.
Frank: So you don’t let people—you don’t meet people and then just meet them and then life goes on. You actually meet people and cultivate the relationship and often stay in touch and see how you can help them or how you all can help each other—that sort of thing.
Terk: Well, relationships should be mutually beneficial.
Terk: Right, and a friendship, and a sincere—
Terk: —and they’ll tell you that I’m really sincere about it.
Terk: So I can’t say cultivate the friendship and from that, there’s always something that may pop [unclear]. Chris Spencer said at one time, at the BET Awards, we were backstage and he was interviewing people and I was just back there with Mo. He said, “Come here, Terk.” And there I was in camera. He said, “This guy is Terk Stevens. Let me tell you something, for actors out here in America, when you may have a dry spell, Terk finds you money.” It was interesting that he would say that. it was like, you know what? Yeah, that’s kind of true.
He said, you know when we do a project and that’s when I started walking my truth because when people start speaking it, the scripture tells you a man that bears witness to himself bears false witness. You let somebody else tell it.
Terk: And when you hear people say it, you got to believe it because it has effect to people. So I was like, “Yeah, that’s kind of true.” Because I’m just living… On my journey here on this planet, I’m just living it. I’m enjoying the journey.
Frank: I want to take the conversation back a little bit because I remember a drop of a history of Whistle. Whistle got put on by UTFO.
Terk: That’s a fact.
Frank: Untouchable Force Organization.
Terk: That’s a fact.
Frank: And UTFO was there. Their big thing was the Roxanne, Roxanne, Roxanne…
Frank: That was huge for me as a kid.
Nancy: I don’t want to be your…
Frank: So you stay in touch with—
Frank: [unclear], Mix Master Ice— not Mix Master Ice, Dr. Ice and Educated Rapper.
Terk: Well no, I’ve never really had a great relationship with Educated Rapper but… So that’s the thing. So anybody would tell you, it’s so funny, man, that I do stay in touch with people. I stay in touch with people and I think that’s how it’s all connected. I really do. It’s always been that way. I was the guy that always just kept in touch with people like, “Hey man, how’s it going? How’s your mom doing? How’s your brother doing?” and that still works.
So my birthday party next year, everybody will be there.
Nancy: When’s your birthday?
Terk: July 8 and it falls on a Friday so I’m going to have a weekend celebration—
Terk: Yeah. So I’m going to have a big weekend celebration and that weekend celebration, there will be—[unclear] said good luck. [unclear] reunion, we will perform, Whistle perform. I’m going to have special there, my whole labor mates so we will all [unclear], UTFO, [unclear]…
Frank: Well Howie T.?
Terk: Yep, [unclear] Whistle, Roxanne, Kid ‘n Play, we’ll all be there. I’m going to have the Tony’s come out and perform, try to get Ray, Raphael back with the group. This is a big, big celebration.
Terk: I’ve never done this before. So this year I threw myself my first birthday party. I threw myself a surprise birthday party.
Frank: You threw yourself a…
Nancy: A surprise…
Terk: And that’s the first one I ever threw myself a birthday party. I’m now starting to say, “You know what? [unclear] damn it. I know these people and I want to celebrate with these people. I didn’t use to do that.
Nancy: Yes. Yeah, okay. Okay.
Terk: So in 2010, I ran for a Congressional… [unclear] in the city of DC and I forget my campaign manager was like, “Man, you know all these people. Have you told her?” I said, “Nah, [unclear] I don’t want to be that candidate that have this relationship.” He was like, “Man, what are you crazy?” Shock [unclear] all baby. You got to break the [unclear]. People didn’t know this, no. I was like, “Well no, what does this have to do with me doing the work?” He told me, he was like, “Look man, you need to use whatever instrument you have for people to know who you are.” So I had to learn that.
So now, I can speak in my truth and I was like, “You know what? I know all these people. It’s my birthday. I would like to have my friends, my associates there who I work with and I’m going to have this massive birthday party.”
Frank: I remember seeing—
Nancy: And it happened?
Terk: No it’s next year.
Nancy: Next year? Okay.
Frank: I remember back I the day, I used to go see new edition at the Convention Center, the Washington Convention Center down on 9th Street and it was… the show I went to was UTFO, New Addition—
Frank: Nah, Lisa Lisa.
Jeff: And Patti LaBelle. I am [unclear] the show.
Nancy: Imagine that.
Frank: Wow, there’s a lot of history. A lot of history in this conversation. Okay. We kicked around Taraji. Now, what are you doing with Morris Chestnut these days?
Terk: We’re partners, man. We’re partners on several projects. I mean, outside it’s being really good friends man. We have a couple projects we’re working on in terms of film, like TV projects. So he’s doing Rosewood. He’s been successful, got picked up for a second season. “When the Bough Breaks” comes out in two weeks. Did couple other films we’re working on. We work on projects together. So you know, co-producers and things like that.
Frank: How does somebody get in touch with you? They interested in—they got an idea of a project… Somebody—
Terk: It’s interesting because I don’t have business cards because I’m a referral based business. So people call me off of referrals. It just happened to be that way.
Frank: So that means, if somebody want to get in touch with you they can send you an email?
Terk: No, you can call me. My number’s public, man. It’s 510-205-0139. It’s like—and so all my social media and LinkedIn, Facebook… It’s funny people don’t realize that it’s in there. it’s there. it’s public, so…
Frank: Okay. Kick that number one more time.
Terk: It’s 510-205-0139. That’s my personal number and you can reach me and… I used to have an office right down the street. Now I probably can’t be here without really talking about my true level [unclear]—
Terk: That is good ground, good life, we’re a non-profit organization that really has been focusing on youth values [unclear], mentoring and we do work study program, we [unclear] we really focus on under-aged substance abuse and drinking. So now we have a mentoring app. One of the things I’ve created, I told them, we need to really take this antiquated system of mentoring people and we develop it right now, it should be ready by 2017. It’s an app, it’s called “The Village” and this app is a mentoring app. We focus on 4 different tiers, whether it be youth, collegiate adult, young adults and then seniors. Everyone needs a mentoring. I don’t care what you do.
Frank: Everybody needs a mentoring.
Terk: Everybody needs a mentoring. So we’ve taken mentoring and really elevate it into our handheld, in our mobile devices. So yeah, VIP – Virtually Impacting People.
Terk: That’s what we do. That’s how our passion… So that’s what I really live for, man. Goodgroundgoodlife.org. We have a shop for course with the partnership we have with Macy’s that’s coming up this weekend. So look for that.
Nancy: What’s happening with Macy’s?
Terk: Well, it’s—we have [unclear] raising projects and we’ve been working with them for several years. So you can go to goodgroundgoodlife.org, our organization and for $5 you can buy a gift certificate card that’s worth 25% off on anything in any Macy’s in the country this weekend.
Nancy: One time purchase or for some period of time?
Terk: For this weekend.
Nancy: Oh for this weekend? Okay.
Terk: They used do it every year around this time to drive back to school. So it’s a partnership we have for several years. Yeah, so we get… the $5 goes towards our non-profit organization.
Nancy: Got it.
Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with the ultimate facilitator, Terk Stevens. Terk’s been schooling us on the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. Terk, one more time, how can folks get in touch with you?
Terk: You can reach me through goodgroundgoodlife.org, my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell is 510-205-0139. We’re relocating into our new office in two weeks. Yeah. So we’ll be on New York Avenue. So…
Nancy: Oh you’ll be here?
Nancy: This will be your home base.
Terk: Oh I’ve always been here.
Nancy: Oh alright. Okay, okay.
Frank: He’ll be here in DC. Washington DC.
Terk: Yeah. Even I’ve been living in LA, this is home for me. I’m from Brooklyn, New York. Born in Brooklyn, New York. DC’s been home for me.
Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed our extended conversation on good and evil. Nancy broke that up. Very good, Nancy. That was nice. That’s what I pay you for.
Frank: Relaitonship building and more to the point genuine relationship building.
Frank: And of course, Good Ground Good Life is non-profit. Terk Stevens’s not a profit. Thank you to my co-host, Nancy Goldring; thanks to my engineer, Jeff Newman; and thank you to my guest, Terk Stevens. You’ve been great.
Terk: [unclear] Thank you very much for having me.
Frank: I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had hanging out with today’s ensemble. As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.
Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show.
This is Frank love.
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