SHAWN LUCKEY is an American actor, writer, and producer. Originally born and partly raised in Washington, DC, Luckey relocated with his family to North Carolina where he graduated Winston-Salem State University. After attending a Michigan law school for one year and realizing his repressed passion for the arts had become too much to bear, Luckey set his sights on New York City. Soon thereafter, he co-founded a NY-based theater and film production company, Diversity Players of Harlem. As a business partner to Dwight Ali Williams, Luckey was intricate in solidifying deals for screen actors Kevin Brown NBC’s (30 Rock) and Dennis L.A. White (Notorious; The Brave One) to perform Marq Overton’s Die Laughing during separate Off-Broadway productions. Collectively, he has written and/or produced over twenty-five stage and film productions in five years.
As a performer, he has appeared in a number of commercials, plays and movies. His theatrical credits include: Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play; Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky; and Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss. He has also appeared in Rev Run’s music video, Mind on the Road; and a NY Lottery Commercial. His directing credits include: Old Man Pete, among other projects, but his love of writing has manifested in the following: A Family’s Play; and the forthcoming projects: LaReina; and School Jerkz. Shawn’s film credits include: Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna; and Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. He has a host of independent film projects slated for completion, including short films, A Family’s Story; The Grit, The Grandeur; and also Walking Maris’ Way.
Q&A With Shawn Luckey
BS: What captures you the most about the theatrical arts?
Shawn Luckey: The creative notion is what captures me the most about theatre or in the arts in general. You can take an idea or concept, and essentially create a show or production that could potentially galvanize hundreds, thousands or in some cases millions of people. Regardless of the intent; or whether it’s for sheer entertainment, educating or informing audiences, the result is imminent.
BS: What is your inspiration when writing a storyline for a show?
Shawn Luckey: My inspiration for writing a story line is totally using the human condition as my guide. I’m not going to discuss a robber going into a bank to steal cash and leave without shooting anyone. But, what I will do is analyze and present the dynamic and three-dimensional character that presents him or her in a situation that has been brought on by another. In other words, maybe that robber is dealing with an ailing parent or child that has placed them in that situation. So, if you use that as the litmus test for creative writing you’ll find the story taking a life of its own.
BS: Have you encountered any setbacks in this industry? How did you overcome them?
Shawn Luckey: Setbacks in the industry are inevitable. It’s like purchasing a car. You know you need to get your oil changed and tires rotated on the regular, so just brace yourself without focusing on it. The only way to overcome it is to not. There are so many layers and driving forces that play a part in the entertainment industry that you’ll drive yourself crazy thinking about it. My mantra is “In order for the ARTS to LIVE, then we as artists must DIE to CREATE.”
BS: How do you stand above competition?
Shawn Luckey: I don’t really like to think of my fellow artists as competition. However, you’ve got to have some sort of competitive edge. There’s a lot to contend with to find commercial success. If you’re focusing on your brand alone, then you don’t have to focus on the competition. When we think of copying, we say “please Xerox this paper.” Or when we think of a baby’s diaper, we say “change the baby’s Pamper.” Believe it or not those companies have completely tapped into their branding power by upstaging all the other similar products on the market.
BS: What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Shawn Luckey: The most rewarding thing about acting, writing and producing for me is doing it all over again like it’s the first time with every new project but with a sense of purpose and elevation.