Catfish Jean from Survivor’s Remorse

Catfish Jean is not only 100% real, he is also one of the hardest working people on the silver screen, smartphone screen and in the field giving back. The world-renowned, classically trained actor has returned for another season on “Survivor’s Remorse” and is staying busy with his tech company “Mobile First Entertainment” but also finds time to give back to Haiti and fully transition to a Vegan Lifestyle.

Congratulations on the start of Season 4 on “Survivor’s Remorse”. How excited are you as the fans watch season 4 roll on?
I’m very excited to come back for my second season and to be able to do more for the family. It’s really fun man. You know, last year I was a little heavier and this year when I came in to shoot, I had toned up and trimmed down and they’re like “Well damn, we’ve got to implement this stuff into your character.”
Next thing you know they you know they start making me look stylish. and all I’m thinking to myself is about continuing to become slim and trim so I can have more and more screen time. But I’m extremely excited on the whole as the family remains the same and we pick up where we left off on Season 3.

What was it like when you got that call that you were being brought back on for Season 4?
You know what’s crazy before I found out, myself and Megan Tandy would go back and forth because neither one of us knew at the time. So I just remained focused, stayed hitting the gym but when I got that call, I was relieved. Especially after not being in the season finale, it can definitely be an anxious waiting period. First thing I said after the call was, “Where and how fast do you need me?”

Do you guys record weekly or episodes in advance?
We record weekly for a regular 30-minute episode. Depending on how much I am on screen, most of the stuff is fresh and new to me because I’m not there as much as everyone else, especially last year. But unlike most shows we record sequentially so when I do garner a lot of time, it’s amazing to see how the team puts together the episodes to even keep us on our toes.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from someone on set?
We have Isaiah Washington on this season and we were talking and he told me his method when it comes to putting in the work even as someone who has been a Star actor for years. Myself and other cast mates were talking and they kept telling me that I needed to look at Isaiah’s scripts to really understand it. And when I tell you that he works like a mad scientist, that an understatement. He had notes everywhere and adjustments and really treated each line like its own creation. Isaiah told me that to this day that every Saturday he locks himself in his office plays a little music and does nothing but practice and work until he feels satisfied. As a relatively new actor, that was all the motivation in the world.

Besides “Survivor’s Remorse” what else can we look forward to seeing you in as 2018 rolls around?
Yes, of course. I’m in a new film called “Skin in the Game” which is about human trafficking of teens and I play a Guerilla Pimp. A lot of people think of Pimps as the flashy, loud-mouthed character that they are often portrayed as but what we fail to realize is that in these days and times, Pimps can look like your neighbor and you would never know. It’s a very scary, secretive world that not too many know about. It’s based on the missing girls from Baltimore. The same producers who made “Selma” and “13” are the ones behind this one.

This role sounds like something different and new for you. How anxious were you to prove to the producers that you were more than just the comical actor?
Walking into the audition process, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I was capable of wowing the team. They were familiar with me from my prior work and knew that I was on “Survivor’s Remorse” but after the audition, they were amazed by the serious side of me. I was laughing in my head like, “I always had this in me, I went to school for this.” I have been breaking into this side of the spectrum and to actually be on screen and move people means everything to me. And one of the consultants at Sony was pulling for me the whole time because he could feel the passion and see the desire in my eyes to make this role mine and mine only.

We know you stay busy on the acting side but can you tell us a little about Mobile First Entertainment.
Mobile First Entertainment is a company in which myself and my partners started off by giving Social Media influencers their own platforms to monetize their own videos and ads instead of going to Youtube or Vine. The beginning was rough because a lot of the viral stars weren’t down with the idea of growing with a startup.
So naturally we had to adjust and one of our partners managed to bring us over to WGN where we created an app to track analytics for the social media stars. And we were now beginning to catch on because our numbers and breakdowns are extremely precise. WGN wanted us to take over all of their shows but they were bought out and we moved in a newer direction and are currently trying to lock down our next stronghold. Now we are focused on giving web series and online shows their own spaces with all analytics from every social media platform, focusing around the Brand first and then driving the consumer to their desired streaming platform. We really want brands to become more self-sufficient by not watering down their value by sending fans to Youtube first as opposed to their own platform.

What’s the most satisfying part of the tech world?
The most satisfying part has been two-fold. I love learning that there are actually Black people in the tech world that are making huge impacts on a daily basis. Before actually really being deep in the tech side, I always assumed that people who looked like me where so few and far between but that’s not the case. The flip side to that coin is being one of the new Black faces that can be a motivation and role model for young black kids who may feel the same way I used to.

Tech world vs. the acting world, which is harder to navigate?
I would definitely say the tech world is harder to navigate because when you’re a new face with no connections to big players and investors, you get looked at funny by everyone. Especially when you step into these boardrooms with people who don’t care about your ideas and plans, they want proven results and in the beginning, all you hear is NO. And these “No’s” are directly to your face with no explanation and if they really aren’t feeling you, you will know it. In the acting world, a No, is usually not getting a callback but these so-called “Nerds” can be more ruthless then you would ever expect but when there are billions of potential dollars at stake, you realize it’s only business.”

Has being an actor helped you deal with the highs and lows of the Tech world?
Absolutely, it has. The team consists of a lot of strong-willed individuals that have hit very nice points in life, including a former pro basketball player and a few actors like myself, so it’s not like our hope and will in life is banking on the tech world, so it definitely helps when we get those famous “No’s”. But it has also made us a tremendously stronger team because we have added people to the mix that can play specific roles for us depending on what we may need.

My acting background definitely helps me maneuver through the tech world and often helps me see the comedy in a sometimes tragic world.
Besides your Big Screen and Little Screen work, you are also big on giving back, especially to your homeland of Haiti. Can you tell us a little about what you’re doing down there to help?
My parents are from Haiti and even though I was born and raised in America, I have always had a desire to learn and never forget my heritage especially because my dad refused to let me. There are a lot of Americanized Haitians that know nothing about their history and I am thankful that my dad kept ours alive. Ever since I was a child, I told my parents I would one day give back to Haiti and they both would laugh at me.

But now I am actually in a position and have a plan to make it happen. My first makeshift Community Center will be built in my father’s hometown of Jacmel and then I have plans to expand throughout the country. We as Americans take things like electricity and running water for granted and I want to be able to give the less fortunate Haitians the same luxury.

– Beads Z. Wider


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