Today we’d like to introduce you to Ezekiel Ajeigbe.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ezekiel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started when I was a kid around the age of 7 or 8. I was born in March of 96 and grew up in Arlington, TX. Growing up my brothers and I watched shows like Keenan & Kel, All That, and other late 90’s/early 2000’s hit shows. I remember vividly sitting in front of the tv one day watching an episode of All That wondering, “who chooses these people to be on TV? I’m pretty sure I can do the exact same thing they’re doing. As a matter of fact, I can do it better! So they need to find me and put me on TV!”
So I immediately started imitating what I saw the characters doing but in my own little way. I don’t know what it was, but at that moment I just knew that I wanted to be on TV and in movies as soon as possible. And thus the dream was born. Mind you, I was only 7 or 8 at the time. As the years pass by, I was going through the motions any kid growing up would typically do. I went to school, played outside every chance I got, and just enjoyed life as a kid with no care in the world. All of this was the norm up until someone would ask me the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
I specifically remember always telling people I wanted to be a doctor, or something in the medical field, only because my parents would always talk about doctors and how respected they are in the professional world. Now, of course, every kid wants to make their parents happy, so no matter how many times I was asked that question, I would always give the same answer while neglecting my true passion. I’m at the age of 14 or 15 now and I remember sitting at home one day and my older brother came into the living room saying “hey dude, do you want to be on Disney Channel?!”
After hearing that, my eyes lit up and with excitement, I asked: “how?!” He then explained to me he heard some radio ad saying they’re looking for kids that want to act and are holding open auditions at a hotel in Dallas, Tx. This was the moment the acting dream I had as a child reignited. Days go by and we head out to the audition and I was so excited to even be there. They gave us a script prior to memorize and have ready for the open call and I came prepared! By the time it got to my turn, my heart was beating out of my chest. The casting directors then instruct me to look at the camera and deliver the sides given to me.
My father and brother were near the casting desk while I was nervously trying to find the words to say, and right before I began I look up at my brother and he thought it would be funny to try to make me laugh during my take. So I’m standing there trying to get my lines out, while my brother was behind the casting directors silently making the craziest gestures in order to make me laugh and mess up. Of course, I bust out laughing and never even finished the first sentence of my line. Before I could get myself together and ignore my brother’s movements, I hear the casting director yell, “next!” As soon as I heard that I walked off in sadness and anger that my brother basically blew my only shot at becoming an actor.
A week or so passes and the acting dream inside of me was still burning despite my failed audition the week prior. I began to do research as to how a person can get into acting and found a few links to auditions in my local area. Being a minor at the time, I was required to be accompanied by an adult at all times for everything.
My dad typically was the one who usually took me, but for whatever reason, on one particular day, he decided to stop taking me. I vividly remember leaving the barbershop ready to head to my audition with a fresh fade. I call my dad asking if he was still taking me to my audition (he agreed to take me 2 days prior to the phone call). And with annoyance, in his voice, he said, “audition? What audition? I really don’t see anything good coming from all this auditioning stuff you keep doing.” Mind you, at this moment I was probably around 15 or 16, so after hearing that come out of his mouth, I was furious and immediately hung up the phone!
At that moment, I vowed to do it by myself as soon as I turned 18 since my dad was no longer willing to help. Years pass and fall back into going through the motions as a teenaged boy. I went to school, played sports, went home, and repeated the same thing up until I got to college. I attended the University of North Texas after high school and kept the vow I made close to my heart. I was finally 18 but decided that I should wait till I left the house and went to college before I got started back in the acting craft.
Being that I’m of Nigerian descent, while in school I was, of course, studying biology in hopes of becoming a pharmacist in order to please my parents. Throughout my freshman year, I was still doing acting on the side while I was studying biology. By the time my 2nd semester came around, I was getting fed up with biology because I knew what I really wanted to do which was act.
With the longing feeling for the arts, I decided to tell my parents that I’m changing my major. I visited home to tell them I’m switching to something more artistic that fed my acting, but as an 18-year-old kid who’s parents were foreigners who moved to America to have a better life for their family, the only options they gave me to switch to was anything that led into the career field of an engineer, a doctor, or a lawyer. With limited options, I had the thought, okay, I’ll just do something they want, graduate, then just go do what I want with acting after.” Around that time, I was known around the campus as the guy who could fix electronics, so I decided engineering could be a good fit. So for the next couple years at the University of North Texas, I majored in Electrical Engineering and Technologies
It was around the end of my sophomore year when I started to kind of find myself going through the motions again and not really doing the things I knew I wanted to do with my life as an actor. I was still doing a few acting gigs here and there while I was a student, but I began to dislike the fact that I had to go to school for something extremely different from what I truly wanted. Junior year came around and the feeling of not doing what I really wanted got more intense. At that point, I came to the conclusion that I should take a semester off to see where acting takes me. I visit home again to ask my parents if it was okay to take a semester off, and of course, they said no. I try to push through my 2nd semester as a junior and I was in a deep depression.
I hated what I was doing in school, hated the engineering classes, and literally hated my life. It got so bad that my friends would ask my girlfriend at the time if I was okay because I would look miserable everywhere I went. It got to the point where I would say things like, “if I got hit by one of these campus buses, I would be glad that it would take me out of school.” As I was doing my best to drag through school, I received an email from a casting I submitted to for an opportunity to be in a movie shooting in Atlanta. Still having a love for the arts, I was ecstatic! The school year was coming to a close, so it was the perfect timing. I flew out for the production meeting and got the news that the project would run for 6 months and that they wanted me to play the lead.
As excited as I was, I was also in a huge dilemma. If I was to take the project, I would have to be out of school for a semester. I had no problem leaving school knowing how much I hated it, the true problem was trying to figure out what to tell my parents. I knew what I really wanted to do with my life, but at the same time, I didn’t want to let my parents down. Two weeks pass by and I finally build up the courage to tell my parents what was going on. I purposely brought my girlfriend with me so she could witness how strict they were when it came to education. As I began to explain how I didn’t like engineering and that I wanted to be an actor, tension rose ferociously quick. They began saying things like “so you’re going to drop out of school to do some movie?! Are you crazy!? How much are they paying you!? That’s not enough!”
I tried telling them that opportunities like this don’t always come, but they immediately shut me down by saying, “what makes you think you can make it?! How many people your age make it in acting without some kind of degree!? We won’t support you if you do this. You’ll never make it.” Then it finally ended in them telling me to grab what I came to get and leave.
That moment was the catalyst that pushed me to want to do it even more. So I took the opportunity, ran with it, and never looked back since. I’ve been in Atlanta for about a year now, and in my time span of being here, I’ve done about 3-4 movies and landed a recurring role on the show Dynasty on The CW. I currently have a couple of other projects lined up for me scheduled to go through the month of September 2018.
It wasn’t easy being out here not really knowing anyone or knowing if everything will work out the way you pictured it, but when God places a desire on your heart and you feel that “strong pull” inside saying it’s time for a change, he will take care of you!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not at all. There were a lot of tears along the way. There were times where doubt would creep in because I couldn’t physically see anything “big” happening for me at the moment, so I started questioning if God really wanted me to make the move to Atlanta. There were times where I was hungry a lot too.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Ezekiel Ajeigbe – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a film and television actor. I also model and dance as well but acting is my main thing. I feel like I’m different in the sense that I’m my own unique person. I can be handed a script and perform a piece completely different from what any other actor would do and have it still “work” for the character. Person A or person B can never do a piece the way I would do it because I’m my own person and not the same as them. It’s kind of hard to explain in words, but much easier to demonstrate in person.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I plan to open up my own production company in the future. I’ll still be acting of course, but I have a lot of ideas I want to bring to life. I could just pitch it to different networks and stuff, but in my opinion, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
- Modeling: $150 for 4hrs
- Website: EzekielAjeigbe.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Wallace, Hadiya