Today we’d like to introduce you to Karlton T. Clay.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Karlton. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always had a love and a passion for writing. I have been writing since I was a child. On March 18, 2002, at the age of 16, I was diagnosed with leukemia. During that time, God gave me the inspiration to start my own production company, Victory Productions. I began in theater directing “Speak To My Heart” in 2003 written by Angela Griffin. In 2004, I produced and directed the first play that I actually wrote entitled “Leukemia And Me”, which focused on my battle with cancer.
I graduated from John S. Davidson Fine Arts in Augusta, GA in 2004, and I went to Georgia State University in Atlanta. During my undergrad tenure, I began my journey into web series. After getting rejected from the college television station, my business partner at the time, Lamont Johnson, developed a website for me to host my first web series “College Daze.” The series ran from 2006-2011.
Since then, I have written, produced, and directed a total of 12 shows traveling back and forth between Atlanta and Augusta: College Daze (September 2007-January 2011), The Lyons Den (February 2012-present), Karma (September 2014-April 2017), Lovers Lane (August 2015-present), Color Blind (November 2015-February 2017), Ex-Factor (December 2016-present), BrothAhood (January 2017-present), Bondage (September 2017-present), Sweet Mahogany (February 2018-present), My Best Friend (March 2018-present), Peace Be Steel (February 2019-present), and SistAhood (premieres July 2019). To date, I have written, produced, and directed a total of 328 episodes.
Also, under Victory Productions, I am currently the editor-in-chief of VPN MAG, an arts and entertainment magazine that highlights artists who are making waves in the industry. I am also working in partnership with 1 Accord Media to produce our first feature film, “The Oath.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. I have had my ups and downs especially with being what some call a “one-man band.” I literally write, produce, direct, edit, film all of my work, and even though it is satisfying to see my hard work pay off, it can sometimes be overwhelming and tiring. I have had situations where I have put together a production or a business team, but unfortunately, everyone does not have the same work ethic as you or they don’t share the same love for the vision God has given you, so the team has been dismantled on a few occasions.
Money plays a role in some of the struggles that I have encountered. I work a regular job along with walking in my passion so when expenses come for the projects, I come out of the pocket to pay for location rental fees, food, and some of the needs of the actors and actresses involved, i.e. gas, lodging. There have been times when I have had to depend on donations and sponsorships, but I haven’t been a major position yet where I have received the funding I need to take care of everything that needs to be handled during productions.
Victory Productions – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Under Victory Productions, I write, direct, and produce web series, short films, and theatrical productions. We specialize in really working with first-time actors who want to get the experience of what it is like to be in front of a camera or on the stage. I am proud of the fact that we can be a beacon of light and hope for people who want to get into the industry. A few of the actors and actresses who have worked with us have gone on to do more mainstream work.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I used to define success by the amount of money you make or the number of followers/subscribers you have by a certain amount of time. However, I have started to change my mindset and my viewpoint when it comes to success. For me, a marker for success is how much of an impact that you have on someone’s life. For me, if a first-time actor who is super “green” continues to grow and develop to the point where they are getting more work, I see that as a success because we had an impact. Or if someone watches the content that I put out, and in some type of way it has a positive impact on their life to where they can relate to the characters or it encourages them to make some type of change or to have a conversation, that is a measure of success. When you change your viewpoint, it allows you to continue to move forward in operating in your gift and your passion without worrying about what other’s are doing.
- All Of Our Content Can Be Viewed For Free – Youtube.com/victoryproductions
- VPN MAG – $10 for print copies and $5 for digital – thevpntv.com
- Merchandising Can Be Purchased at teespring.com/stores/the-vpn-store
- Website: youtube.com/victoryproductions
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/karltontclay
- Facebook: facebook.com/vpnetworkpresents
- Twitter: twitter.com/karltontclay
- Other: www.thevpntv.com
Jean-Paul Cassagnol, Rita Mae, Alan Lux Studios