Photos by Vanguard Affinity Group
A MAN OF
THE STORY OF DRAPER WYNSTON
A MAN OF COLOUR THRIVING – THE STORY OF DRAPER WYNSTON
The film, art, and production industry has proven to be a challenging place for people of color. However, many actors of African descent have found their place and are souring heights doing what they love – acting. We had a sit down with actor and film director Draper Wynston to learn how he has been able to navigate the dreaded waters and thrive while at it.
The 40-year-old African American actor not only found his purpose in the film industry but has been able to grow into other fields by paying attention to his interests.
In his published self-development book, Letters to My Beginnings, the renowned actor invites readers to learn from his personal experiences of trying hard enough to get to where he wants to be and ripping the benefits of his hard work.
“I realize there are so many people who know what they want to do but don’t know where to start” Wynston stated, “Although you may have other life destructions happening, if you work five to ten minutes each day, you will one day wake up and realize that you are actually living your dream” he proceeded to explain Letters to My Beginning is set out to motivate people not to settle and to go after what they want in their lives. It encourages people to enjoy and leave the life that they desire. Wynston explains that he wanted people to know through his book, that they are not facing the challenges of life and becoming on their own.
The actor, who is currently working on his second book, admits that it was acting that opened doors for him to publish his first book.
"Before anything else, I am an actor. When I was younger I loved to entertain my family during gatherings and to impersonate other people” he told us. “acting is what has opened doors for me to do other things, like the book and the podcast which now has over 106 episodes”
Draper Wynston also owns a production company.
He recognizes the challenge that is there for black people to find their space in Hollywood and strives to be part of the solution. Since he got serious about acting in 2018, Wynston has been cast in many films and shows. He explains that he is proud of shows like The Black Panther which created opportunities for black actors but also understands that such shows are only but a hand full.
"There are not so many opportunities for us as black people as they are for other people," he explains, "We, therefore, have to create opportunities for ourselves" he proceeded to say.
Wynston appreciates producer Tyler Perry and the role that the famous producer has plaid in creating opportunities for black people in Atlanta. He expresses his understanding of the challenge in the industry but calls on other actors to bridge the gap by creating opportunities and being part of the solution rather than complaining about the problem.
“I keep auditioning, if I get the roles, great, but if I don’t then I continue to support initiatives that create for our own” the family man expressed.
Draper Wynston gets a lot of support from his wife and kids. He expresses his need to succeed so that he can keep his wife and his mother proud of him while proving to his children that hard work can get you anywhere.
‘I want to continue making my wife proud, I want a better life for my family. He explains.
Apart from his family, Wynston has surrounded himself with people who motivate him and inspire him to reach for his dreams. He and Dave Hollister met at his first stage play. They have been friends since, often bouncing ideas off of each other.
He also met Terri J Vaughn at a stage play. Wynston admits that Terri gives golden advice about the industry and is quite humble in their interactions.
Wynston goes to Kirk franklin for spiritual nourishment and advice. The two of them talk easily and he is a man that the actor can confide in. Snoop Robinson and Marvin walker have also played a key role in the actor's life and continue to help him navigate the acting industry.
The actor continues to express the need for people of color to continue pushing for their dreams and help each other get to them. He concluded the interview by expressing that although he has set the path to his destiny, he still knows that he has to put in more work and effort in setting up to achieve the goals that he has set.
Draper Wynston is a perfect example of a person following his dreams to prosper and who is willing to take others with him while at it.