Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Norman D Golden II Is Helping To Change Our World

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I believe that everything happens in divine timing and choose to live my life without regrets. Everything that I’m supposed to know and can handle at any given moment will be illuminated so staying present allows me to not worry about things that never happened. Trusting the process of manifestation is powerful. Hope this makes sense.

As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Norman D. Golden II.

Norman D. Golden II is best known for his co-starring role as Devon Butler in the movie “Cop and a half” with Burt Reynolds. Norman has starred and co-starred in several movies such as; his portrayal of Pharaoh Rivers in the made for television movie “There Are No Children Here” starring Oprah Winfrey, Aaron Crawford in “America’s Dream”: “The Boy Who Painted Christ Black”, starring Wesley Snipes and the remake of “Moby Dick”, where he played the role of Pip, starring Patrick Steward and The Late Gregory Peck.

Norman has an enormous heart of generosity and believes in helping people to become happy. While on the set of “Cop N Half” he visited the cancer division of a Florida children hospital. He also joined Tatiana Ali, The Olsen Twins and other child actors on a Celebrity Cruise to raise funds to help with research for Juvenile Diabetes. He spoke before crowds of 2000 young people at the Festival Hall in his hometown (Racine WI) at “Violence No More” events. Norman made several visits to various schools encouraging students to stay in school and reinforcing the value of education. At six years old he created his very own Public Service Announcement encouraging people to learn how to read!

Norman had an incredible career as a child actor and, without regret; he took time off from the entertainment industry to concentrate on his education. He received his BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. While on his hiatus, he developed other skills and interests such as music and writing screenplays. Norman is quite a diverse artist and always hard at work, he is continuously working on new film and television projects that are in various stages of development.

Norman’s recent projects include a collaboration with Apple Inc. where he served as a producer on a short documentary entitled “La Buena Muerte” and two independent short films entitled “Hollywood Kid” written, produced, directed and starring Norman and “Misperception”, co-written, produced and starring Norman.

As a child actor Norman burst onto the silver screen where he stole the hearts of many. Through the measure of time Norman has evolved into an enthusiastic individual with a dynamic presence expanding his artistry into several areas. Norman’s approach to creating this artistry is one of unlimited possibility and remaining authentic to his craft. With experience in hand, and a global vision and reach for sharing his gifts, one can say that, “Norman is truly Enormus”!

Thank you so much for joining us on this interview series. Can you share with us the backstory that led you to this career path?

It’s a pleasure! So, I got my start in acting at the age of 6 and was inspired by watching a series of family oriented sitcoms in the early 90’s. I would watch the kids on those shows and would think: “That must be so much fun”. This thought led to me verbalizing my desire to be an actor to my parents. Around the same time, I began expressing interest in acting, my mom received some encouragement from family members to put me in an acting class or some sort of outlet for me to express my creativity. My parents eventually followed those suggestions and enrolled me in a 6-week commercial workshop in LA. At the time, we were living in North Carolina, so we had to fly out to LA once a week to attend, however, my both parents worked for the airlines at the time so were able to do so utilizing their flying benefits. I’m forever grateful for my parents for this tremendous sacrifice and commitment!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

After I’d gotten representation, I started going on auditions, which I would mistake for working! After every audition, I would exclaim to my parents: “I’m really working huh?” to which they’d reply: “Yes you are son”. The greatest lesson(s) I learned from that was to always put your best foot forward no matter the circumstance and that your mindset determines your outcome. I believed those auditions to be work, I treated them as such and eventually I started working.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Be willing to do the work! I think there’s an idea that success can just drop in your lap. Not so much. I’m not saying things have to be grueling or that manifesting your dream can’t be that effortless but there must be some kind of consistent effort put forth to achieve your goals. Things may take more time than you want to manifest so this is why it’s important to love what you do. Trust the process. The journey is the best part of the trip. Gratitude reflects altitude.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

My grandmother. She was an amazing woman! She raised 5 children in the 50’s through the 70’s as a single mom who owned her own hair salon and restaurant, obtained properties as well as her children obtaining masters degrees despite only getting her GED at age 40. Her example continues to be an inspiration because she accomplished things that weren’t easy to do yet made it look effortless. She’s shown me that anything is possible regardless of circumstance. It’s never too late and when there’s a will, there’s a way.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you’re working on right now?

With success comes a fair amount of exposure as well as a more prominent voice. I believe in creating the most value with my success as I can. This is one of the best ways one can “pay it forward”. I’ve been passionate about education my entire life. I love to learn and have learned to teach as well. In teaching, I’ve learned that we all inherently have what we need to make an impact and contribute greatly to this world. We just need individuals to assist us in bringing forth what is already naturally there. With that said, the advancement of Arts and Education are causes near and dear to my heart. I’ve been working on building a school that nurtures the artistic abilities we all have. I would love to create more than one. I also speak on the impact of arts in our curriculum, as I’m a living example of what could happen in one’s life if their artistic abilities are cultivated.

Can you share with us a story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

The very first school I attended embraced the artistic side of al of its students. Everyday I was told that I was a genius and could accomplish anything I desired. I took this to heart. I believe that this part of my educational foundation played a major role in my ability to garner the success I did as a youth and would like to “pay it forward”.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

I worked with a non-profit organization developing and teaching a filmmaking program for private and charter schools. I was invited to speak and share my experiences at an event. The event organizer introduced me to a young person who was there to support the event. The organizer told me that this individual was an artist and was having a hard time finding work and with life in general.

A couple of weeks after the event, the organizer contacted me and let me know that the lady that I met at the event weeks before had plan to commit suicide but after meeting me, hearing my speech about creation and listening to a particular song on an EP that I gifted her she decided against it.

Since this encounter, things have turned around and she has found her stride as a fashion designer. This experience showed me firsthand how the power of dialogue and influence of art, education and dialogue can be life saving.

Are there three things or are there things that individuals, society, or the government can do to support you in this effort?

For individuals, opening our hearts and gaining an awareness and appreciation of how impactful arts and education is to society. For society, I would suggest embracing the arts and understanding how important it is to the development and evolution of society. For government,

I would suggest fully supporting creative and educational initiatives. I’ve always said, if teacher’s salaries were that of CEO’s or Celebrities and tied to performance, society would be quite different.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”

I believe that everything happens in divine timing and choose to live my life without regrets. Everything that I’m supposed to know and can handle at any given moment will be illuminated so staying present allows me to not worry about things that never happened. Trusting the process of manifestation is powerful. Hope this makes sense.

You’re a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to inspire a movement of artists (actors, writers, singers etc..) who can create without being oppressed by the pressure to make a living. I feel like we are deprived of a lot of great work because people are just trying to survive, there’s a of politics on the business side of show business and very little value is placed on creative careers, therefore support of them is minimal. Also, I would love to create an infrastructure for talent who can express without feeling the need to compromise anything. I believe this movement would reshape the way we view creativity and shift away from the status quo. Art inspires, changes and saves lives so the benefit of the aforementioned is that people would become more productive in general in the absence of economic or political limitations.

Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote? And can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

“Be the best but better than no one”! In other words, strive for excellence and to be a better version of you day after day. Competition, in the way we have come to understand it, is irrelevant. Collaboration is much more valuable. My dad used to say this often and the meaning of it resonates so much.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to have lunch with Janice Bryant Howroyd. She has a quote on her IG page that says “she envisions a world where young professionals achieve everything they desire while treating others with respect” — something I truly agree with. I’d love to discuss ideas on how to really make this a reality!

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Norman D Golden II Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.