By Marc W. Polite
Greetings my readers. In this week’s edition of profiles for Polite On Society, we get the opportunity to catch up with Norman D. Golden II. You may remember him from the dramatic There Are No Children Here and the lighthearted Cop and a Half. The film debuted in 1993, and it is its 30-year anniversary. Today, we hear from Mr. Golden II on how he has branched out from acting into producing and reaching the youth.
Polite On Society: In light of the 30th year anniversary of Cop and a Half, do you believe there is a conversation that still needs to be held about relations between Black Americans and law enforcement?
Norman D. Golden II: We should certainly have a conversation about the relationship between blacks and law enforcement but I think it’s much deeper than that. There should also be a conversation about the value of humanity, or lack thereof, which causes much of what we’ve seen in the headlines as of, late. When any of the “isms” are in play (racism, sexism, ageism etc) we disregard our fundamental existence as human beings which brings about segregation, hierarchy, misunderstanding, fear, brutality and disparity and negates harmony.
POS: We’d like to hear more about your education advocacy work. How do you encourage the youth you speak to garner “Inspiration in the Rough”?
NG: One of my first creative projects for a commercial workshop I attended as a child was to create a commercial or PSA on a subject of my choosing and I chose to do a PSA on the importance of reading. I was six years old! Since then, I’ve been a guest lecturer at UCLA and have spoken at various schools and education-based conventions reinforcing the value of education. Over the years I’ve collaborated with a couple of organizations teaching and developing curriculum for acting, filmmaking and screenwriting. I’ve always been passionate about education as well as the arts, as I know how both have shaped my own life. A bucket list goal of mine is to open a school or two.
As a storyteller, I know the power of a good story so…when I speak, I share stories starting with my own. I share how I got my start and how I’ve gotten to where I am currently including all of the victories and pitfalls along the way. I feel that it’s important that youth understand reality and that much of it is what we make of it. Failure has its place, as do victories. In reality, you will experience both failure and victory but either does not define you. Successful are those who are able to attain absolute happiness, which means not being easily swayed by the ups and downs in life. The beautiful lotus flower blooms in muddied waters. “Inspiration in the rough” is akin to that insofar as your creative expression can be your outlet no matter the circumstance. Never give up!
POS: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming project “Misperception’?
NG: Absolutely! Misperception is a story about a young man who finds himself in trouble with the law. Instead of serious jail time the judge sentences him to a police ride-along program designed to give him a fresh start. While in the program, he witnesses the grittier side of humanity but also his community’s reaction to his perceived affiliation with the “enemy”. Eventually, he comes to grips with his own reality in relation to his community and law enforcement. We created the short film as proof of concept for a bigger project/audience and we are now developing it into a series. This project advocates for self-reflection, inner transformation and self-awareness – for everyone involved.
POS: Are there any other films in the works that you want our audience to know about?
NG: I’m developing a TV series tentatively titled “The Kid” based loosely on my experiences as a former child actor navigating life and the industry as an adult and aspiring writer.
POS: If you could give one piece of advice for any inspiring actors, what would you tell them?
NG: Never compromise yourself – stay true to who you are and strive to create value in whatever you do. Put your artistry first, learn the business and trust and enjoy the process!
I’d like to thank Mr. Golden II for taking the time to update us on his latest projects. To learn more about his projects, you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.