He’s famous, he’s charming and he’s a motivational example of success. From being a part of Emmy nominated television shows – Children of the Dust and Hell on Wheels and ESPY nominated film – Resurrecting the Champ, to being ranked the 6th athlete in the world in high jump and listed on the top 20 under 30 entrepreneurial award in 2007, Jesse Lipscombe is that kind of winner that takes it all. A very talented actor and singer in a top athlete body, with businessman skills…this is something really hard to find in only one person. Though, his passion for each of these fields led him to celebrity. I met him in Bacaro Jazz Bar in Venice, where he was having dinner while preparing the script of the next day filming project, VIP’ness, a new TV show he is producing for Mosaic Entertainment.
What is the TV show VIP’ness about?
VIP’ness is a reality show based around a man that finds himself in the most extravagant and eloquent parties on the planet. He took his life from a place of low self-esteem to a place of self love and now gets to experience life on a brand new level. The show also has Randall (the star) knock items off his Bucket List, which he pronounces bouquet list and we follow him all over the planet doing these things.
When somebody read your biography on the internet, it’s all about winning. I don’t want this question to sound like a cliché but… what’s the story behind your success? How did you motivate yourself to be the best in all the fields you’ve chosen to attend?
An author – Mike Dooley – I met several years ago coined it best. He said “thoughts become things”, and if that is not the truth, then I do not know what is. At a very early age I began visualizing or day-dreaming (jury is still out on which one) about what I wanted and what I could be. As I grew up, my imagination never stopped. I was living proof that you could do anything if you wanted it hard enough. The story behind my success is twofold: a supportive family that allowed me to dream and an ability to not let fear paralyze my curiosity. By no means does that mean the journey was easy? It was not but it was rewarding and it continues to be.
How did your childhood influence your professional carrier? How would you describe Jesse the kid?
My childhood influenced my professional career in a number of ways. As a child (grades 1 – 4) I remember being really athletic and competitive. I remember that I struggled to keep friends because they did not want to play with me at recess because I would always win at the games we played and it was not fun for them. At that time I chose to not try as hard to keep my friends around. Little did I know how that would affect me in my later years. I find it a funny thing that being good, successful or shinning bright and being proud of it seems to rub people the wrong way. I am not talking arrogance at all, I consider myself to be humble in my confidence, I am referring to being able to rejoice about ones wins without alienating those around you. As I grew, I had to make many choices in regards to staying close with my social world or pursuing my dreams without looking back. When I made the shift to being fine with who I was and loving myself, I was grateful to attract or find like-minded people. Specifically, this course of action found me meeting the love of my life and life partner.
Jesse the kid was a very energetic, curious being. I always got into things, had a good heart but maybe a touch too rambunctious for most people. I was a product of that energy as my parents were “forced” to put me in a number of activities. Track and field, dancing, gymnastics, basketball, all were there to try and drain this everlasting energy bank.
You were saying in an interview on racinenoire.wordpress.com that you have a long line of Black History in your blood. Can you tell me more about this?
My great great aunt was Bessie Coleman (1st black lady to fly an airplane). John Ware, a famous Black Canadian cowboy’s daughter married a Lipscombe. My grandfather, Rollie Miles, was a hall of fame CFL football player.
Dividing your name in two, I’ve noticed that it is made of an interesting combination of words “lips” and “combe”. I could develop a story about the meaning of your name but is there any real meaning, though?
There is no meaning as far as I know. The name, as is the case with most Black North Americans, was the name of the slave plantation my people came from. Mine was in North Carolina and the original Lipscombe’s were from Sussex Germany.
You are a very charming presence. Do you think that your charisma played a main part in achieving success?
(Blush) ahh, thanks! I would take a guess and say that charisma plays a part in every element of life… sometime good, sometime intimidating, but always me. It is not an “act” I put on but rather an expression of my joy for this life I get to live and life in general.
Acting, singing, sporting or developing new business projects… if you would have to choose only one of them, which one would satisfy your soul?
That is a great question. It would depend if the thing I chose was a reflection of my current skill level or if I chose one I would be the best at it. If it were the later, I would chose singing, if it were a reflection of my current skill level I would chose acting. Either way, I would be performing.
Regarding your acting carrier, which was the role that suited you best…your personality?
Suited me? I would say the role of Leo McCracken in Resurrecting the Champ, simply because he was an athlete. However, the role in the upcoming film Forbidden Playground was my most challenging and rewarding. Playing a sociopath and a super villain was quite a stretch.
You’ve been acting together with great names in the film industry. Who inspired you most?
Hands down, Sidney Poitier! He gave me advice on being a black actor and what to expect moving forward in this business.
Usually, for an artist is difficult to be a business man, too and vice versa. How come you have the both sides and how could you educate yourself to be good in such different things?
At an early age, my grandfather asked me a very important question. He asked “if money was not an issue, what would you do with your time?” My answer was to be on TV or film, be a pro athlete and own buildings (I was only 13 at the time, not sure what exactly I was saying). He told me that if I were to do anything else with my life it would be a disappointment to the world and myself. Long story short, I put all my work into everything I was passionate about. I became a professional passion follower.
Would you change something from your past, if you could? Which were the biggest mistakes you made?
Biggest mistakes? I don’t really believe those are real things. I am exactly where I need to be right now and believe I will be there tomorrow as long as I keep believing and trusting that I am a man that leads with love and understands the good in everyone. Mistakes happen and I am grateful for them as they have shaped me. If I deleted any one of them, I would be on a completely different path than I am now.
You are so young and you’ve done already so many successful activities. What’s the next stage in your life? What’s left to achieve, in your opinion?
What’s left? So much, I do not even feel I have scratched the surface of what is possible in this video game called life. Next, I want to take my creative talents to the next level. I am very passionate about the creation process.I have just released the FlowPower, which I am very excited about. I created a home fitness program that will be sold to millions of people all over North America and then overseas later (www.flowpowerfitness.com).
How can the FlowPower program help an overweight person get in shape?
FlowPower is a program that requires no additional equipment or previous athletic experience. It has three levels and can provide a challenge for anyone, but it’s still an unthreatening option for an overweight or sedentary individual. The fact that anyone can work out in as little as 15 minutes a day and still achieve great results is exciting.
What’s your opinion on Plus Size women? Do you think there is sexiness in an overweight person?
My opinion of plus-size women is the same as my opinion of women. The “plus size” label is potentially alienating for someone who is already well aware of how the mainstream media perceives her and beauty in general. My opinion on women, however, is that they are too often marginalized, under-represented and unfairly expected to achieve an aesthetic appearance that men are not held to.
I think there is sexiness everywhere. It’s not the look, the height or the appearance that creates sexiness for me. Sexiness is confidence. It is impossible not to be attracted to a confident person who is comfortable in her skin and excited about life. The easiest way to be proud of your body is to achieve things with it. Get active and find out how strong your body actually is. Find a program that suits your needs and stick to it, don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone is on their own personal journey and your progress will inspire someone else. Love yourself for where you are right now because it is precisely that person that will take you to where you need to be.
What do you enjoy most in life? What’s the best thing a man can get during his lifetime?
I enjoy teaching and mentoring. I get the most satisfaction out of helping other people realize how powerful they are and that there are no limits in what they can achieve if they simply (or no simply depending on the person) believe.
The best thing a man can get during his lifetime is true love. No other thing will allow you to experience life to the greatest degree. That love might come from a wife, husband, partner, friend or child… regardless of the place, once you have it, life can offer you so much.
Which is the new challenge in your life?
My new challenge is to get as many people to read this story as humanly possible! In addition, to raising my sons and being the best husband this planet has ever seen (even if my wonderful partner is the only one on the jury).
As a motivational speaker, what’s your motivating message for anyone who read this article?
The message would be this: People often proclaim that my life choices are risky; in regards to the number of business I am involved in, the arts, being an entrepreneur, etc. I think the most risky type of behavior to practice is to do nothing, to not move, to not try and let life pass you by.
Interview published on Trend Prive Magazine