Actors Bring Out Jubilant Crowd

By Michael Holloman

Hollywood came to Norfolk State University last month when the stars of Je’Caryous Johnson’s Things Your Man Won’t Do visited campus.

Leon Robinson, Allen Payne, Terri J. Vaughn and Essence Atkins

Leon Robinson, Allen Payne, Terri J. Vaughn and Essence Atkins

The stars of the play — Leon Robinson, Essence Atkins, Allen Payne, and Terri J. Vaughn— shared wisdom, laughs, and even tears before a packed crowd in Brown Memorial Hall Theatre. Je’Caryous Johnson, the director of the production, facilitated the discussion and allowed students to ask the actors questions. Many of the students who asked questions were aspiring entertainers and wanted to know how to get their foot in the door. Robinson encouraged the students to “be yourself.” Vaughn urged the aspirants to “[not] lose who you are” while trying to break into the business.  Allen advised students to hone their craft before attempting to become famous.

Allen Payne and Leon with NSU Cheerleaders

Allen Payne and Leon with NSU Cheerleaders

The most emotional part of the event was Atkins sharing how honored she was to be able to give advice to so many young people, telling the audience that “I know I’ve made it [because of] this experience and this moment” and urging them to band together and pay it forward to help future generations of entertainers.

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