1,000 COSIGN’s: Meet Ben Abiola, Comedian, Actor, & Social Media Influencer | COSIGN #88 of 1K
“My brand is built on perseverance, a lot of people from the city seldom take the risks to pursue their heart desires, by chasing this dream I hope to inspire my peers to do the same. I think being open with my journey helps the industry because a lot of successful people now rarely look back to give a helping hand. I want to be able to provide opportunities for people with similar dreams and aspirations.”
Ben Abiola is a man of many talents. Born In London England he spent most of his time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he attended high school and college. From hosting events and parties Ben grew his following and decided to expand his brand by creating video content to share on his social media channels. “I officially began pursuing my career when I took the leap of faith to move to California, October 2016 to become an actor,” he says. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. Growing his Instagram to over 13,000 followers and accumulating thousands of views with each post, Ben is already a star, he’s just waiting for the world to catch up.
As a child what were you into and what did you want to do for a career?
As a child I knew I wanted to be an entertainer Michael Jackson, Usher and Sisqo were my biggest influences, I never knew what I wanted to be specifically as a kid but I knew I wanted it to involve making people happy.
Growing up, dancing was my first love, I joined the step team in high school and was a part of the speech and debate team. I was in theatre in high school but I never actually saw myself as an actor. In the back of my mind always thought it would be cool to be an actor, but I thought it was a farfetched dream. It wasn’t until I started making comedy videos and creating my own content that I knew I wanted to be an actor, I felt myself becoming more emotionally attached to movies and envisioning myself in different roles.
What was the path that you took that lead you to the entertainment industry?
Social media, I initially made videos for fun because it was trending in the city, the videos then became viral and I started gaining a fan base in Texas that then spread to other states, I used that to then create a brand for myself outside of party promoting and MC’ing that I was known for.
Who inspires you the most in your industry?
Diddy, Jay Z, Martin Lawrence & Kevin Hart are some of my biggest inspirations but on smaller scale I look to young black actors in the industry who are successful currently such as John Boyega, Daniel Kaluuya, Shameik Moore.
What has been your biggest struggle in getting to where you are now in your profession?
The biggest struggle so far would be balancing a social media image and wanting to be taken as a serious actor. Sometimes I catch myself focused on putting out content constantly and growing my followers, but my ultimate goal is to make it as an actor not a social media influencer.
Did you have a “leap of faith” moment, and if so, how did you decide to make the leap and what were the circumstances around it?
My leap of faith moment came during a time where I was extremely depressed internally, life was good but I wasn’t happy with being content, I worked a 9-5 that paid well, and I was hosting events and making comedy videos but it wasn’t enough, I kept seeing signs to take a chance and pursue my dreams. Every week I would randomly see motivational Steve Harvey videos that talked about not being afraid to fly and take that leap, I decided to stop ignoring the signs. It’s better to try and fail than to wonder what if.
What makes you unique compared to the rest in your field?
I believe what makes me unique is my energy/presence , its no secret that i’m not the tallest of men, but I’ve been told my aura and personality is that of an NBA player, meaning I carry myself in a different manner, I’m both passionate and confident , so when I act or perform I make sure to bring that same energy.
How has social media improved your business or brand?
Social media has definitely helped my business/brand, its a powerful platform that allows you to network with so many people. I would advise any upcoming entertainer to use social media to their advantage and grow their network.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date would be me writing my first ever short film that I shot this summer in Los Angeles, I’m extremely proud of this passion project and hope it opens up a lot of doors.
How do you deal with adversity?
I deal with adversity in multiple of ways, first is definitely prayer, next would be to analyze the situation, think of all ways to overcome or to bounce back depending on the situation. A good support system is also key, people you can lean on for advice and comfort.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
A successful actor and writer, I want to be at a point were I’m starring in movies as well as creating opportunities for others by writing shows and films that new actors have a fair chance at landing roles.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is doing what you love for a living, to get to a point where I no longer have to worry about “working” because my passion is paying the bills. I’ll know I’m successful when I can start giving opportunities to other people and my family is well taken care of.
When it’s all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?
Benjamin Abiola, Actor, Writer, Motivational Speaker, Philanthropist. Life is more than just a self serving rollercoaster ride, its not about how great I become, but about how many people I helped become great along the way, I want to be known not only for my talents, but how I was able to use my talents to inspire others and leave a positive mark on this earth.
Who does Ben Abiola #COSIGN?
Tayla Drake @TaylaDrake
Victor Pope Jr @VictorPopeJr
Bryan Armstrong @FlashyFilms_
Yung Tone @djYungtonelive
Corey Artis @Flexaveli
Trint Williams @itstrint
Patrick Tshimanga @Kingwaka_