By Sherrie Williams, Nov. 22, 2022
The Male Success Initiatives welcomed actor Terry Crews on Nov. 15 for a night of discussion about Crews’ past, present and future. He spoke about his childhood, mistakes and addictions being his motivation to leave Flint, Michigan.
MSI director, Joel Gutierrez, opened the night off by introducing Crews with, “when you create your own testimony, you have that power to create your own life.”
According to MSI, their mission is to be a safe place and help young men of color in their college journey and accomplish goals through cultural and academic events.
November is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and this space can dissect the male stereotype of what being a man really means. Despite Crews’ background in the NFL, emotion and vulnerability are humane characteristics that are often attributed to one’s sex.
At the age of five, Crews wanted to protect his mother from being abused by his alcoholic father. This would later lead him to push to become strong mentally for himself.
He explained growing up with a toxic masculinity mentality and outside opinion of therapy being viewed as weak or stupid. Crews stated that therapy was a foreign concept as a man, nonetheless a man of color.
“I had this block in my head about therapy. The moment I knew I really, really had to go to therapy was the day my wife left me,” said Crews. “Going to therapy is the strongest thing you can do.”
Crews explained that he never stops dreaming. The dreams he had at five he has achieved and the dreams he has at 54 are 10 times bigger than what they were.
The humble beginnings of not watching movies like other kids when he was younger, led him to draw out what he believed those movies might have looked like improving his artistic skills. Being dropped in the NFL led Crews to garner the will to continue with his dreams after football.
His beginnings experiences in between led him to Los Angeles to officially get in the entertainment business. According to Crews he did not come to L.A. to be an actor, but to be a writer, a producer or an animator. He got more than he wanted stepping into Hollywood.
Crews expresses his vulnerability by speaking about private matters openly. He discussed Adam Venit, an agent that had sexually assaulted him at an industry event during the peak of the #MeToo movement.
He stated how there comes revenge or success, but one can’t have both and though nothing is better than revenge he says, “Violence doesn’t solve anything, anger doesn’t solve anything.”
Angel Corona, a computer science student, had the opportunity to do a Q&A panel with Crews. He said he was nervous and reminded himself to stay professional.
Corona expressed looking up to Crews and viewing him as one of his personal inspirations.
“Everything he has gone through and look where is at now,” said Corona. “Hopefully, I can shine bright.”
Taking care of one’s mental health can be in the form of balancing everyday tasks and goals. Crews stated he was able to achieve all he did because of the discipline he had in writing down big and little goals or tasks.
“I feel it’s very important for people to learn to balance their life,” said Corona. “Take a break sometimes.”
The definition of “being a man” however has not shifted entirely from the stereotype of male emotion being overlooked. Despite the appearance of having all the fame and recognition, Crews believes his struggles to have been purposeful.
“Discipline is remembering what you want,” said Crews.
Feature image courtesy of Ana Salgado
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