Laz Alonso, 37
Whether he’s kicking ass and taking names in his own star vehicle (A & E’s hit series Breakout Kings), or romancing Paula Patton on the big screen (Jumping the Broom), Laz is one tall, dark and handsome drink of water! What we love most about the Afro-Cuban actor is that he’s the perfect combination of brains (and brawn). A graduate of Howard University with a BBA in Marketing, Laz tells Latina.com he’s proud to be Afro-Latino. “I always like to say that whether you’re African American, Afro-Jamaican, Afro-Haitian, Afro-British, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Panamanian, whatever — black is black.” He adds :”I have a Cuban influence from my ethnicity, so I feel 100 percent Cuban and 100 percent Black and nobody can take that away from me.”
Alonso was up for a Best Actor award for his role in Jumping The Broom, a fantastic film about two Black families from different sides of the proverbial tracks about to be bound together by marriage. One of the things I love so much about Alonso is that he is super vocal about the fact that he is both Latino and Black and the fluidity with which he moves between roles written for different cultures just proves his diverse acting skills are on point. So of course, he won!
SBI’s own Laz Alonso has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion picture for his role in Jumping the Broom. Jumping the Broom and its cast are nominated for a total of 4 Image Awards including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actor.
The NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premier multi-cultural awards show celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts (television, recording, literature, motion picture and writing & directing), as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors. The 43rd NAACP Image Awards will air live February 17th at 8pm/7pm Central. Check out the NAACP Image Awards Website HERE
If you pay close attention, you’ll notice this is the Actor from the Hit Film “Jumping the Broom”. Laz Alonso is a force to be reckoned with. He is handsome, sexy, loving, talented and the leading man in many of his most recent and upcoming films. With over 20 roles under his belt, Laz is the next big actor in the entertainment industry. Laz can be seen in the lead role of “Tsu’Tey” in the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar! Directed by James Cameron, this sci-fi epic released by 20th Century Fox stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver.
As a businessman, actor and now speaker, Laz is lending his talents to the audience of empowerment, faith, power and most of all motivation. He’s a man after God’s own heart and shares that he is excited to get out to share his life story with the world. Born in Washington, D.C. Laz moved to New York and worked for Wall Street for a while before pursuing his acting career. Laz feels his upbringing not only taught him how to deal with the school of hard knocks, but also prepared him for his biggest goal, his acting career. In addition to Jumping the Broom, Laz will play the strong-supporting role of “Sheriff John Burke” in Rod Lurie’s remake of the Sam Peckinpah classic Straw Dogs (September 16, 2011) for Sony Screen Gems.
Laz is now available for speaking engagements, appearances and hosting for your next event whether it be a Men’s Conference, workshop, seminar or school. He is ready to Speak. Visit www.rkdmusic.com/sbiagency.html for more information on Laz Alonso.
TRACY “TWINKIE” BYRD
Over twenty one years in the industry and Twinkie is still a viable force for entertainment.Everyone knows the world of entertainment is one of the hardest industries to break into and it’s even harder to stay on top once you are there. Twinkie has managed to do it all! However, one question still remains, who is the woman behind it all? Twinkie is a mentor, a speaker, a motivator, a leader, and inspirational pillar. She manages to juggle all this under the umbrella of casting, becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought after casting directors.
Her latest project is currently “Jumping the Broom” starring Paula Patton, Angela Basset, and Laz Alonso who is also currently on “Breakout Kings” where she demonstrates yet another remarkable example of the craft casting. What makes Tracy stand our from other casting directors is she has a good ear for listening to what the director wants as well as a great eye for talent.
She truly knows the difference between and actor and artist. An artist is some who can approach a role with no judgments and find the humanity in each character and bring it to life. An artist, can draw you in through the camera in an instant, find the hidden message behind any character, and create a hypnotic methodical dance through their performancethat allows the artist and the audience to discover themselves and characters simultaneously. It takes a skilled eye of a professional casting director to recognize that potential in five minutes.
Her wealth of knowledge, wisdom and discernment sums up a golden ticket in surviving in this industry. She not only shows you how to reach your dreams but also how to keep them alive once you get them!
When she isn’t casting the latest project or mentoring, she lends her time to speaking at events around the community where she shines her light yet again. Here’s what one event attendee had to say, “Tracy, what inspired me the most about you is your just ‘GO for it’ attitude and ANYTHING is possible! That just gave me confirmation that I’m not crazy for doing what I’m doing in this industry, and it makes me excited for what’s to come for me”, Issac Lucas.
Did you know that when Twinkie first started out she booked castings from a pay phone? She didn’t even have her own place to live yet but she made sure she invested everything she had into what she wanted to become. That’s what Twinkie is all about investing in yourself through research, studying your craft, and then going for it full force!
We can learn so much from Twinkie through the quality of her work and her infectious personality. She has so much light to shine you would be crazy to put on your shades!