28-year-old Leroy Marc shares why he gave up his career as an attorney to be an entertainer
- Was entertainment a childhood dream? If so why did you pursue a different career?
I think I took the artistic side from my dad who was a visual artist. I loved the idea of being in entertainment but wasn’t sure where I fit as I was kicked out of ballet classes when I was young and I couldn’t sing. I have also been an academic all my life but took drama as an extramural activity and became head of drama in matric. Since I obtained a scholarship to fund my studies from high school to tertiary I didn’t want to take something that wasn’t considered a career at that time, so I took Law, a course closer to the subjects I enjoyed in high school, which are languages and history. During my studies in tertiary, I was able to contribute to an online magazine, which gave me a taste of the media industry.
- So how did the transition from corporate to entertainment come about?
In 2014 one of my close friends who works in radio asked me to be part of her show. The radio bug bit me after co-hosting with her a couple of times. Since I didn’t have a broadcasting background I couldn’t get my foot in radio so I asked my other friend’s mother who worked at Radio 2000 to shadow her. She took me under her wings for a year and I learned so much from her. Through persistence and hardwork I got an opportunity to work at Trans Africa Radio.
- How did you become a television presenter?
I happened to attend a social event with a friend of mine who was reporting the red carpet event. That is where I met one of the producers of SABC Trendz. Through the network and my fashion background, I was asked to be one of the fashion panelists at SABC Trendz. That is where I got my taste in television and enjoyed the five months I was there. A couple of months later Moshe Ndiki asked me to stand in for him at the red carpet event where I presented for BET A List. I presented alongside Ayanda MVP at this red carpet event. At the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards, I did the fashion red carpet with Jesse Suntele for BET A List. The producer of the programme asked me to pop in their office the following Monday to discuss contracts. I honestly thought they needed me to contribute with contracts considering my law background, I didn’t anticipate the job they offered me to be a field co-host with KNaomi.
- From your experience what is the difference between a corporate career and entertainment?
Corporate offers the comfort of a stable income but freelancing is difficult and unpredictable. No month is the same when you work in entertainment, especially as a freelancer. The industry is about presenting yourself as a unique brand and looking bankable to attract more jobs. The other challenge I have noticed is that there are few black men who make it to the top as opposed to a lot of ‘It’ girls our entertainment industry has produced. This is something I hope to change somehow.
- What is your advice to young people who want to make a success of themselves, especially in the entertainment industry?
Persistence is very important. There is no time where I am not anxious about the next job or gig. It’s a grueling industry to be in and it needs one to have a thick skin. You have to be proactive in chasing opportunities and presenting a brand people want to associate themselves with. Don’t fall into the temptation of trying to be the same as other entertainers but find your market and use your strengths and knowledge to appeal to it.
Catch Leroy Marc on BET A List every Thursday at 18:35 on BET channel 129 and on Trans Africa Radio every Saturday from 6-8 PM Central African Time.
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