CCH Pounder on Choosing The Right Role

December 29, 2017 by Michael Cordeiro

As 2017 winds down to a close, now is a great time to look back at 2017 and really measure your successes and failures. It’s time to reconcile your books and total up the 2017 goals you exceeded and those you didn’t quite make. One question you should be asking yourself is what role will you play in your company in 2018.

Figuring that out requires an honest look back at all the events you did in 2017 and fairly deciding which type you liked best and which type you hated. How many events do you personally want to do in 2018? Do you want to DJ, Emcee or increase your photo booth and lighting gigs? Do you want to step back, be more of a manager and let your staff do most of the events? What are your plans for personal development and training in 2018 (like MBLV22)?

I had the unique opportunity to interview CCH Pounder (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Warehouse 13, NCIS New Orleans) this fall. An accomplished actress and entertainer, I’ve always enjoyed her tough as nails characters.

MikeC: It’s a real honor to meet you. I loved your characters on The Shield and Sons of Anarchy. Have you always played such strong roles?
CCH: Thank you. Not always. I’ve had some very sappy roles. I’ve played characters that were so weak and wimpy (laughing).
MikeC: Do you usually look for strong roles or strong characters when reading a script?
CCH: The role doesn’t always have to be “strong” or dominant, it just has to fit “me”. I have to be able to see myself in that role and really be able to become that character.
MikeC: You were nominated for an Emmy and an Image Award while working on The Shield. You did win a Satellite Award for your portrayal of Det. Claudette Wyms. Did you enjoy that series?
CCH: The Shield was very dark and cutting edge. It went way beyond other police dramas of the time. One of the things I loved most about my character was that she never really took sides, she just always tried to do the right thing. She was the one character that couldn’t be bought. She would go head to head with anyone.
MikeC: You played a similar role in Sons of Anarchy. Did you enjoy that as much as working on The Shield?
CCH: Honestly, I couldn’t wait until Sons was over.
MikeC: Really? Wow, that was such a huge hit. Why?
CCH: Everyone kept dying. No matter how hard my character tried to help and save everyone, it didn’t matter. It became really depressing.
MikeC: I never looked at it that way. I guess from your point of view as the law you’re seeking justice but also trying to give them a shot at redemption.
CCH: Right.
MikeC: Those roles are very different from Warehouse 13, ER and NCIS. Do you like those characters more?
CCH: I wouldn’t say that I like them more; those roles allowed me to develop and use different acting skills. Warehouse 13 was light and fun, while ER was a serious drama. I really enjoy the work I do on NCIS New Orleans. We have a great cast and my character (Dr. Loretta Wade) is smart, fun and a true leader in her own way.
MikeC: Has it been easy for you to choose roles? Do you still look for roles outside your comfort zone?
CCH: Early in my career I took advantage of whatever roles came my way. Broadway, movies, television. I still like to challenge myself. Avatar is a great example. Because of all the CGI, we shoot with a lot of green screen. You really have to imagine yourself in these very different environments to pull it all off.
MikeC: The next two Avatar movies are filming now, correct?
CCH: Yes, we’ll be filming for the next three years. The next one is set for release in 2020 then the other in 2021.
MikeC: Wow, are you planning on slowing down or retiring anytime soon? (She’s 65)

CCH: No. I still enjoy what I’m doing and I’ll keep going as long as I have good roles coming my way.
MikeC: Last question; how do you know a role is right for you?
CCH: You don’t always know, but you have to be open to challenges. Sometimes you’re too close to see yourself in the part, even when other people are saying it’s perfect for you. Have a little faith in yourself and go for it. You don’t always get to pick the right role. Sometimes the right role picks you.
MikeC: Awesome, thank you.

Many of you reading this may be asking, “what has acting got to do with running my DJ business”? Nothing, but that wasn’t really what CCH was talking about. We wear many different hats in the DJ industry. Owner, entertainer, lighting designer, Emcee, sound engineer, etc… Most of the time we have our heads so buried in our “work”, that we miss opportunities to try something new.

I really love that last line she said. You don’t always get to pick the right role, sometimes the right role picks you. How many times have you gotten a call for an event and turned it down because you didn’t believe you were up to the challenge? Which areas of your business do you ignore or put off? Which areas do you excel at?

That old phrase, “Jack of all trades and master of none” doesn’t apply very well to running or growing a business. Do the things you are great at and surround yourself with people who can handle the things you suck at. Be realistic. Whatever you hate doing or don’t do well, find someone who rocks it!

The same goes for events. I’m turning 50 this year and to be totally honest, I am so done with middle school dances. I love working with elementary school kids, but I’m all set with seventh graders! Approach 2018 with a goal of building up the events you love and moving away from the events you hate. See yourself doing more of the type of events you love. You’ll be happier and your clients will be ecstatic.
Know your Role!

Michael Cordeiro Michael Cordeiro (51 Posts)

Mike Cordeiro is the owner of M.C. Entertainment. A small RI multi-op. Mike got his start in the entertainment field while stationed in Frankfurt Germany in 1990. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University and has appeared on TLC’s Four Weddings, hosted an episode of Toddler’s & Tiaras, and does background acting for movies.


Filed Under: Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Performance Tips