Mr. Tramaine Montell Ford how are you man?
I’m well. I am so happy and honored to be apart of this for Luxe7Mag. Thank you so much for having me.
Tell me and the Luxe7 readers a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a Chicago born and raised actor from the Cabrini Green Projects. I am also a singer, dancer, comedian, producer, and father...
Growing up who were your major influences?
Mostly, growing up I didn’t have any specific influences but I loved to watch a lot of Television. So I guess anyone on it. I knew with a huge passion that I wanted to do what I saw performers on TV doing… mostly sitcoms, primetime dramas, and great movies. When I got a little older, into my adolescence, I took early notice to Beyonce Knowles' star quality and begin to be inspired by her exceptional work ethic, and almost equally, her team of support. I started getting interested in singing and dancing training too.
Did you find it hard growing up and having a passion to be in entertainment being a male?
No... I was blessed that it wasn’t too hard for me being a male growing up doing this. There were fewer guys involved in theatre, dance classes, singing and creative projects than girls so it made me stand out a bit more. It brought more attention to me but luckily it was positive.
Did you have supportive parents?
I have an amazing single mother who has always been supportive of me pursuing this career. She has never once told me not to do it or to do something else… or ever discouraged my dreams. Growing up where we are from, Cabrini Green Projects, Theatre was out of the circle in that environment. My mom didn’t even know what Broadway was until way later and before I started doing them, didn’t attend any professional plays. But she saw every play and show I was in or a part of. One year, in my early adolescence we had a big mother-son argument. I was so angry as a young rebelling teen that I told her not to come to my show that evening and she agreed (laughs). After the show someone said “Great job Tramaine. I sat next to your mom.. but she rushed out as soon as it ended!” She had snuck in right at the start and sat in the back. I will never forget that.
Tramaine you are like a quad threat in this business, you dance, sing, act, model, teach etc. How do you stay balanced and work at all of these attributes in your career?
Well it is natural to me to do all that stuff for personal enjoyment and expression. I balance it by acknowledging the connection of them all and thinking of it as all one thing… as the same “animal”. My main passion is acting but I believe that they are all connected. They are all storytelling and I am a storyteller... when I dance, I act… when I sing, which I'm the least trained in, I think of my voice as dancing to the music, and mostly I act the song out… when I model, I play a character or discover real moments to have for the photographer to simply capture and also utilize body awareness from dance training. When I get a chance to teach, I believe it’s a creative exchange where I also learn and grow as an all around artist and more importantly, a human being. I think it’s important to give focus to that because before you get to any of the things I do, I want to be a great person.
What career took off the ground first?
My theatrical acting training began at 13 and propelled first as a teen. And at that time, I wrote a lot of original work. Then when I got to college, began dancing. After college, TV & film, then I started to gain some singing roles. Modeling and recording came after that. I now am stepping into producing and stand-up comedy.
What was your first major booking?
Hard to say, but I consider my first, I guess major booking, to be Hairspray (feature film 2007). I missed the initial auditions for Hairspray but toward the end of filming, they had an impromptu search for just 2 additional guys. I got that audition and joined the set for their final week of shooting. Out of that, I was chosen to perform with the cast for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Your look is very different and I can tell your a mix breed of something(laughs), what are you mixed with?
I identify as African-American. But I am also mixed with Native American I think, and down the line, I think some Cuban and French?
Who inspires you to move forward in your career?
Right now my biggest inspirations to continue are my mother and son.
What are some future projects you wish to embark on?
I really hope to do a sitcom in my life, a psychological thriller type of drama, and even a martial arts film one day because of my background in martial arts and boxing. I plan to do more songwriting and a couple music videos for some of my dance pop demo tracks which will feature a collaboration with Alica “Ya Yah” Townsend, whom I have a child with. I also hope to get to work with Beyonce.
Favorite TV shows?
Martin, Family Guy, Friends, Lost
Chicken, steak or fish?
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a T-shirt and jeans type of guy with an urban GQ edge cuz I'll throw on a blazer or a nicer jacket on top of that. But not too clean cut. Simple. And not trying too hard.
“The purpose of life is to re-create yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about who you really are”
-From the book Friendship With God
Who is bumping in your IPOD?
Mostly Beyonce and Lil Wayne! And my son Ty's original song, "Electricity Shock"! It's on my Soundcloud.
When you die what do you want your legacy to be?
I want to have made a positive difference and contribution in the world, help people, spread positivity and dissolve some sterotypes by doing what I love.