SEAN MAURICETTE - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
ARTIST, EDUCATOR AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a jack of all trades, Ace of some as I like to say. I graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Architecture but realized that I love performing way too much to be confined to an office everyday and so, I used my talents to help get me into multiple areas…from producing all of the theme music for CBC radio second largest show ‘Here and Now’ to touring with Mos Def in the US, to acting alongside Ving Rhames to directing my first ever documentary on Sickle Cell to designing Canada’s first drop in center for young and potential fathers…I continue to express myself using all of the tools in my creative bag. With regard to the youth I have been inspiring our young minds since 1999 and have since gone on to receive multiple awards including a recent award from the United Nations Association of Canada for my work as a motivational speaker. The key to my ability to relate to our youth is the ability to not only speak their language and tell stories in multiple genres that appeal to them, it’s the fact that I don’t wag my finger at them and talk down to them, rather, I talk with them. I speak honestly about my experiences, noting the positives and negatives but do so in a humorous way. I feel that the number one tool that I gained from University that is the key to my current success is the ability to work hard, respect deadlines, be professional, express myself on multiple levels but most importantly, how to take whatever is in my mind and build it. Whether that is a hip hop beat, an actual building, a fictional character on stage or even a childs self confidence…it is all building. I also have 2 sayings that I try to live by, one of which was given to me by my mother: Nothing ventured nothing gained, and if you find something you like to do and do it everyday, you will never work a day in your life.
Tell us what many people may not know about you?
Something that people might not know about me is that I am an 80’s junkie, lol. From Transformers to pacman tabletop mini arcades I love the feeling of holding a piece of my childhood in my hands. Plus anything to do with gadgets or technology REALLY gets me hype! It’s that inner geek…but I am positive that this keeps me young. We spend a lot of money on things like gas, rent, etc. I will never hesitate to spend a little for memories that will continue to last a lifetime.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
My inspiration is solely based on the positive reactions of others. I enjoy being that ‘OTHER’ voice that I feel is largely missing both musically but also in terms of positive messages that our youth/community need to hear. When I see light bulbs going off or see even a faint smile…I get motivated to continue. Whether its an angle to politics you may not have thought about, or a beat box that sparks ones interest I get excited to share with others…period.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Hard work, professionalism, respecting timelines, learning from mistakes, surrounding myself with positive people and being open to trying new things. Most of my talents are self taught. When I try something new and I like it I often will take it as far as I can. It’s amazing how the various things you do can overlap and make their presence known when you least expect it. But this is only possible when you are open to trying, exploring and experiencing new things. In terms of what to expect I think that my work is slowly being recognized on a much larger global scale. At some point with the right exposure and funding all the talents will intersect at one point via music, architecture, acting and mentoring, allowing more people to become familiar with who I am and what I stand for. In other words…as the world takes notice and more resources become available, the ripples of my work will stretch out even further. I have done a lot at the age of 35 with very little, now imagine what I could do with a whole lot!
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as that guy who thought outside the box and was not afraid to try new things, and ultimately express himself in many ways, all while leaving a legacy that is positive, honest and inspiring.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
Time management. You have to know when to work hard, but you also have to know when to put the work down and make time for family and friends. It is all about good balance.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Honestly, I don’t have a favorite anything, rather, I like many things a lot and what I may favor on any given day will depend on how I am feeling at that time. There are days where I feel like Chinese or days where I could use a nice big Roti! There are days where I want to allow my mind to be opened via politics and other days where I just want to laugh. Days where I feel like nodding my head and days where I feel like simply listening. Apples and oranges, but in the end I love them both!
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
I think overall it has been a good experience. My main source of frustration currently comes from the lack of ability to be recognized in my own home town vs. the US or the UK. There are times where I think “it should not be this difficult to get call backs, or email responses from those within my own community here in Canada”. But it is. I think about those that continue to reach out to me from other countries and even other communities and I sometimes get very frustrated with my own. I don’t like the thought that what will make others take notice here at home is when others from abroad take notice but sadly this is often the case. In the end we need to sometimes look at what we have that is directly in front of us. You may be surprised at what you find. We need to support each other, be honest with each other and help each other. It took a friend of mine in the UK to sit me down and read to me at 2 am the writings of Willie Lynch. I encourage everyone to read this slave owners speech, and then look at how we treat each other to this day. Some may argue that the speech is not real. To them I say, the Willy Lynch syndrome is alive and well to this day… and we need to change that. Nobody else can do this for us but us.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like TD Jakes, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc.
I think we have the opportunities but we need the infrastructure to support it. We are not there yet. Simply put, the entire black population of the US is more than the population of Canada. You are now beginning to understand how blacks in the US are able to achieve great levels of success from within their very own community, with or without the support from outside communities. But this is just my opinion.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
Herb Carnegie for his honest struggle and Saukrates for his dope, soulful music and true skill(s)
Should and do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
I think we need to be honest pure and simple. It is my belief that black people in particular excel at whatever we put our minds to. But as I get older I also feel that if we are slipping as a people and not bringing our professional ‘A’ game, we need to be able to be honest with each other. You should not just simply get a pass because you are black, matter of fact we should all have a heightened sense of understanding as to what we need to strive for and achieve since we have loads of history that prescribes what is expected of us. We need to continue writing our own history as opposed to accepting the history given to us by others. And it is through this understanding of where you came from that you will understand what is truly needed to get to where you are going.
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