Photo Credit: Andy Rooney with Exact Digital Photos
Actor and passionate poet Akeem Mair does not always believe in life-changing accidental encounters. Rather believes that life is a series of calculated risks and well-planned decisions — until he encountered the crew of the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The thriving actor had no idea that innocently walking into Barnes and Noble in Burbank one day would change his situation significantly as an artist as he encountered one of Ellen’s writers for the famous segment, Speak the Lyrics.
The hilarious segment puts some of Ellen DeGeneres’ writers in a public setting with hidden cameras that also record the conversation that takes place between them and a complete unsuspecting stranger. The catch is, the writers only get to use lyrics from a song when engaging a stranger. How the person responds to the incoherent statements being thrown at them is usually the funniest part of the segment. In Akeem Mair’s case, the show’s staff was using lyrics from Taylor Swift’s song titled Me!
Unlike other strangers seen in past episodes of the segment who tend to shy away from the situation, Akeem Mair, being the experienced actor that he is, acted confidently and comfortably in engaging the show’s writer in a conversation that did not make sense at all. The whole segment with Akeem turned out to be such a treat for followers of the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the actor gained instant popularity online, much to his surprise.
On the show’s YouTube channel, the segment with Akeem Mair reached more than 680k views and more than 5 million on Instagram. The day the segment aired on the Ellen DeGeneres show, the actor was attending an acting class called On Set/ On Camera taught by David Rountree, teaching students how to break down realistic movements and actions in a scene. Throughout the class, he wondered why his phone kept buzzing repeatedly. Everyone he knew, from his family to his friends and former high school acquaintances, went crazy over seeing him on television on a segment that is well-loved by many viewers. As can be expected, Akeem was surprised to realize that he was airing on TV, but he was also thrilled at his instant popularity.
Fortunately for Akeem Mair, when the Barnes and Noble incident took place, Akeem was quick to play along and exercise some improvisation along the way. He also instantly remembered a lesson that he learned in Mike Pointer’s level 3 class of Improv Mastery.
Akeem Mair’s brief stint on the Ellen DeGeneres Show eventually caught the eye of his future agent Sarah Angeli from Commercial Talent Agency. Interestingly, Akeem had just sent her his headshots and resume with the help of his good friend Mike Dolphy. Upon walking into her office, he was surprised to see her watching his famous video and laughing in amusement.
“I learned that life is an unexpected audition, especially in the land of Hollywood. You never know when your opportunity is going to happen or where it’s going to take you,” Akeem Mair shares.
Akeem Mair has appeared in various lead and supporting roles in different California universities, Warner Brothers productions, and various independent films. He appeared in the Los Angeles Film School remake of Hannah and Her Sisters and Good Will Hunting. He also appeared in short films of the Art Institute of Hollywood that include Limbo, Silent Love, and Life of a Villain. At present, Akeem is looking forward to participating in bigger film projects.
Follow Akeem Mair on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Backstage, Casting Frontier, Actors Access, LA Casting, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, or check out his IMDB account for updates on his latest projects.