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tv   Mosaic  CBS  April 18, 2021 5:30am-6:00am PDT

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good morning. welcome to mosaic. it's always a privilege to host mosaic. on behalf of our producer and cohost. i have always wondered over the 17 years i have done this show whether people are getting up as early as we get up to do this program. i am surprised that there are people who see it. last program i did on thanksgiving with mycoeagu dale withersphopkins texted w
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minuteteold frtr belt goo media teaient.pr mancthere to a program or i should say a movement called love life. he said he knew the producer and creator, and they would like to come on the program. that's proof that we are seen as early in the morning now that we are at 5:30. people get at least 30 minutes more to sleep in. we welcome you this day. we are blessed to have donald lacey jr who is an actor, writer, producer, and talk show. >> god thank you. >> great to have you. >> do you know if troy was just waking up or just going to bed when he saw the program? >> that's a good one. he didn't tell me. >> he didn't tell you. okay. >> as i said earlier you have
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an encyclopedia of experience but let's start with love life and how you produced that and how that is based. >> thank you for the question. it actual liv was the idea of my 16-year-old daughter. she was a very special young lady. i delivered her in the car while driving on 580. >> we see a picture of her right now. >> one hand on the wheel, to god be the glory she survived that experience. a loving individual. a classmate of hers was murdered and she came me and said nthelp write a r a friend. i have never been more proud. unfortunately later she was killed on october 20, an
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innocent victim to a shooting across the street from the school where she was a student in conflict resolution media. at the time i was going back and forth working on several shows and i stopped all that and decided to pick up her baton and carry her mission. here we are over 20 years later having made an impact on hundreds of thousands of lives as well as "love life" is now official motto of the city of oakland. we have had signs unveiled already that say love life when you enter oakland not only to remind people that the greatest gift god gives us is this breath of life to honor her and anyone whose life has been senselessly taken. >> i believe there are trees on that sign. >> yes, tree of life. >> fantastic.
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we appreciate you coming. you have done so many things, acting, comedian, and you produce. how did you end up in that profession? >> it started in san francisco state where i was a student and trying to get into the broadcast department. a friend of mine said let's go to this acting class. i had never acted. i remember i read a monologue from raisin in the sun, the part where he is banging on the floor talking about he made a deal with the man. i remember i was crying and i looked up and everybody was applauding. i was like wow. i had this feeling to say words and move people. i realized that's what i wanted to do. i had my first professional gig in 1984, made a whopping $10 a show. my father told me this ain't going to make it. you better get a real job! i got paid to act.
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>> remind him how sydney porter started. >> i think i did. he said you ain't sydney. yes, so, it's been something that's been a passion of mine. >> i know that comedy also has that serious side too. you have done a lot of serious drama that i have noticed in your resume'. how do you combine the two? >> that's a great question. you know, it's interesting because they say drama is hard but comedy is harder. i have always been naturally funny. when we were kids, this is true, at five years old, we produced shows in the garage and i would mc and tell jokes and i had my sisters dancing on chairs like that old show "band sis ill bi i de her audition. "i can't believe you made me audition." that's right. you have to prove it like
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everybody else. >> i know you have a tremendous amount of stories. we'll take a break now and look forward to hearing more. thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> please be with us as we continue with donald lacey, jr.
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welcome back to mosaic. if you have been with us in the
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first segment, you heard donald lacey talk about his daughter and "love life" and what that's meant. he has also produced and written a lot of plays and acted in them. name some of them you have done. >> i just did this wonderful piece, royale. people might know the writer for orange is the new black. it was baon first heavy weight black champion. it was an incredible cast and incredible piece. it ran about six weeks i want to say. that was really an amazing experience. i played manager of jack johnson, a character by the name of whitten. i always felt he was a giant but never realized until i researched and read unapologetically black, rise and fall of jack johnson, just how far ahead of his time he
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was to be in the early 20th century and to transcend not only the sport of boxing but coacher and to be the worldwide first black icon to be respected around the world and to be the undisputed heavy weight champ. >> this is black history month. >> yes, sir. >> what a legend and icon as you said. my favorite sport is boxing. i know it backwards and forwards. >> i love boxing as well. those days, as you know, some of his went 32 rounds. can you imagine? these guys now only do 12 rounds. >> and don't have rematches. >> exactly right. to do what he did is incredible. he was an incredible businessman. when he won the title to win jim jefferys he earned $110,000. this was back in 1915.
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that's like millions now for a black man at that time in racist america to be money for it is incredible. >> i have seen where you have done august wilson plays. >> absolutely. >> fences. >> fences at california shakespeare in 2016. that was another surreal experience. i played gabriel based on the angel gabriel, lead character troy's brother who has half his brain blown out as a world war ii veteran, an unbelievable experience to delve into that and become that human being. he actually felt like he was at dehis retions h . peter marriage, that he made it to heaven. august wilson. >> an incredible writer. >> denzel and viola davis did
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it on broadway and brought it to screen. viola won oscar for it. >> yes, and deservedly. >> i always tell actors you don't do august wilson. he does you. you have to humble yourself and be open. his writing is so deep in spiritual teachings. >> i like that a lot. >> i had the great pleasure to sit with him and have dinner and talk to him. he was so gracious to me. as a writer to hear his process, i am always interested in an artist's process, how do you get from the idea to getting it on paper. he said he used to like to go to coffee shops or restaurants where there were a lot of people and listen. the characters would speak to him, thould say something. then another character would say something. he wrote from the characters first and out of that, the
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story would naturally develop itself which i found fascinating. >> i have been told that's how you should read the bible, let the bible read you. you just mentioned about wilson. >> thank you for that. >> i liked that, what you said about wilson. i read also that romeo and juliet. >> it's something i am in preproduction for now when this airs and hopefully we'll be shooting god willing this summer. it's a spoof, hip hop musical comedy based on shakespeare. not to pat myself on the back but i tell young actors it's a lifetime commitment. you can't worry about being rich or famous. all you can focus on is your craft. once you do that, the doors will open for you. having done shakespeare years ago, wow, this is such a universal love story and the
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beauty of our story is it's racial polarization in america. it's hilarious but romeo's character is black and poor and juliette's character happens to be rich and white. in the trump pokalypse that we live in now, we say why do we look at each other in terms of the skin color or the race? really there is no race but one. the human race. >> right. i think most people who have gone through the realization have gone through things to have come to that. >> absolutely. >> it sounds like you have gone through that with the death of your daughter and how you have made that a living legacy of going against legacy of going against violence, negating people, demeaning people, atople >>bsolut love is not lost upon
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attributes of a person. her name means love life. loeshay. i gave her that name because she was so eager for life. she jumped out of her mother's womb on the way to hospital. she was ever resent with love. she was all about love. it is not lost to me that the meaning of her life to god be the glory is to remind us to love life and treat each other with respect. >> she gave the name. >> it was her idea. i have been following in her footsteps since. whatever i do, i will always up lift love life in her. >> we are glad you are doing that. please join us in another segment with donald e lacey, jr.
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if you have been with us, you have to be inspired. donald has talked about shakespeare to august wilson. in fact one of our persons, camera persons, pack oh, hooks us up said do a little shakespeare. and he did. >> how about some august wilson? y'all put me on the spot. i am trying to remember. from romeo and juliet, being purged a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes, a madness most
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discrete, a choking and preserving sweet. a little something-something. >> that's wonderful. you can preach. >> my grandmother, we would always have prayer late at night when i would be coming from the theater with my sister. i would do the psalms and she'd say you's a preacher. no grandma, no thank you. >> you hit on my favorite song, 27. whom shall i fair, lord is the strength of my life. yes, that's something i say every day before i go >> every servi do from those who have passed to life in transition, i begin with 27 psalms. >> yes. >> psalms are songs, poems,
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also prayers. tell us about the married tethe i could show you the oakland i grew up in. it was so cohesive, i was talking to someone, doing an interview saying i was having a conversation with my life, we have lived in the neighborhood we live in now for 16 years and i only know one neighbor. in the '60s and '70s, you knew everybody. you shared a meal, somebody was selling fish dinners. i was a hard headed youngster and mom handed out butt whipping coupons in the neighborhood. get him, send him me. it was a community. now everybody locks their doors and closes their windows and we don't even communicate with
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each other. i was fortunate to have two loving parents. i had several black men, uncles, my father's friends who were like uncles, would take me to a game or just sit with me. that's part of the role with the young black men i mentor. when i talk in classes or churches, community groups, my question is how many of you have your father in life? at least 75% don't. there is the absence of the black male father figure to give the same instructions and lessons i was taught to keep me in the right path or stay away from the pot holes that are out there for you if you are not careful. >> i was thinking the tragedy brings us together, all the fires. it's great that people turn out and help and support. it's wonderful. hopefully we will be community
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before then. >> absolutely. it's funny. i was just at a service for a dear friend of mine who knew my daughter. her father said something. he said why when someone passes or something happens, we get together? it's the same in our family. somebody passes, we get together. then the rest of the years in between we never really see or really communicate. that's part of design. it's amazing to me the technology which is supposedly designed to bring people closer together actually separates. you know this. at least for me, i can't call nobody and get them to pick up. back in the old days when we didn't have answering machines and twitter, you called somebody and they would pick up and say hello. now i am so used to getting answering machines, when somebody picks up, i am thrown.
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we are conditioned not to communicate. >> before we came on, you were trying to communicate through the cell phone to a minister who was ill. so there are ways of making that contact that we can benefit from. >> yes. i think we have been so conditioned not to communicate and i have halfway being facetious, that's why it's harder to reach. people prefer to text. i like to talk to people. i can look in your face and know what you are telling me is true or feel what you are feeling, how my words affect you, how your words affect me. it's just that's become more of >> withthe robots taking over everything. >> wow, robot wives. heaven help us. >> i just don't want a robot pastor. they better keep us around. >> yes, sir, we need you pastor. we need to have the real word delivered from a real human being. you are right, that might be
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next step, unfortunately. >> we have one last segment. i want the audience to know what you are doing so they can be in touch with you. >> absolutely. >> please join us for our last segment with donald lacey.
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if you have been with us
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this time, you probably want to know how to get a hold of donald lacey, jr. either his cds or dvds he has or something that he is producing and something that he might be acting. so tell us where you are and where we can find you. >> you can always reach me via e-mail if you would like a cd or dvd. i am always going to be at a show this spring at the gardens theater with roger smith. >> san francisco. >> yes. of course people know him from malcolm x, do the right thing. >> oh, yes. >> he has a wonderful one man show about huey newton. it was a film that was just surreal and incredible. i feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with him. we are doing that through santo and san jose. people should look for that.
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it's going to be an amazing show. >> what's impressed me is you are committed to the art and the talent and not just the income, which you do appreciate. but whether you are getting paid or not, you will be there because that's your gift. >> at this stage if i am not getting paid, i ain't going to be there. can i say that. >> that's all right. it's true. >> i mentor young people. i used to act coach people like laura hayes. the young people i work with now, i don't charge because i tell them all i want is for you to be successful. there is stuff i do to give back. for love life, a lot of of that is volunteer work if you will. but when it comes to the business itself, one of my first mentors told me the word business is bigger than the word show. so you better have your
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business together. >> it's understandable. when i saw the grammys not long ago and saw other awards programs, i know you receive a lot of awards, there is so much talent and competition, it is unfortunate that people cannot get the kind of support they need. >> absolutely. i was fortunate. i am in screen actors guild so i got to vote. i get to vote for the awards. actually i think denzel's movie roman israel esq, to me that's one of his great esper formation. >> best actor. >> he played something so different. >> exactly. >> did you see that? what a th movie d problems but performance was shear business. >> malcolm is extraordinary. >> thank you so much.
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>> thank you. come back. >> i would love to. thank you. >> thank you for being with us. you have been listening to donald e lacey, jr. look him up. i know you will be pleased with anything he is in, anything he has produced. he is also a great comedian. thank you for being with us.
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in oakland father and his one-year-old daughter died in a house fire. stomach a bizarre crime, pigs had and the blood splattered across tone. the links to the george floyd murder trial. stomach demonstrate his protest, injured as a call for justice over the recent killings by police. good morning. this morning we have a check of our weather.

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