Photo Credit: Rudy Valentino Photography

Photo Credit: Rudy Valentino Photography

Ever seen the movie Hardball? Yes? Ok, remember the character Kofi who was with G-baby when he was killed? Well yeah, this is Kofi now (pictured above) and his real name is Michael Perkins.

Michael was only 14-years-old when he was chosen to play the memorable role of Kofi in the 2001 Chicago based film. This was his first acting role, which ignited his career in entertainment.

“I started acting in 2000,” says Perkins. “The career honestly chose me; never saw myself acting at all. Just so happen to be in the right place at the right time for my calling.”

Hardball has since been and still is a movie that has impacted many of its viewers till this day, including Chicago natives like Michael himself.

“It's still surreal to me. The older I get the better I understand what that film did and still does to a lot of people," says Perkins.

"At a young age I didn't really understand it but now I do. Especially, being from Chicago, seeing what Chicago is going through now and just hearing from other people what the film means to them is very cool.”

After Hardball Michael took a 10-year hiatus from acting in order to pursue other opportunities, including getting a college education.

“College was my way of getting away from acting.  I wanted to do my own thing and experience the college life that so many people talked about.”

Michael graduated from Alabama A&M University in 2009 where he obtained his B.S. in Business Management. He then went on to earn his M.B.A. It was until the end of grad school in 2012 that Michael decided to get back into the showbiz.

“It was during my last year of graduate school when I decided to get back into the industry. I had to grow up and know that acting was what I wanted to do.”

This time around, he decided to take the comedy route, playing in the 2016 TV movie and series Curious? and in one episode of the 2016 series #Adulting. But what made him make the change from acting in dramas like Hardball to doing comedy?

“I honestly did it for no reason.  I did a comedy show at college and people thought I was funny.  I use it as a way to talk shit about things without people getting hurt and feeling victimize.”

Michael has since performed stand-ups at Comedy Store, Flappers Comedy Club, Icehouse Comedy Club and a few small night club spots in LA.

Michael also created his own podcast through iTunes called, “Live from the Couch,” where he talks about different topics relating to life, relationships, education, entertainment and the Black experience.

“I started the podcast in November of 2017. It started from a little segment I did on my Instagram where I would talk about current events or things in daily life from my perspective.  A few people liked what I was doing and felt I should turn it into a podcast. So that’s what I did.”

Michael plans on using his podcast as a vehicle to get his voice out and to help others. 

“I would love to get sponsored and even do live shows at theaters and clubs.  I want to in the future start my own company, so the podcast will be one of my first projects.”

But this isn’t the only thing he’s been working on. Other than movie and show auditions, Michael recently has been planning and writing his own comedy web series and a short film. More information will be announced in the future.

Meanwhile, Michael was able to share some advice and tips for being on set for a show or film based on his own experiences.

“The most important thing about working on set is being friendly and polite. You are working with people for 10-12 hours out the day so no one wants to work with an asshole, which would be the con part of being on set- working with bad people. “

“Being prepared is very important also. Knowing your lines and scenes helps the shoot go very smoothly. Also being coachable and listening. Directors might want something different so you have to be able to give it to them. Things can change on a fly doing a film so you have to be ready for it. “

As far as advice for aspiring entertainers; whether in acting, hosting or comedy, Michael says to just go out and do it. 

“Once you start working on whatever it is you want, the creativity and energy just starts going.  Also, DO NOT GIVE UP!  You decided to be in an industry with no time table at all! The only failure you can have is if you give up.”

“And keep a strong support system around you. Good, honest people are hard to find in this industry.  Find them and keep them with you.”