Meet Kema of Lights Camera Discover
I was born in Oak Park, IL and also spent some time living in Pensacola, FL. I was more of an athlete and never considered acting until I took me first acting class in Orlando in 1999. This leap of faith paid off, as I scored my first acting role in 2000 on the acclaimed show “Sheena”.
From there, I decided to leave the east coast and try to see if the entertainment business had a place for me. Due to family situations I only stayed in Los Angeles for about two years. While back in Orlando I then went on to work on other projects as well as scoring a role in the movie “Impiety” (with Wreaking Havoc Productions). In 2007 I produced me first film “Jamaican Me Crazy” (with DramaQueen Productions) in Atlanta, GA. At that time I realized that I was not done with Los Angeles, and moved back to the “City of Angels.
In 2009 while producing projects with Phalanx Entertainment I discovered me true destiny and birthed Circle C Entertainment. Under the Circle C Entertainment and Phalanx Entertainment umbrella I had the opportunity to direct and produce the music video “Thinking About You” by Raz B (of the Multi-platinum selling group B2K and the hit show “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood”).
Afterwards, the budding entrepreneur took me skillsets to Africa as Director of Operations for a filmmaking program in Abuja, Nigeria. While spending time with the students, I rediscovered me first love in the entertainment world – acting. Upon me return from Africa I landed a role in the stage play “You Reap What You Sow” (a production of Stephanie Singleton).
In 2011, I birthed “Lights Camera Discover” (LCD) a non-profit organization that teaches youth teamwork by way of filmmaking and animation. For the past nine years, I has run LCD in four different states. The organization is growing every year and I has received numerous awards and recognition on behalf of me tireless work with LCD. Some of these awards are the NBC Channel 12 “Non-profit Spotlight Award” in June 2018, the South by Southwest “Community Service Organization” award in March 2019, a city of “Phoenix Mayor Awards: Innovative Arts Organization” Finalist in October 2019. Recently, I was awarded the “Phoenix Suns Golden Standard” Award Winner in February 2020.
If a road is too smooth it makes me second guess it. I love a challenge and this has been very challenging. It’s was not easy in the beginning working a full time job and also trying to focus on my vision. And then when I quit the 9-5 to focus on my vision full time it was not easy because I lost the comfort of bi-weekly pay. So one has to be very determined, focused and able to adjust on the fly. Trying to build an audience of supporters can be hard if they don’t know you or your work. But once they do it is a great thing.
Lights Camera Discover (LCD) was built on a simple foundation; to effectively break the circle of generational poverty, you must equip the next generation with education in careers that are “in demand”. Our mission is to provide free, accessible and effective Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programming leading to secondary education and then to STEAM careers where the goal is closing the circle in generational poverty.
We develop in our students a sense of pride, self-worth, strength and appreciation of community commitment through performance and digital arts. Lights Camera Discover will be one of the catalysts to infuse a cooperative spirit that will bring forth the creativity of oneself.
As part of our efforts to give youth a voice through the media arts, Lights Camera Discover offers an on-going program to train local youth in digital storytelling and animation productions. Lights Camera Discover is an award winning year-round program in which students learn filmmaking and animation basics alongside anti-bullying and social awareness. During our sessions, students get to create projects of their own.
Our goal is to help build strong individuals and enable the youth in our communities by teaching skills and developing characteristics that give youth the ability to turn their imaginations into opportunity.
I define success in seeing the changes in the lives of the youth that we connect with. If only none shows a positive change in their day to day life or use the skills that we give them, that is my fuel to keep on going.