Entertainment, IN SEE Culture

The Rocket SHIP Took Off – North Carolina Actor Blast Off to Greatness

New Year’s resolutions are typically established at the conclusion or start of the year. We initially achieve consistency with it but then tend to wane. Not for actor Joshua T. Shipman. He concluded 2023 on a positive note, stating with surety that he would soar to black excellence in 2024 by accomplishing his desired objectives to take his acting career to new heights.

“We’re going to put a stamp on this right now. I am heading towards being signed by one of the biggest agencies in the world. It’s going to be a time when my plane (goals) is off the runway. My career is going to skyrocket like crazy. I feel it!!” Shipman declared how he expected his year to turn out.

The SAG-E actor kept his word. So far, he’s off to an excellent start to the new year. He did an acting gig for TV One’s nationally televised crime show, Fatal Attraction.

He was also featured in Emotions of a Murder, out on Tubi, starring Jamal “Gravy” Woolard, who portrayed rapper The Notorious B.I.G. in the film Notorious, and star as the Host in the Up TV movie, The Soulmate Search.

This month, he’s featured in the March 5th movie, Intrigue, starring as Darren, and featured in Double Standards, set to release on March 14th. Next month, Shipman will star as Dan in the upcoming movie, Single, Saved, and Searching, set to release on Peacock on April 2nd, with more movies on the way for the year.

List of movies Joshua T. Shipman movie features; Courtesy of Joshua T. Shipman/Instagram

Known as the face of Christmas films by his contemporaries, he also appeared in Harriet, The Good Lord Bird, The Royal Bake Off, Swagger, Eleanor’s Bench, and Snowy Day in Oakland with Nicole Ari Parker.

The Columbus native is also making strides in the commercial world. So far into the year, he has landed commercial gig for V.C.U. Health Orthopedic Care.

His commercial resume is estimated to be five pages long, with appearances for many national brands such as Ritz, Home Depot, Buffalo Wild Wings, Discover, Bravo Towel, Tide Laundry Detergent, Verizon Mobile, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, and the Virginia Lottery.

During our interview, the columnist learned more about Shipman’s acting career, his passion for the craft, the origins of his fascination, and how his motivation drives him toward greatness.

Love for Film and Acting

The 36-year-old’s interest in film and acting dates back to his childhood in a small town called Hallsboro, NC. He recollects the pleasant recollections of family movie night during the Blockbuster era, when VHS tapes were the thing. 

“We had a big family. My parents had nine kids—three boys and six girls. Every Thursday, our family would have movie night. My dad would rent two to three movies. We’ll have food and popcorn. I was so blessed to grow up and come from something like that,” Shipman stated.

L-R: Actor Joshua T. Shipman posing with Actress, Karen Abercrombie, best known for her role in War Room and Highlights of Joshua T. Shipman on the set of Eleanor’s Bench; Courtesy of Joshua T. Shipman/Instagram

Constantly imaginative, he spent time outdoors with his siblings, constructing fantastical realms. He recalled a time when he completely immersed himself in the role for the 1996 film Twister. 

Almost a storm would be approaching from the outside, and he would be outdoors, pretending to see himself in the movie—jumping from the ladder, swirling in the wind.

At that time, his imagination seemed to be fueled solely by the fact that he was fortunate enough to live, have a good childhood, and play outside with all these elements at his disposal; that, in essence, fueled his desire to pursue an acting career.

Sharpening His Skills

He elevated his passion for creating imaginary worlds by taking training and workshops. Shipman has a practice that he utilizes, which helps him to submerge himself into his character better. 

He can understand each script by imbuing each experience with humanity and asking himself what he would do in these predicaments for the character he’s portraying. 

Joshua T. Shipman acting highlights; YouTube/Joshua T. Shipman

Also, when reading a script, he ensures that he fully comprehends the events depicted in each scene. By embodying the character in the present moment, he incorporates aspects of himself and expresses his stance.

“That’s always my conception of acting. I am gratified when individuals tell me they admire my work and say, ‘Hey, I don’t know what it is about you, but you find a way to connect with every role you play,'” he explained.

Adapting into His Roles

Shipman, who has been in the game for over ten years, shared that in the Hollywood industry, actors will only sometimes receive the roles they believe they ought to receive.

He recalled that in the early part of his career, he had desired to portray a bad guy or a monster because many other actors were doing it. The critics tell him that portraying those roles is always simple—anyone can play a tough and angry role. He received roles that were either diametrically opposed or somewhat synonymous with who he is.

Shipman shared that he has frequently received compliments for having a more professional, reserved, and predominantly commercial look than that of an inner-city urbanite. “Not to say they cannot be filmed in those roles (portraying the villain type of role). God knows I’ve lost count of how many films I’ve done,” he interjected.

Looking back, he’s grateful to have taken on the roles that helped him fulfill those roles better, which ultimately worked out. 

Overcoming Challenges in the Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry presents its fair share of setbacks, but his motivation remains constant: remembering why he is in this industry. He stated that it’s difficult and disappointing in the genesis of his acting career when you’re not getting the roles, unable to comprehend why your way is not transpiring as you hoped for. 

He shared that as time passed, he started to see his purpose aligning for his own good. With the avenue his acting career is now on, he can comprehend how it all makes sense, which leads to a greater understanding of gratitude.

Joshua T. Shipman’s Priority Automotive and VCU Health Orthropaedic Care Commercial; Youtube/Joshua Shipman

On his road to becoming an A-list actor, he never lets that deter him from his destiny, as he knows he has other opportunities.

“I may not get this role in this movie, but I got a role in a commercial for a billion-dollar company, paying ten times more than what the movie was going to pay,” he stated.

Forward Momentum

Actor, Joshua T. Shipman Professional Photo; Courtesy of Joshua T. Shipman

Shipman’s natural acting gift has elevated him to evolve into greatness. Shipman has no momentum that cannot be easily turned off with a faucet handle. His career momentum is flowing strongly, like Victoria Water Falls, with him getting gig after gig. 

He reflects on his humble beginning, considering how far he came in wanting to utilize his Mass Communication degree from U.N.C. Pembroke to work in news media before his path steered him toward his love for acting. 

When asked what prompted the transition from the news media to acting, he replied, “I could write a book or do a movie about my journey, transitions, and different stages of life that brought me to where I am now. I truly believe that everything played a part,” he stated.

Growing up in a rural community, he would tell people he wanted to do acting for a living. He stated that when you’re from a small town, people would say, “Are you sure you want to do that?” or “Why don’t you just make that a hobby?” “What’s your backup plan?” and “What are you going to do with it because nobody believes people can make it?”

Actor Joshua T. Shipman

He stated that those same people are congratulating him every chance they get. He hears people in his community say he’s really stuck with acting, allowing his gift to take him places. 

He shared that it’s all about having unshakeable faith, even when no one doesn’t believe him. The effort and time he put into acting make sense to Shipman, as he knows with surety that more and more doors will open for him. 

It’s mind-blowing for Shipman to see himself in major films, TV shows, and commercials. The fruit of his labor is also enough for the single father of one to remain constant in his motivation, as he has a bright future ahead of him. From local to global, the ship took off, and he’s not landing anytime soon.

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