Last night, I saw actress Meagan Good for the first time at my alma mater, The University of Memphis. I was invited by one of my clients. (Thanks Mr. Ewing!!) It was part of U of M’s Black History Month celebration. The entire month features programming organized by the students and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and each year, they invite someone famous to share their life experiences and accomplishments. The event was simply entitled, “An Evening with Meagan Good”. When I say I saw Meagan, I mean not just in the flesh or live in living color but I saw her as a human being. I was on the front row, close enough to touch her but far enough to need an invitation to do so. I’ve always loved Meagan. She’s a talented actress. Here resume of film and television is impressive. I’ll let you Google those if you don’t know. She’s been in the business since she was a child. She’s also beautiful. Her skin is flawless but that is the woman we’ve been able to see on screen and in interviews. Last night, while on stage alone at the Michael Rose Theatre, she allowed herself to be vulnerable in front of a room full of students, faculty and guests and gave a glimpse of who she is as a person. She revealed that this was her first speech which I found intriguing. I wondered if before now people had simply regarded her as just another pretty face and didn’t see the need to reach out to her to address audiences regularly like her husband, DeVon Franklin, or maybe she had shied away from such activities. Next time we meet, I’ll ask her. There is a subtle timidness about her but it became evident as she progressed and some of the nervousness wore off, she has something of value to say. Meagan is sweet, kind, funny, caring and intelligent. She knows who she is and whose she is. She didn’t speak with absolute confidence ( that will come as she does more public speaking) but she did speak with knowledge and authority. As she gave us details about her upbringing, her career, her marriage and her faith I took notes of what I thought were some of her most profound points of the evening. Here’s what Meagan taught me:
#1 Tell Yourself You’re Dope
As a child growing up in a predominately white California neighborhood, Meagan was often told what she couldn’t do. Meagan said teachers and adults tried to snuff out her dreams of being an actress with negative words telling her she wasn’t good enough, she didn’t belong, she wasn’t pretty enough or she wasn’t going to make it. At a young age, she decided that rather than internalize their words she would provide her own buffer of positivity and began to tell herself SHE WAS DOPE! It was true and somewhere along the way others began to believe it too. This is bully repellent at it’s best!
#2 Rejection Can Be God’s Protection
There were roles and opportunities she wanted that she didn’t get. Later, Meagan realized they weren’t in her best interested and those “No’s” she received was God’s way of providing a covering for her. She learned not to take it personal. It was often business, and she had to treat it that way.
#3 Believe You Deserve God’s Best
A student asked Meagan how she dealt with peer pressure when she was dating while celibate. Meagan was honest with the student in her reply that she really didn’t have any peer pressure. She had already had her fun. She had also been in some long-term relationships that ultimately didn’t work in her favor. It was obvious that giving herself to men who weren’t her husband wasn’t working so she decided to try it another way….God’s way. She deserved God’s best, and she decided to wait for it. In the meantime, she worked on herself. What she realized while waiting for a man sent by God to enter her life was her decision that she deserved God’s best permeated itself into the other areas of her life. She began to turn down roles that weren’t necessarily in her favor, even though she probably needed the money, and she excluded herself from people and settings that weren’t right for her. Things began to go well for her in her personal life and her career. She landed better roles and met the man of her dreams. Look At God!
#4 Meet God Halfway
I first heard this story when DeVon came to Memphis a few months early but it was nice to receive Meagan’s version of it. She’s going to be in an action movie!! She can’t talk about it yet but details are forthcoming. Meagan made the decision she wanted to do action roles a while ago and when she told her husband he asked her what was she doing to meet God halfway. Meagan needed to be physically fit for that type of role and she was sitting on the couch eating. At first, she wasn’t too keen on exercise but eventually Meagan got up off that couch and as she said, “I went hard in the paint.” She even chronicles her fitness journey on social media and when the time came that a studio wanted to talk to her about being an action role her mind and her body was prepared. You should she her, she’s finer than ever! The people in the room saw it as soon as she walked in. When Meagan revealed to them she was not only working out but taking martial arts they were impressed. She believes her decision to train for a role she didn’t even have yet was one of the major deciding factors when casting her. This a reinforcement of the words found in James 2:26, “Faith without works is dead.” I’m happy for Meagan, and I can’t wait to hear more details.
#5 Stay Close to God
Meagan has never shied away from speaking about her faith. She was saved at 12 and baptized at 19 and regardless of what anyone may think she says she has always had a close relationship with God. When she and DeVon first married in 2012, she experienced a lot of judgement from church folks who thought she wasn’t good enough to be a pastor’s wife which caused her to stay away from church for almost three years. However, Meagan never strayed from God nor let the opinions of others separate her from Him. She shared that she’s read her Bible practically every day for the past 10 years. Early in her career, Meagan said she asked God was she supposed to pursue acting. He told her yes, “But it’s not about you, it’s about me”. She listened.
#6 Help Comes in the Most Unexpected Ways
Meagan spoke of her friendship with actress Gabrielle Union. They met on the set of he movie “Deliver Us from Eva” when she was 19. Gabrielle went to a movie executive whose name and position totally escapes me right now and told them about Meagan. She told them how she was an amazing actress and they should use her more. That executive listened and from Gabrielle’s recommendation Meagan landed five more movie roles and one of them is the blockbuster hit “Think Like A Man”! In a world where women are often portrayed to be catty and unable to get along isn’t it nice to hear how women with influence and power have used it to lift one another up!
Needless to say, I enjoyed the brief time Meagan allowed us to see into her world, feel her spirit and share her positive energy. I wish her nothing but God’s best and I’ll be implementing her words of wisdom into my own life in hopes of reaching new and higher heights. Thanks Meagan! You should definitely do more speaking.
**As you can see I haven’t posted on this site in a while. I’ve been busy growing my business but something about last night’s experience just compelled me to. I hope you enjoyed my observances during a wonderful evening with a wonderful woman.
Jae Henderson is an author, PR consultant and the founder of the singles empowerment group Happy & Single. Learn more about her at www.jaehendersonauthor.com.