Father’s Day is truly a special day for me when I think about my dad. One word comes to mind when I think about him and his role in my life. Inspiration.
As a child, I recall spending moments watching television and seeing my dad enter the living room of his TV family and greet them for dinner. Then when he had days off and when we would be out having lunch off the set, people would come over and say he was their hero as a dad.
I saw that his role was more than a job; that he was actually helping people through his role as a strong father dedicated to mentoring his TV kids. There were life lessons learned in each weekly episode. It was amazing to watch the show become a hit series, changing the face of television sitcoms, particularly in terms of shows that depicted African-American families.
The actor is John Amos. The show is Good Times. My dad is known as James Evans to so many people. As for me, I call him Pops. The world knows him as the no-nonsense dad. I know him as the thoughtful father who is always looking at the practical way of doing things and even listening when you need someone to talk to.
He’s a people person who usually finds himself walking into a special moment. There was one occasion recently where he walked backstage on Broadway to greet Tom Hanks. Well, Tom was so glad to see him that he broke out singing the popular jingle from a classic McDonald’s commercial that my dad starred in some years ago. Tom expressed that it was that commercial that inspired him to pursue acting as a child.
I think that his advice in my life has helped me discover who I am and my passion for directing and production work. After watching him work in front of the camera on a live TV show or a film shoot, I became fascinated with cameras and directing. He made a cameo appearance in a new feature film that I recently co-directed and produced titled, Mercy for Angels.
The film takes on the subject of human trafficking in America. This is a cause that me and Pops are passionate about. We want to assist the efforts to bring change through awareness and hopefully help to end this crime against humanity.
We are also working to make his renowned theatrical play Halley’s Comet into a feature film. The play tells the story of an old man who sees Halley’s Comet for the second time since his childhood. It’s a touching project that has some great lessons in it.
I would have to say that the most amazing thing about my dad as a father is that he has taught me to discover my passion, develop it, and give it back in a way that will hopefully make a difference to the lives of others. For that, he is my hero.
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