When we take care of our state of beingness and genuinely give and share with others from a state of being love, we will always receive vibrationally matching feedback in return. It feels so good to love. It feels so satisfying to give and receive love. Recognizing that love is not a destination—I am love—feels empowering. It is our intrinsically natural beingness.
Theodore Barnes, a young artist who inspires others by his own example of embracing who he is, says, “I am fun. I am a loving person. I am genuine. I love to be outside, always laughing, and making jokes. I feel like a lot of things going on in my life aren’t really in my control. But one thing I know, I will always be able to control the energy that I put out and give to people, as well as the energy they return because when you give something nice, you definitely feel nice. So, I would definitely say I’m just filled with love, laughter, and just genuine feelings.”
There is an infinite ocean of possibilities for creatively expressing ourselves, but often, we get too caught up in trying to figure out the ‘whens’ and the ‘hows’ of that which we want will arrive. By releasing our desires into their natural unfolding, we will discover more about ourselves in many different ways.
“I am an actor, but if I want to direct or produce something, I can take that initiative, especially with connections in the acting world. There’s also a long list of things behind the scenes that you can do and embrace. And I relate to it because I’m not only an actor, but I am using it to boost my creativity in other ways. Right now, I’m considering writing something about the life of a child actor from the perspective of being in my unique shoes. The world is evolving, and it’s becoming easier to break yourself out of the box and accomplish your goals. You can take just about any route you want,” shares Theodore.
We can clearly see how our physical shapes, appearances, and cultural manners are different from others. But when we look beyond all of our physical expressions, we will sense that, in essence, we all are connected by being a divine love and the desire to experience a fulfilling and beautiful existence. To be inclusive of others, we first have to include seeing the common thread that binds us all together.
Theodore speaks about the continual expansion of inclusivity and more authentically diverse narratives within the entertainment industry. He says, “I feel the diversity within the entertainment industry that’s been happening lately, and the barriers that are being broken down are long overdue. But better late than never, and it’s really about giving people a shot regardless of how they look or sound because somewhere in the globe, someone will be able to relate to them. And that has an impact on people’s life. For me, I love playing certain characters that do push those limits, and I do say, ‘Hey, we can say this? We can do this without being sensitive.’ Because, at the end of the day, the truth is the truth, and people need to hear it, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it, then I feel like you have to look back inside yourself and ask yourself, ‘Why? Why am I feeling this way?’ I tell people all the time, you can do anything as long as you’re really dedicated and 100% passionate about it. Many people aspire to be actors or singers, or storytellers, or writers, but they might not be 100% committed. Being in the lane that I am in, I can say that I am prepared for just about anything that comes my way. Because an actor is a storyteller, and a director, a producer, entrusts us with their baby and we get to bring that to life. I just want people to take that away from me, like, ‘We’re making progress as a people.’”
Everything is constantly changing, and change is inevitable. The ease with which we navigate our life is what makes the difference in how we are experiencing it. Any change we want to see in the world starts with us, within ourselves; we first and foremost have to embody that change, and that will be the most powerful influence and contribution to the eternal expansion. We are the process of our own success. We have to become the opportunity we seek, as seeking is still in the vibration of not being it. Weola, one of the inspirational teachers, says, “I don’t want happiness. I don’t want abundance. I don’t want success. I want to be happy. I want to be abundant. I want to be successful. I simply want to be. And then, anything that follows my state of being in action is going to be wonderful.”
Theodore passionately says, “There are so many times and opportunities where you could say, ‘No, I’m done with this,’ or ‘It’s not working out,’ or you could even quit. So, the model I’ve been going by is that it only takes one yes, so don’t quit. It only takes one person to give you that shot. It only takes one line, one scene, one movie, one show to change your life. I mean, that goes for anybody in any lane. But for me, believe in your process. Just because it took someone a year to make it doesn’t mean it’s going to take you a year. We’re all on our own journey, ultimately trying to get to one goal. I would definitely say that you really have to stay true to yourself. And I circled back to when I said that you have to love that passion 100%.”
Theodore’s insatiable passion for life and his craft as an actor reflects in everything he does. He is continually training and practicing different angles of each character with his acting coach Jeff Dockweiler. For Theodore, it’s not just about booking the role, but he really enjoys the process of becoming someone else and exploring different ways, different characters, different expressions of himself through the character he plays.
One of the actor’s latest roles is Junebug on BET+ comedy series The Ms. Pat Show streaming now. Theodore says, “With the show taking place in the present day, there’s a lot of situations that Junebug goes through. Whether it’s in the family or at school, I believe a lot of people can definitely relate to lessons there, especially if you’re a teen or the parent of a teen. Junebug is a teen who goes to school, has a sister, and is from a typical family household. There are definitely some lessons in there he’s bringing out to the kids and parents. As I said, it is the present day, these are situations you might have gone through last week, or you might go through. The audience is taking away already and can take away so much from watching the show.”
Soon, Theodore will be going back to continue filming The Goldbergs while still auditioning. He’s open to enjoy every second and the unfolding of opportunities he creates on the way. Besides acting, Theodore contributes to humanitarian causes close to his heart. He says, “I feel anybody can contribute in their own way, whether it’s just picking up a bottle that you see thrown away or picking up trash. I’m a major anti-littering advocate, especially when it’s just really an inconvenience. Being a humanitarian or helping can come in many forms. For example, we drop blankets off at the homeless shelter for women and children called The Rainbow Shelter. Giving people money, even if you don’t know what they’re going to use it for, will brighten their day in some manner, shape, or form because we’re all going through life.”
We all go through life, and sometimes it seems to be easier, and sometimes it might feel the opposite. However, we always have a choice in how we react and respond to any situation, as we always have the option to turn any challenging moment into empowerment for ourselves and then become that empowering example for others.
“I definitely will say that I have experienced a certain situation that happened about five years ago—growing up, becoming a young man, and having to deal with something, some might say, a child shouldn’t have to deal with. It was a steppingstone for me. But, when life comes at you, you choose to either sink or swim. And then, I felt like I didn’t have time to react to this situation because of what my family was going through at the time. It was either tuck and hide or end up, chest out and push through it and get through it. But eventually, we went back to normal. And then I started seeing things differently, dealing with situations differently, and getting more serious about real life and what’s going on. I would definitely say that I stepped up and took a different role in my household during the week when we were going through our situations. My maturity level bumped up a little bit, my caring for other people and their situations and what they’ve been through, and how that can come back and affect me in the future, has really hit me. So, that’s why I’m always so vocal about telling people to try to open up, as many times people go through stuff, and they just remain silent, and it’s still just all up here. It’s not a good way to let that marinate. So, speak up and express yourself, even if it’s to a stranger. This definitely plays a big part in mental and physical health.”
And when I asked Theodore about his favorite aspects about himself, he responded, “I would say, my mentality and my work ethic are my two strongest suits about me. I am always looking at things differently, not positively or negatively, but just looking at them differently. I’m always two steps ahead, but I try to be at least in situations that I know I can. I just feel like my mentality has always been different. I won’t say I’m a go-getter, but I would say I am ready for just about anything when it comes to adjusting easily. In my work ethic, because I have been working since third grade, and that only got better. I really tapped into being true to myself and my love for this. My work ethic is shooting up every day, to the point where I could get three hours of sleep, and I’m ready to go back. That is all off the strength of success and notoriety and having a craft and showcasing it to the world.”
Like Theodore, when we don’t identify ourselves with what is considered negative or positive, we experience life with the reins in our hands and embrace our freedom of choice for how long we want to stay in each emotional state. That will eventually bring us to experience who we are in our fullest potential.
Photography // Storm Santos