What is your earliest memory of watching horror films?
Answer: The first horror film I ever saw in my life was when I was 5 years old and I wasn’t supposed to see it then because my parents thought I was in the bed asleep but I was laying in the hallway watching the tv in the living room from a distance. The film was “JAWS”. HBO was a brand new thing to households and we had just got cable. Needless to say I was scared to death to even take a bath after that,but…it was the beginning of a journey that is now my life.
You are cousin of June Carter Cash, Wife of Johnny Cash. Did this influence your decision to be in the entertainment industry?
Answer: Long before I ever knew who June Carter or Johnny Cash was, I was drawn to music and I loved to sing. My mom told me that I was humming and trying to sing long before I started talking as a child. Music was my first language. I was fascinated with all things creative from the sounds of instruments and music to Tv shows and Films. I didn’t know how to explain what I was feeling or experiencing but I just knew I was different. As I grew into a young man, I had come to realize that I was learning who I am as an individual. It was like watching a bird learn to fly. No one had to tell the bird that it was a bird, it always knew, but it did have to learn how to function in life and how to thrive and survive. I quickly realized that I was that metaphorical bird, learning how to use my skills to thrive and survive. My decision to become involved in the entertainment business has never been about who I am related to, the entertainment industry was always going to be a huge part of my life, because just like the bird, I was born to be part of something much bigger than myself. I have spent my life perfecting my skills and embracing who I am at my core, I can soar with eagles and I can contribute in ways that I never dreamed possible. My family, has made significant contributions to the entertainment world and beyond and has created a legacy of love and service to others through our art. I have never envisioned a world without me being involved in the creative arts. Creativity is life for me and the very air that I breathe. I didn’t choose to be an entertainer, entertainment chose me. I now use my gifts, like my Cousins before me, to make the greatest impact in our world possible and to help leave this world better than it was when we found it. I can only pray to accomplish just a fraction of what June Carter Cash or Johnny Cash ever did and to do it with love, passion and compassion and to inspire others to follow their dreams and to see the beauty in this life. If I can do that, then, I will have been successful. Our gifts are gifts from God and they are meant to be given away. If we don’t share our talents with the world, then what good were they? I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my family for they have shown me that anything is truly possible and I strive everyday to use the skills I have been given to add value to a much larger purpose than my own.
Another relative of yours is former 39th President of the United States of America, President Jimmy Carter. What are your memories of Mr. Carter and do you think he watched horror films?
Answer: I was just a young boy at the age of 7 years old when Jimmy Carter was elected President but I remember watching his addresses to the nation on TV with my parents. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but the thing that stuck with me even to this day is his humble beginnings. His journey from poverty to the White House, proved that with hardwork, faith, and perseverance that anything is possible. I grew up dirt poor myself in a family that struggled at times just to eat. We grew our food, we lived on working farms and in exchange for our labor we lived in the house on the property. We had no running water or indoor plumbing and being the oldest of 3 children, I had more responsibility. These experiences gave me a deeper appreciation for the simple things in life that most take for granted. Knowing that President Jimmy Carter was not only our family, but that he had come from similar beginnings, gave me hope that oneday, I could do something great too. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a man who not only shaped our great nation but inspired a young boy who had been told that he was just a hopeless dreamer. That Boy was me. I thank God for his influence and inspiration in my life. It is a known fact that President Jimmy Carter had a deep affinity for entertainment, he loved music and was one of the Presidents to invite some of the biggest names in music and film to the Whitehouse. Johnny Cash and June Carter made numerous visits to the White House under his Presidency and at the time, John Carter Cash, Son of June and Johnny was just a boy himself. Jimmy Carter loved movies and he watched films from all genres. Whitehouse records show that he indeed watched what could be categorized as “Horror”, in 1978 he watched a film entitled “magic”, and in 1980 he watched the film “Changeling”. So, it is safe to say that YES! President Jimmy Carter watched Horror Films.
What was the most difficult part of your journey into the film industry?
Answer: The hardest part of my journey into the entertainment industry has been the journey itself. I have always known that I was different and I knew that to do what I wanted to do was not going to be easy. My dreams have required me to make sacrifices, to suffer beyond imagination, and to commit to a mission that is nearly impossible to achieve. My whole life, I have been driven by an unrelenting desire to be part of the most amazing and fulfilling industry on planet earth, I have always known that the journey would be lonely, and it would be unforgiving, but, I knew I had to walk that path regardless of the price, because it is who I am. I am an entertainer to my core, creativity runs through my veins. It’s all I think about and I am alive when I am on a movie set. Unless, you are an entertainer yourself, you cannot relate and I can’t describe it, it’s like being the greatest athlete ever to play the game. You live for it, you bleed for it, you suffer for it, you embrace it with every fiber of your being because it is who you are. You don’t do it for money or fame, you would do it for “FREE” everyday of your life and you would never complain about the pain because it is who you were created to be. This is who I am as an entertainer. I have invested decades of my life honing my skills, I audition, I get told “No” or I hear nothing. I reach out to industry people only to be shutdown, I reach out to folks to try and add value to my team and my efforts only to be told I don’t have a big enough name, I am constantly bombarded by negativity and attacks on my self esteem but I continue to beat on the doors anyway. Why? Because life wont let me do anything different…this is who I am. I will never stop being who I am no matter how many times I fail or fall down, no matter how bruised or hurt, I am always going to get back up….because this is who I am. I am the bird..I must fly through wind and rain and weather the storms….I rise like the phoenix and I soar with eagles. The most humbling part of being great at something is knowing that you are great even when no one is watching. I have been in the industry for over 18 years and I am still trying to breakthrough in a manner that affords the platform to make the type of contributions to an industry I love with every fiber of my soul. One day at a time, one opportunity at time, one step at time. I will get there.
What steps did you take to make your dream happen of getting involved in the film industry?
Answer: I took a leap of faith. I endured a nasty divorce from my first wife and I was left with nothing but my dreams. I took a small back pack and my last dollar and bought a bus ticket to Los Angeles, California. I arrived in L.A. with no family, no friends, nothing but the clothes on my back and what few items I had in my small back pack. I was homeless, no job, but I was in L.A. with a dream and the skills to make it happen. I found a job as a telemarketer, worked by day, slept on the streets at night and eventually found my way into TV and Film as a background artist. I worked every TV and Film job I could find. My professionalism on set started catching the attention of some big names and as luck would have it, one day while working on a hit TV Series, I caught a break. The end result wound up being a mentorship by Willard Carroll Smith II-“Will Smith” Himself and His team. For nearly a year I worked closely with his team and I grew tremendously as a person and a talent. I watched, I learned, I honed my skills and I grew. Along my journey I met an incredible woman, who to this very day is my Wife, Mother of My Children and My Best Friend. I have always taken every opportunity to learn something new, whether it be about myself, or the creative process. I am a student of life and learning and I will always be learning until my last breath. There is no set path to success in our industry, there is no road map and no two careers will ever be the same. In this life whether it be a career or making choices as to which college to attend, we simply cannot be afraid of the unknown, we have to believe in ourselves, even when others cannot. If I could give anyone who is looking to pursue a career in the entertainment business advice, it would simply be this: ask yourself why you are doing it? if it is solely for fortune or fame…find another career…because it’s not for you.
What inspires your creativity?
Answer: Creativity has always been my best friend. I find that I am inspired by so much in this life. It can be anything from people, to certain situations, and believe it or not, the weather or the landscape of a location I might visit. It can be hearing someone’s story or watching a movie. For me, it is finding a common denominator and connecting the dots. For instance, If I am writing an outline for a film, I think about what I want to accomplish with the story. Then I start to envision what the journey would like to get to the end result. I reflect on my life and others I have met along the way, I think about the emotion that was felt at the time and the emotion and connection I want my viewing audience to feel in each scene and I start to fill in the missing pieces. Inspiration for me comes from unlikely sources that many people would laugh at or shrug off, but event the tiniest of moments have something to offer.
What project had the best craft services?
Answer: I worked 22 episodes on ABC’s Hit TV Series-“Ugly Betty” as a Stand-In. I would have to say that absolutely hands down it was the best catering and food service I have had the pleasure of partaking in. They really took care of us in terms of food and the quality of every meal. I formed a very special relationship with the Craft Services Manager and His Assistant and when I actually recorded and produced my first music video as a recording artist, they were right there for me to provide craft services for my own production shoot.
What is your most memorable acting moment?
Answer: One of the most special moments in my acting career and one that made the biggest impact in my life was when I met Carol Burnette while filming “Post Grad”. I was there as a featured background artist, meaning that I didn’t have any lines to say but I was in the main scene with Lead Cast. Carol was sitting right beside me and she introduced herself to me. She shook my hand and asked me my name and what I do? I told her that it was truly an honor to meet her and I thanked her for her many contributions to our industry and for inspiring so many to include myself. I then told her that it was my desire and goal to do what she does and I will never forget her response. She looked me right in the eye still holding my hand, and and as she spoke she gestured with her hand,” She said, “Son, Take a look around….You are already doing it!!”…. we are on the same movie set, we are in the same scene….you did it. I saw a small tear form in her eye as I wiped away tears from mine, because I had not taken the time to realize where my efforts had landed me. In that moment I was humbled as I stood beside Carol Burnette who was holding my hand and she politely and very supportively helped me take a look backwards to see how far I had actually came in my journey. I learned a valuable lesson that day and the importance of taking a look over your shoulder just to see how far I have come. Her words still ring true to this day and have become a lesson and pearls I cling to.
You are Executive Producer on the new Sci-Fi Horror Film,”Alien Storm”. How did you connect with the Mahal Brother’s?
Answer: I have become a supporter of independent film as I began my career early in L.A. having appeared in many student film projects alongside film students from the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts. I developed a deep respect for the process and I could relate to the sacrifices required to make a great film. I saw the struggles of working with a limited budget and I learned the value of teamwork and how even the smallest contributions could make a huge difference. I learned about Mahal Empire after contributing to other independent films that had partnered with Mahal Empire for production and distribution. I started conducting research into what the Mahal Brother’s Mission Looked like and what Mahal Empire represented. I quickly discovered that Michael and Sonny Mahal and myself shared alot of common ground. They had a dream and they had incredible talent and desire to tell amazing stories. They started from humble beginnings and they made huge sacrifices to take chances on themselves that other people would not. They struggled to build their dreams and through it all they were successful because they believed in themselves and most importantly of all, they believe in their people. The story of the Mahal Brothers and the Conception of Mahal Empire resonated with me, because I can relate to the journey, I could see who they are as film makers and professionals and their vision and mission lined up with who I am as an entertainer and a professional and with the type of legacy that I know my family legacy represents. So, I did some research and found contact information for Michael Mahal, I reached out to him on a personal level and while I waited a reply, I found his film, “Alien Storm” on the crowd funding Platform, Indiegogo. I made my contribution, and Michael Mahal and I have since connected across Social Media Platforms and beyond. “Alien Storm” is just the beginning of what lies ahead in terms of our professional relationship. Michael and Sonny Mahal are two of the greatest film makers I have had the honor to support and as a Producer, I am truly proud to support their efforts and am eternally grateful for the opportunity to help bring great stories to our fan base. I encourage everyone who reads this message to find Mahal Empire Projects on Indiegogo and give what you can. No amount is too small. If you can’t give money, that’s okay. Share our campaigns on your social media. Every share and every dollar counts as we thank you for your support.
What is the next step in the career of Lester G. Reynolds?
Answer: The next step in my career pursuits is visibility. I want the world to know that I exist and what I stand for. I want people to know who I am as a person and as a professional and I want the world to want to know me. I have heard it said many times in our industry that it is not who you know……but….who wants to know you? I have spent decades honing my skills and building a resume, now it’s time to shine the spotlight on it. I have partnered with Marketing Macabre – JoyHorror Entertainment- and asked Michael Anthony Joy to become my Publicist and use his skills to introduce me to the world. In addition- I am represented by- Terry McNeal-Agent/Owner-Del Corral Talent Agency-New Orleans. My goal is to keep pressing forward, embracing every new opportunity that comes my way that is in line with my mission and legacy. I am a creative professional of over 18 years in mainstream Tv and Film who lives to be part of great creations and to add value and bankability to any project I am blessed to be part of. I am on a mission to become a household name, a professional who is sought after by other professionals, and someone that other celebrities and film makers want to work with. I am looking to expand my team of representatives and gain a voice in other major market areas. If you are interested in my career and contributions to the entertainment industry, I invite you to find me at: imdb.me/lestergreynolds I am on instagram @thereallestergreynolds and I am on Facebook at: facebook.com/lestergreynolds It is truly and honor and privilege to do what I do and I would not be who I am or where I am without my fans and those who support my efforts. I thank each of you from the depths of my soul. Please remember that “Anything is Possible, If You Only Believe”. Life is short my friends, take that leap and bet on yourself.