Own Your Future Spotlight Interview with Gail Bean

Actress and entrepreneur Gail Bean

Own Your Past

Tell us a little bit about your background and who you are.

I was born in St. Louis but moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia when I was three years old. I am the baby and the only girl of five older brothers. I’ve always been little and have always felt the need to prove myself. I grew up very spiritual and with a positive mindset, which I attribute to my parents. They instilled a lot of belief and faith in me from an early age.

Own Your Present

Tell us about your business(es).

I’m very passionate about creating art. I write, act, and produce. From television films to theatre films, scripts, and poetry. I have a poetry book out called “Live On.” I’m also an actress on a few films and some TV shows, and some theatre as well. My current show is Snow Fall, which premieres on February 24th for season four on FX.

I’m passionate about creating multiple streams of income. I have my own business with my sister-in-law called Snowball Queens LLC, which I’m so excited about. It’s owned by two black women and as crazy as It seems, we created it during the pandemic. It will launch this May.

And I own a production company called Mitchells Are Born Winners Productions, which houses my talent of course, but also produces scripts and creative endeavors.

Now that you’ve achieved success both creatively and in business, how do you pay that success forward to the community?

I feel strongly about giving back and re-investing my time and knowledge into the community. I’m currently forming my non-profit, called Dream Above the Influence, which is all about helping Black youth who are just realizing their dreams and their passions. I want to expose them to all of the opportunities they deserve.

More than anything, I hope to impact them at an early age so that they learn to appreciate a lot of the things that our black community has, like the richness of our culture. I want them to understand that it’s OK to be different and to embrace it. And to elevate above the influences that may be around you, because sometimes you may be the one out of the crew that people look at as the “Good Seed.” I want to instill in people that you don’t have to abandon what you know, you don’t have to abandon what’s comfortable, what keeps you humble, what helped make you who you are, in order to be successful.

How did you create a space for yourself and then bring others into the fold?

I think the biggest thing I’ve realized is that not everything of value, is money. If I create space and take what I can from it, then I know how to serve others. First, I’ve got to be able to get it myself, so then I could help others get it in turn.

I genuinely allow connections to exist and build and grow. I make a habit of offering myself to others, like, what can I do for you? What do you need? Just being in a room then allows me to get others in that same room. One thing I’m not going to do is be afraid to ask for somebody else to come along this journey with me. When I ask, they can only say no.

Sometimes I will push the line and say this person needs to be here. I want to give this person this opportunity, this chance. And there are times where I’m like, “well if this person has to go, then you lose me too.” And I’m willing to stand on that. It costs nothing to share knowledge and opportunity.

Why has it been so important to you, to have those which you consider the right types of people around you?

I think it keeps you humble and it keeps you honest. People who understand your grind, your focus. You need people around you that will remind you of your why. People that will laugh with you, who will not take stuff so seriously at times. You need people who will remind you to be you.

Own Your Future

How have you learned how to pivot in business and personal life?

For me, it’s always been about mindset. I can take something and look at it from different perspectives. Everything starts as a thought, whether it’s a subconscious thought or a conscious thought. Thoughts manifest into the tangible.

I’m also striving to be open to different outcomes. If it doesn’t work, I’m not married to the result. If it doesn’t work, we can pivot. There’s no limit to how many times you can pivot on something. I accept everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to.

While I may have expectations, if it does not exceed or meet my expectations, and if it falls short, that’s what it was supposed to do. I accept it for what it is and then try another route. I decide to go a different way.

So, we’re talking about Owning Your Future. What tips would you tell someone who is just starting or is maybe thinking about doing something different with their lives?

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “protect your heart because from it everything flows.” You have to maintain and achieve self-love, and once you have that you can achieve and maintain success.

What I pray for the most is discernment. I feel like I need to always be able to discern, no matter what. Whether it’s people, myself, my thoughts, my ideas, whether it’s good versus evil, whether it’s a win or a loss, or whether it’s something that’s going to be successful or a failure.

Discernment is the biggest thing that you have to master to achieve and maintain success.