Ronnel is an award-winning actor who is best known for his work in the Tv Series ” The Odd Man Out⭐ .” He is a man of diverse talents who has been in the industry for over a decade.
We were fortunate enough to connect with Ronnel Ricardo Parham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Can you give us a brief background about yourself?
I’m Ronnel Ricardo Parham. I’m a filmmaker, writer, producer, multi-award-winning actor, and director. I was born in the inner city of Philadelphia, West Philadelphia specifically.
Although I was born and lived in Philadelphia most of my life, I went to school and grew up in the Township of Lower Merion, a suburb outside of Philly.
Were you interested in being an actor or working in the acting industry as a kid?
I never even thought twice about acting until I was 20 years old. Seriously, I never even considered it. I actually grew up playing music. My mother got us all involved with playing instruments since elementary school, so I spent most of my childhood and teenage years playing the drums.
Can you tell us about how you decided to take up acting?
As I started to get older people would tell me I should try out modeling. So, I started to try that out around 18, but it wasn’t until I was 20 that a talent agent in South Philadelphia told me I should think about being in commercials.
She suggested I take a 6-week on-camera commercial acting class. This class changed the trajectory of my life forever. I will forever be grateful for her and her suggestion to take that class and give acting a try.
After taking the commercial class, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.
What was it like studying and performing theatre and how has it helped your acting career?
I decided to study theatre from there and am so happy I decided to study theatre first. Studying theatre and different forms of drama opened my mind up to things I didn’t even know existed.
It opened me up to different people. It challenged me. It brought out skills and abilities I never knew I had. I brought out a sense of confidence in myself that I could be good at this.
Although I was beginning to learn the craft, those experiences in the theatre established a true respect for the craft that I hold dearly even to this day.
Your tv-series Odd Man Out has won 27 awards and 19 nominations. What was the inspiration for the show and what was it like creating and working on the project?
Odd Man Out: The Series is my flagship show. It’s based on many experiences in my life growing up in the suburbs but physically living in the inner city of Philadelphia. It’s extremely liberating to just create any of your own content.
But to create something that I’m the lead in and it being based on many experiences in life, and to get the respect of my peers and industry professionals has been life-changing for me.
This show has given me the confidence to believe that I can create and produce television concepts at the highest level.
What does it take to be an actor in 2022, in the age of streaming services and social media?
It’s going to take everything you got to be an actor in 2022. I remember when Netflix was blowing up and more streaming services were coming out and actors were happy! We thought that was great news.
More streaming companies means more opportunities for us, right? Well, that wasn’t entirely true at all. In fact, in this age of television and hundreds of new series being produced every year, it’s almost made the business even more competitive than it was before!
I believe it’s critical to learn other areas of the business in today’s acting world. It is simply not enough to be a good actor anymore. It’s simply not enough to skate by on just your looks.
You have to become multitalented in this business and create as many opportunities as possible for yourself to get to where you want to go. This is why I believe that content is king.
The more content you have, the more opportunities you’re creating for yourself. And it’s really that simple for me.
Can you tell us about some of the toughest moments in your career and how you dealt with them?
The toughest moments in my career are pretty similar to most actors. Not getting auditions. Feeling as though casting isn’t taking you seriously in some rooms. Doing projects that aren’t moving the needle for you.
It was these tough times that motivated me to create my own work. I made a decision that I wasn’t going to be an actor that just auditioned and/or stayed in class. I decided that I was going to get on set experience by writing my own stuff and shooting it.
How long have you been acting and what does it take to stay in the game.
I’ve been acting since 2010. I immediately was locked in and took it very seriously. I was lucky enough to get a manager and book my first national commercial within 6 months of me taking that first commercial acting class.
It takes a lot mentally, physically, and emotionally to stay in the game. This is the type of profession you have to do because you have a burning desire to do it.
You cannot survive this profession mentally if you’re just in it for popularity, money, bragging rights, etc. It certainly takes a solid job/other career to stay in the game of this business.
I was told at the beginning of my career to find a survival job. Find a job that doesn’t take up too much of your time. To just find jobs to get by until your “big break” happens.
That was honestly some of the worst advice I ever received in my career.
A survival job likely means it’s not paying you enough, which leads to you getting another survival job, which leads to you working 2 jobs, pursuing an acting career, trying to have a personal life and you end up just running yourself tired trying to stay afloat.
So, find a good-paying job(s) that is flexible with your schedule and your acting career. Those types of jobs are out there, I promise you.
What do you envision for yourself and 5R Productions in the future?
I envision production deals and partnerships with the top studios and streaming networks for myself and 5R Productions. I truly do. I’ve already been lucky enough to obtain a list of well-known partners that are invested in my work and the opportunities are continuing to come.
I also envision a project of ours screening at one of the top festivals in the world. I’m not expecting these things to happen tomorrow, but I certainly expect them to happen in the near future.
We just need to continue to focus on developing and creating great work that people can relate to and the opportunities will continue to come our way.
Do you have any words of advice for new actors who are starting their acting careers?
For actors just starting out in their careers, I’d tell them to focus on the work. Don’t get caught up in the glitz and glam of being an actor/actress. Focus on the work. Focus on learning and developing your skills.
Focus on getting as comfortable in front of the camera as possible. Figure out other ways you can develop your artistry, not just acting. If you focus on the work and your development, all of the things you envision for yourself will happen with patience and confidence in yourself.