Tequan Richmond reveals why he left General Hospital, talks his new show Boomerang, his current projects and so much more here--->>
We talked with Tequan Richmond (ex. TJ Ashford, General Hospital). We talked about the one song that started it all, life before General Hospital, his adjustment to daytime, why he left General Hospital, what he's been up to and his future goals. Let me tell you something. Tequan Richmond is a smart, multi-talented, enterprising young man with goals, dreams, and a vision for his life. As a mom of two male teenagers, a young man like Tequan, is the type of man I pray for my sons to aspire to be.
Tequan started his career at the age of nine doing spec commercials, to "get his feet wet." From there he moved onto real commercials including national ones. How exactly did a self-professed "shy" Tequan develop an interest in performing/acting at such a young age? School plays? A catchy commercial? A favorite TV show? Close. Tequan attributes it to The Temptations, their imagination and we are adding, his.
One of Tequan's favorite movies back then was The Temptations (mine too). Tequan couldn't get enough of the movie or The Temptations' hit song Just My Imagination. "I used to watch this movie, The Temptations. It was one of my favorite movies. I'd watch it on repeat at least two-three times a day at least. They sang this song, Just My Imagination. And I don't know why I fell in love with it. But I would always sing and practice that song around the house. One day, my grandmother called my mom and told her, 'You know he's always singing this song.' And my mom was like, 'Really? Let me hear it.' My grandmother put me on the phone. My mother was already out here in Los Angeles at the time acting herself. After hearing me sing the song, she put me on the phone with her agent, Nancy Chaidez. I sang Just My Imagination on the speakerphone. Nancy told my mom if you get him out here, we will represent him."
He got to L.A. and Nancy became his first agent. There was zero pressure for the young Tequan. His agent made sure that he knew, if he didn't like it or wasn't booking, it was okay. If he wanted to, he could always return home. But he did book and he booked and booked. Tequan had several bookings in a row.
We asked Tequan if he continued with traditional schooling or if because of the budding success of his career, he had a tutor. This smart, talented, enterprising, young man was just a kid like the rest of us at one time. He was somewhat rambunctious in school, nothing major. But just enough that his mom decided traditional schooling had run its course. "My mom pulled me out of school. I didn't believe she was serious. But she was. It turned out to be the best thing for me (moms always know best). I had more time to focus on my work. I had a tutor from that point until I turned seventeen."
The first role Tequan booked was on NBC's ER. He then guest starred in primetime shows such as; CSI, Cold Case and The Shield before booking his first series role as Drew Rock on Everybody Hates Chris. After his role on Everybody Hates Chris, he had a few more guest spots before landing General Hospital.
We discussed the challenges Tequan faced with his transition from primetime to daytime. "The way you shoot soap opera episodes and the way I was accustomed to shooting things were completely polar opposites. The first day you're stressing. You get this big packet of lines. You know your scenes will come right after one another. You also have to be prepared enough to know that you can only do about two or three takes wherein primetime you can regularly take two and a half hours on just one scene. On General Hospital in two and a half hours, you could knock out twenty scenes. And the scenes on General Hospital have many more words, is lengthier, use much more emotion therefore, much more is required. That was the biggest thing I had to get used to. I would go to work stressed every day and everybody would tell me, 'Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it.' But I'd respond, 'I have to get my lines. I have to get my lines. What do I do here? Where's my mark? How do I block?'" Laughter. "I was completely clueless." Laughter. "But when I got that down, it was a breeze from that point on. I was able to have fun and relax. We played pranks on each other and still actually got the work done."
After six years of playing TJ Ashford, we learned that Tequan wouldn't be renewing his contract with the show. We asked why. "To be honest, I just had a lot of great opportunities that came during my time there. But I was under contract. I was told I would be able to break out for projects that I wanted to do. But it didn't quite work out that way which was disappointing because that was one of the things that was really exciting about my contract. I booked a pilot called The Chi (Showtime). We were trying to get cleared for that but it wasn't working out. So, as much as I love General Hospital, and was so grateful for the opportunity, we came to a mutual decision to part ways; so I could continue to pursue other opportunities."
Tequan shot the pilot of Showtime's hit show Thi Chi. But the project was scrapped and they started all over again. That time without Tequan. But thankfully, life has a way of working things out. Executive Producer, Lena Waithe, didn't forget Tequan. A few years later she reached out to tell him about an upcoming project. "The great thing about all of it was I developed a good relationship with Lena Waithe. A few years later she called me and told me, 'We have another show called Boomerang that we would love for you to come and read for.' I look at it this way; if The Chi wouldn't have happened; Boomerang wouldn't have happened." Life lesson; life has a way of working itself out.
The movie Boomerang came out a few months after Tequan was born in 1992. Tequan had seen the movie himself a few times prior to him booking the series. The entire cast, in preparation for the series, would have study nights watching the movie on replay and taking notes. It was important for the cast to get into, know and understand their roles based on the movie. Yet it was just as important, if not more so, for them to make the series their own. "It was important for us to make the show our own. If you watch the show it's not exactly like the movie. We were trying to take some of the nuisances from the movie. However, not make it just like the movie."
If you have watched the show, you would agree that it does have its own style and identity. Here is more about Boomerang and Bryson Broyer, his role, from Tequan. "Bryson Broyer, my character, is the son of Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens). And Tetona Jackson plays Simone Graham daughter of Marcus (Eddie Murphy) and Angela (Halle Berry) Graham. The show is about two young millennials who are trying to figure out their way in a new America, trying to figure out their way in the corporate world and trying to figure out how to expand on the things that they've already been given. The show is young and vibrant." If you haven't seen it, you should most definitely check it out. In April, it was announced that Boomerang was renewed for season two. Production should begin in the early fall with a season two release sometime in early 2020.
In addition to acting, Tequan is also a producer. He earned his first producer credit for the crime/thriller film, Nowhere, Michigan. He also stars in the movie. Tequan also has another project he may produce before this year is out. Tequan believes diversification is an essential element to a successful career. "It's cool to do something for a long time. But for me personally, not for forever. If you feel like you have talents in other areas, then go ahead and see what becomes of them. You have to take advantage of opportunities." Tequan also has a passion for what he calls a "hobby", music. We aren't exactly buying the hobby part. Tequan writes and creates beats. That sure sounds like more than a hobby. But per Tequan, it's a hobby until "he goes full force with it." So, we will go with that. LOL. Acting, music, producing, Tequan is headed somewhere; to the director's chair. That's his ultimate goal....for now.
Two of his other recent projects are; Savage Youth a crime drama film where Tequan stars with Grace Victoria Cox. Tequan also stars in the horror thriller, Thriller with Jessica Allain and directed by Dallas Jackson.
Smart. Multi-talented. Enterprising.
We were so glad to learn about all the great things happening for Tequan!
If you haven't watched Boomerang on BET binge season one!
Be on the lookout for season 2 of Boomerang early 2020!
Check out Nowhere, Michigan, Thriller and Youth Savage available on all platforms!
Tequan, good luck with everything! Keep pushing! Keep moving that goal post! Please keep us updated with all of your successes, especially the first time the director's chair reads "Richmond"!
I AM KP Smith