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Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

Romany Malco: Being able to engage my creativity in a way that makes a difference inspires me more than anything. Writing a funny story is one thing. But writing a funny story that inspires others to venture beyond their level of comfort in pursuit of their greater good is what makes me come alive.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

RM: Wanting an honest opinion about my art from someone whose opinion I respect makes me feel vulnerable. It’s a great space to be in.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

RM: “Stillness empowers.” Being able to detach from all external stimulants—social media, social engagements, TV, alcohol, food, etc.—and face our own silence is an enormous luxury that should not be taken for granted. The most rewarding moments in my life have stemmed from such stillness.

Consciously or subconsciously, we become slaves to debt and social obligation. As a result, we end up more committed to the minutia and less in tune with the bigger picture: our deepest sense of purpose. If you are courageous enough to be still, you are a step closer to becoming empowered.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

RM: When faced with emotional pain, I become still for hours, sometimes days, doing absolutely nothing. It helps me get to the truest source of my suffering. More times than not, my pain stems from an area in which I’ve been least authentic. The second I identify the source—the area of my inauthenticity—I begin to feel better. This allows me to take complete responsibility for my emotional discomfort, and the awareness enables me to move beyond the blockage. I become energetically unstuck, allowing the pain to pass through me.

Pain is inevitable. It is actually a great opportunity for growth, but when we blame or fail to take responsibility for our suffering, the pain becomes stagnant, and stagnant pain can have a compounding effect if left unchecked.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

RM: Coming from a background as unique as mine, the first challenge is being able to identify chaos as chaos. For the first half of my life, I interpreted chaos as normal. Today, I am aware that I have triggers: a default way of thinking that is often not relative to the immediate moment. Therefore, in the midst of chaos, I have learned to relinquish all my premature cognitive commitments and become present.

I do not have a daily routine, but each morning, I try to spend an hour in bed, visualizing positive outcomes for my life, health, and career.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

RM: One of my biggest lessons in life is, we heal at the speed of our forgiveness.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

RM: An unresolved past erodes beauty in the present.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

RM: I’ve never been a fan of sequels, but I am so proud to be a part of the Think Like A Man franchise. This sequel is actually better than the first, and that was not an easy feat. I just finished doing a very funny sketch with Key & Peele for Comedy Central, and I am acting in a film titled The D.U.F.F., directed by Ari Sandel for CBS Films, slated for release in 2015.

MP: Why are these important to you?

RM: These projects are important to me because they afford me a platform from which I can inspire people to reconnect with their authentic sense of purpose.

Romany Malco is a comedic film and TV actor. His breakout role was in Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Since then, he has appeared in Last Vegas, Think Like a Man, The Love Guru, and Baby Mama, among others. He currently stars in Think Like a Man Too.

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