Hitting The Talent Jack Pot - Josiah "Aktion" Jackson

Hitting The Talent Jack Pot - Josiah "Aktion" Jackson

Josiah "Aktion" Jackson, AKA Jack Pot.  A man born in South Central Los Angeles who made it through the gangs, incarceration, and with sheer will and talent has placed himself on the verge of superstardom with his character, Jack Pot. He would say Jack Pot is his alter ego. A persona that helped him get through the many placement programs of his youth and became the driving factor behind his entrepreneurial drive to make it as an actor, a rapper, a writer, and CEO in the business.  But the character of Jack Pot is much more than that.  He is every abandoned child, every jaded Angelino, every bold and insecure one of us.

His company is 5150 Enterprises, a music and film company associated with Pulsar Media and Pentagon, a recording label owned by Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound fame. Jackson says his mission is to "put out creative films, documentaries, and music" and to eventually dominate "the enterprise of entertainment."

So how does such tenacity come from someone whom life was so unkind to at a young age? Jackson shared, “As a kid, I used to get bullied a lot and didn’t know how to protect myself. I would watch wrestling, and I loved “The Ultimate Warrior” when I was in placement. At Hathaway Home for Children, one of the staff members, Sheldon, who used to be a sergeant, would sneak and teach me martial arts and wrestling to defend myself. Any day just for fun and especially on Halloween, he would draw my own warrior-style face paint on my face.”

Further encouraging Jackson, he would say, “Don’t let the bad things that happened to you and this juvenile hall placement define you… one day, you will bring balance and motivate others with your testimony. He would say, I’m the Yin and the Yang, and paint my face with one blue eye, red eye, and white face. He was the closest person I had to a father.”

When sharing his influences, I found Jackson doesn't have the same old influences as many of today's entertainers. He says, "In placement, I was one of those kids who didn't have anyone to visit or pick me up." So, he decided to channel his energies to the creative arts; his primary influence source was television. "My research was in the greats" — he was heavily influenced by Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the rest of the Rat Pack—also, Lucille Ball, Robert De Niro, Michael Jackson, and Ice Cube. Notice the trend that most were triple threats, even quadruple threats; they could sing, dance, act, and even write or produce. "Back in the day…they did more than just get on stage and sing. They came with everything; you had to be multi-faceted and multi-talented to be in this business."

Jackson's influences in old Hollywood instilled in him the need to be multi-talented. As he says, "Today, you almost have to have more than one talent." Though speaking of Hollywood, Jackson did have some strong thoughts on its treatment of talent. "As I got older and started to pay attention to the game, and I realized I didn't want to wait around for Hollywood to give me mine… If you don't create your own world, then they will create one for you…don't be waiting; make it happen."

And Jackson is making it happen, especially with his character, Jack Pot.  As mentioned before, the character is his alter ego and protector. He was chosen and enhanced by aliens to restore balance to humanity and prevent us from eventually spreading our depraved ways to other planets. Dawning the smile now, cry later mask of Jack Pot helped Jackson through adversity in life. So now, in return, Jack Pot protects Los Angeles in his dysfunctional little way. He's definitely an anti-hero, but in speaking with Jackson, the future could change the character's attitude toward humanity. But for now, as Jackson stated, "Jack Pot feels like saving the world is too much for him right now." Which is why he's an anti-hero, for now. "I built a character with humanity and based on reality." As Black superheroes go, "We either have electricity powers or feathers. So, I wanted to build a character who could compete."  When summing up the character of Jack Pot, Jackson eloquently stated, "If Los Angeles were a human being, Jack Pot would be the reflection of its personality and attitude."

I asked Jackson what it meant to him to stay an independent artist in his business.  He answered, “Ownership." He elaborated on how even the biggest stars in the business start to have problems because instead of owning their material and talent, their intellectual property is owned by Hollywood companies or the powers that be. He also mentioned Hollywood's lack of bold creativity: “Do you want to be the talent or the boss… but everybody is scared, and that's why we'll have Fast & Furious 10,011."

Jackson mentioned what's next for Jack Pot: "I'm trying to make a Jack Pot movie; I've already written the script." Also, as mentioned earlier, Jack Pot may even start to grow and fully accept his mission of saving the world.

When asked about his motto, Jackson left us with this, "... My whole thing is creating something new, being a CEO, harnessing your own identity, your own journey, your own movement, having a team behind you… don't give up… keep your ideas and stay focused and confident in what you're doing, don't take ‘no’ for an answer, even if you're down at the bottom of the barrel. That's why I say Jack Pot is a character for the unfortunate, for people at the bottom of the barrel that need that motivation. We all look to others for success, but if we look within ourselves, we will discover that we are Jack Pot."

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