Andraé Goodnight : Actor, Author, Radio Host and International Rap Artist talks with About Insider
Andraé Goodnight (born Andraé McGary) is an award-winning politician, visual artist, educator, minister, international rap artist, author, talk show radio host, and former non-profit executive. He now brings his formidable gifts and expertise to bear into the acting world.
Goodnight is a graduate of the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas where he concentrated in visual arts and in theatre.Goodnight graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science from Carver Bible College in Atlanta and received his Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis in 2005. Upon graduating, he took up a youth pastoral position at a local church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was when he was offered a senior pastor position, that Goodnight ultimately felt called to pursue a life of service outside of the local church.
In 2009, Goodnight was elected to the Chattanooga City Council as the 8th District representative, becoming the youngest person ever to hold a local office in Chattanooga. He produced, directed and starred in the webisode series “14 Days” to document his experience of running for local public office.In May 2010, Goodnight became the first African-American full-time talk show radio host of “Live and Local” which airs on WGOW 102.3FM. He hosted the show for two years, offering an audience of close to 250,000 listeners an entertaining insight into how local politics really works while also providing a thoughtful take on current events on the local, national, and international level.Goodnight has received the National Association of Social Workers Public Official Award in 2009, was named in Chatter’s Magazine’s “20 Under 40” List in 2010, and received the award for “Best Director” for his submission of “Baby Steps” in the 48hour film festival held in Chattanooga, TN in 2016.
Goodnight brings the diversity of his life experiences to each and every role he accepts. He believes the wide range of his personal and professional experiences allows him to more readily capture the “real life” behind each character he plays. For Andraé acting then, is an opportunity to let out all the people and places he has been collecting and experiencing during the years.A true renaissance man, Goodnight embodies the spirit of using his talents and abilities in the service of others while also finding fresh and innovative ways to inspire and entertain.Off-screen, Andraé is married to Cheryl McGary. They have been together for 17 years and together have six children: Imani, Zion, Elijah, Isaiah, Eden, and Ephrem.
HI! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS ANDRAÉ GOODNIGHT IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
I am an artist in love with life.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN ONE LIFE? YOU ARE AN AWARD-WINNING POLITICIAN, EDUCATOR, MINISTER, INTERNATIONAL RAP ARTIST, AUTHOR, VISUAL ARTIST, TALK SHOW RADIO HOST, AND ARE NOW VENTURING INTO THE WORLD OF ACTING. MOST PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO MANAGE EVEN A SINGLE PROFILE. HOW DO YOU FEEL WITH SO MANY? IS IT THRILLING OR EXHAUSTING AT TIMES?
It’s both. WIth whatever time I have left, I have set a goal to live life as fully as possible. This has led me to some very unexpected places!
YOU BECAME THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN CHATTANOOGA HISTORY TO HOLD A LOCAL OFFICE. HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR TIME ON THE CHATTANOOGA CITY COUNCIL? WHAT AND HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED SINCE SERVING ON THE CHATTANOOGA CITY COUNCIL?
Truthfully, it was a climatic experience to win. However the reality of governing really took a toll on me. I was a Councilman responsible for an 18,000 person district. It was very challenging to go from a relative unknown to a becoming a household name. I now look back on that time very grateful that I have has the opportunity to learn the fleeting value of money, power, and fame. In the end what I remember and cherish the most were the people who were there for me and walked with me during a very challenging time in my life.
YOU’VE WON NUMEROUS AWARDS, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS PUBLIC OFFICIAL AWARD IN 2009 AND THE “BEST DIRECTOR AWARD.” HOW HAS THE TRANSITION FROM AWARD-WINNING POLITICIAN TO SUCCESSFUL DIRECTOR BEEN?
I’ve always in my heart of hearts been an artist. So transitioning from politics to becoming an actor was a “coming home” moment for me. I am extremely grateful that the stories, people and places I have been all have given the me life experiences that I seek to bring to my acting and storytelling.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Stella Adler, Picasso, Dante Alighieri
WHAT’S SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?
My first Masters Degree is in Divinity (Theology)
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS/ROLES YOU CAN TALK ABOUT?
More info coming soon…
WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
I love you.