Meet Mark J.P. Hood, the Chicago native that took the world by storm when he hit their screens on Season 9 of The Voice with a soul-stirring rendition of Bill Withers’ Use Me. Before Hood left for Los Angeles, he was beloved in the Chicago community starring in plays presented by many Chicago theaters including The Black Ensemble Theater, The Marriott Theatre, Congo Square, Paramount Theatre and more. He is the millennial man that put his dreams to flight and is making it happen in Hollywood. Today’s millennial man is innovative enough to curate the life he deserves; he incorporates sauce and savvy to his personal and professional endeavors. Mark J.P. Hood talks with The Chicago Defender about his new show Churchy with KevOnStage and his incredible life since The Voice.
Mark, how does your influence impact the world?
I just want to be an example of following your dreams and trusting the Lord. I just want to be a light. If someone could look at my journey and be inspired to keep moving forward on their own journey, then I’ve served my purpose.
Mark, you’re a business, man *Jay Z voice*. We know that the cost of living in L.A. is quite expensive. You manage to tour, record music and film simultaneously. What has proven to be your measure metric and how do you know that you’ve done enough for the year?
Mannnn, I don’t think we EVER think we’ve done enough. There’s always so much more to do, so much more to learn, so much more to dream. I love what I do, it’s not for financial gain because if it was, I would’ve quit by now lol. I genuinely get pure happiness from doing what I love. So there is no metric….I’m just getting started.
What is the biggest misconception about being a successful entertainer?
Success itself. It’s all subjective. What looks like success to you may not look like success to me. I like to reduce the word way down…sometimes I look at the big picture of my life and say, “wow Mark, you do what you love for a living, you pay it forward when you can, and all your bills are paid….that’s success.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
Hear the hype, but don’t believe the hype. In other words, believe in yourself, receive when people are pouring into you, but don’t get lost in it. It’s so easy to get lost in what you’re doing, what you’re not doing, what others are doing, what others are saying. Keep your ears open, but don’t get lost in the sauce. Guard the promise.
Churchy, is a new show created and produced by social media comedian and New York Times bestselling author, KevOnStage. What can you tell us about the new show and your role?
It’s HILARIOUS. KevOnStage is the man. Yes he’s very funny, but he’s the most giving, genuine, helpful, honest and integral business man EVER. They don’t make ‘em like Kev. He has poured his heart and soul into this show and I just want to thank him for the opportunity. This show follows a young pastor who got passed over when it was his time to take over his father’s mega ministry. So he finds his own way, in Lubbock, TX and his best friend Rodney (me) goes along for the wild ride.
Lastly, with such a busy schedule how does Mark incorporate self-care?
I’m very into health and fitness. That’s my self-care. No matter where I am or what I do, I make sure I find a gym and I can stay on my routine. That keeps my mind clear and my body strong (or weak depending on the day lol) Also laughing. I LOVE to laugh and be goofy. My friends and I can get on group facetime and just laugh for 2 hours straight then go on about our lives. I need that. My soul needs it. Shoutout to the VBs.
To connect with Mark J.P. Hood: Instagram