Lights – Camera – Action! A Houston Prodigy is born, and his name is Courtney JáPaul Glaudé. A native Texan, Courtney was raised in Houston’s 5th Ward and Trinity Garden area. His mom and dad were street heavy, so he ended up being raised by his grandmother early on. When Courtney’s mom got out of jail, she was abusive. He feared her greatly, and consequently spent a lot of time away from home. To make matters worse, Courtney was picked on in school, so he didn’t spend much time there either. With nowhere to run to, he created his own imaginary world; a huge imaginary world which helped him develop and master his special gift of storytelling.
Nowadays Courtney Glaudé, owner/CEO of Green Eyed Theater (GET), stays extremely busy, but was able to set aside some time to share his awesome journey with Empower Magazine, Inc. Some special aspects of Courtney’s life experiences are highlighted below.
EM: What has been the single most compelling event(s) in your life’s journey thus far?
My grandmother’s passing was amazing to me because I saw God; I saw God come for her. Next was my daughter, Eva, being born. And, there was the time I walked the 80-plus miles along the beltway of Houston asking God for success throughout. I knew I had to show God how much I wanted my dreams to be realized.
EM: Where do you believe you get your obvious drive, grit and determination from?
When my daughter was born she had fluid on her lungs and her heart rate was too high and concerning, so the hospital decided to hold her there for a couple days. Now up to this time, I was very selfish; doing those things I wanted to do, and only concerned with my needs and making myself comfortable.
I settled for doing music, but always knew film was my calling. Music was easier, and I could do it with a group. For me, music was cool and safe, but I never made any money at it. In fact, at the time I only had $8.00 in my bank account. This usually wouldn’t be a problem because all I had was me. But as I sat there looking at my daughter, I realized that me having only $8.00 to my name wasn’t going to be ok for her. What would I do when her insurance doesn’t cover everything? What if her insurance doesn’t cover the medicine they’re about to give us for her now. It can’t be this way.
I went into the break room and cried because I couldn’t figure out how I would take care of her. Being a great father is something I passionately desired more than anything. So, I went to God and told him “Ok now I need you; whatever you want me to do I will. Just please make my daughter ok, and guide me in the right direction.”
Two days later as I walked out the hospital with Eva to take her home, I got a call from someone saying they heard I wrote scripts and they have a book that they want to turn into a movie. On top of that, they had a budget to pay the script writer. I took Eva home and the next day went to pick up a check. I haven’t had just $8.00 to my name since.
EM: Is there a person that you credit as a mentor in sparking your desire to launch your business ventures?
Well, I wasn’t raised around business people, but the people that surrounded me motivated me to not be like them. All the people I grew up with are thugs, and if they’re not thugs, they’re 9 to 5 minimum wage workers. Which is my point, everyone I came up with including family will probably work for someone their entire life. And if, (which is a huge if) they get to retire, they will still have to dumb down their living to survive. Indeed, most won’t even get to retire. Instead, they will have to stop working because of age. I never want that for myself.
EM: What have been your greatest challenges in breaking into the Film Industry?
Working with professionals has been my greatest challenge. It’s hard for me to work with veterans in the film industry because they have guidelines and a formula that is written in stone. For me, I am a feeling creator, therefore I create based on what feels good; not by the book.
EM: What advice do you have to share with others dealing with life’s many challenges, but believe that “the sky is the limit” like you do?
The devil comes to delay you. He does things in your life to make you get off focus of what you’re doing. I believe that nothing great comes without sacrifice. When things get tough, that simply means you’re doing something that is harming the devil’s plans for you. Or, it means that God is preparing you for what you asked him for; the greatness that you’re seeking.
EM: What is your personal motto, or those principles that guide your life?
“Walk in the sun, run in the shade,” which means: Don’t let the enemy see you training for battle. Also, “Faith without works is dead.”
EM: Is there a business owner or person that you have looked up to in modeling your success after?
Yes – Ray Charles pushed for owning his talents and his work; something that had never been done before. And, Dr. Dre left multiple million-dollar companies and kept creating them again. He demonstrated that the gift is him, and he can always do it again.
EM: What is the driving force that compelled you to write / produce your most recent feature film, BLINK?
When I was a kid, my mother was in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t the abuse that affected me. It was the fact that two to three days later after the abuse, she would allow him to come back and she would present him with gifts as a bribe. This let me know she knew something was wrong with letting him come back and if she knew why did she?
EM: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
In 3-5 years, I see myself laughing at people who keep asking me how am I doing it, and they’re gonna think I’m keeping some sort of secret, but my reply is going to be “God.”
EM: Is there anything else that you would like to share with EM readers?
Stop allowing people to tell you what you can’t do. They are only projecting to you how they see themselves. The reason people around you are negative is because they don’t understand; they can’t imagine it. The reason they can’t imagine it is because God didn’t put it in them to accomplish – He put it in yours. Stop asking regular people for amazing advice. They can’t give it to you.
My highly anticipated GET feature film debut, “BLINK,” will premiere in AMC theaters in Houston; March 2-9.