Charlie Marshall was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a professional bodybuilder, actor, fitness model, and certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles, California.
Charlie marshall’s interview
Thank you so much for your time today, Charlie. I’ve been looking at what you’ve been doing. I see fitness, I see acting. Tell me a bit more about yourself. Who are you?
My name is Charlie Marshall. I am 29 years old, going on 30 April, so I’m excited about that. I am an entrepreneur. I don’t like to just stick to one thing. I’ve never been that way, even when it came to friendship groups. I was the kid in high school that hung up with the nerds, the popular kids, and just hopped around a lot. So, I got into theatre in high school and that’s when I found a love for acting. But I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere.
I thought it was just going to be that. I also was a soccer player throughout pretty much my whole life. So that’s where I was always an active person, and I never saw myself getting this far with fitness either. But now that I’m here I got into it more so when I got into college. I decided to take my fitness seriously. It was more for mental health purposes. It kept me kind of sane and just a healthy outlet to just release the stress and kind of help me stop overthinking.
I fell in love with it and became a personal trainer a couple of years later. So, I wanted to help other people be able to find that same love and passion. And then I ended up getting sick internally and that was in early 2015. During that time, it kind of made me stop doing a lot of the things I was passionate about because I was just sick for like almost seven months. After that, I didn’t really want to like jump right back into all the craziness I was doing but I wanted a different career path, so I decided to join the Navy.
Did the Navy for six years. That was very interesting. However, it didn’t become a passion, which was why I got out. I was in for two years, and I realized this wasn’t for me. I wanted to go back into the entertainment industry, so I started focusing on the fitness and entertainment industry. I got signed with my first fitness modeling agency, movement talent, and that was in 2018. I also did my first bodybuilding show in 2018, and that was fun because I never thought I’d see myself competing on-stage in front of a whole bunch of people.
I see you’ve jumped into answering my next question. I like the fact that you mentioned directing your internal healing into fitness. So, why acting?
For me, acting is a way to tell a story, and not even just my own story. But I can be able to put myself in someone else’s story and be able to tell their story or be some type of representation for someone else who doesn’t get to see themselves in that same light. And I think, being able to be an actor or even have that type of platform, you can have millions of people watching you and then kind of relating to you. So that’s kind of why I got into acting.
Beautiful! That’s great. You told me that you are Bisexual earlier on in our conversation. I am going to ask this question. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career, be it in acting or the fitness industry as a bisexual black man?
Growing up it was more challenging than it is for me now as an adult, I guess maybe because I surround myself with people who are very more open to the idea and I haven’t had to run into really any much of like that hatred, not yet anyway, and maybe I will once I get bigger in my career, possibly, I’m sure that’s probably going to happen when people more find out. But as of right now, everyone that I’ve kind of run into so far and I kind of keep myself surrounded around, have been very welcoming and open to the whole idea of me being bisexual and they don’t care.
They’re just like you’re still Charlie. All my friends in the military knew about my sexuality and are cool with it. So, it’s like I haven’t had any issues yet. I know that’s not for everybody, but I’m grateful that I’ve kind of been able to be on this pathway where everything has been good. But it hasn’t stopped me or hindered me from getting opportunities, because I’ve been getting a lot of good opportunities, even with me being out and people knowing about my bisexuality.
But going back to my childhood it wasn’t so well. I did have to face a lot of hate or disagreements because I grew up in a Christian church. There is a lot of trying to drown one side of me to keep the other side of me alive. So, it’s like, oh yeah, you can, you know, like the girls and stuff like that, but need to stop liking the boys. And it just made me go in a way where it put a lot of depression and stress on myself that I couldn’t really be who I was, which is kind of what made me also go into acting.
I got to play someone else and not be myself anymore so that I can just not worry about Charlie at home who is having these disagreements with my parents, and having to act like I was just a straight kid. I was able to kind of like, okay, I’m going to be someone else then and be a different character for a little bit and just have that like freedom of space. So yeah, so that’s how it is for me right now.
Don’t Take No For An Answer
So, what advice would you give to somebody your age that is trying to climb up the ladder?
I would say: don’t take no for an answer. Although I have like, done a lot in my career so far, I’ve also been told “No” a lot or just no callbacks, and I think a lot of people can take that as a “this isn’t for me thing”. But that’s not the reason. You just might not be the look for that role or for the project that they’re looking for. But trust and believe there’s someone out there that’s looking for you. It doesn’t matter your sexuality, your background, or where you come from. If you can put on your best show and they like and need what you’re giving them, they’re going to take you no matter what and they will pay whatever they need to pay to keep you on.
So that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned. I go out there and I just give my best. I’m still good friends with the directors and cast members of every project have worked on so far. Their relationship with me and being bisexual has been just tight. I think I’ve been fortunately grateful to have those opportunities that did want me but yeah, I would say, don’t take no for an answer.
Thank you very much for your time today, Charlie.