A Journey to the Top: SU Alum Orlando Street | Culture
By producing an ever-growing list of successful alumni after graduation, Southern University has particularly set a standard for black creatives and artists nationwide.
There’s a rocky road to success, but as for actor, filmmaker and South Orlando alum Eric Street, it doesn’t stop yet.
Street, a Chicago native, moved to Baker, Louisiana when he was 12, where he spent the rest of his teenage years. This decision was a decision made by his father, Eric Street Sr. in order to keep his children away from the threat of gangs and street violence.
Entering Southern University, Mr. Street had no idea what his life had in store for him. Street entered Southern with a full tennis scholarship. At the time, his desired major was math. However, over time, he began to explore different disciplines, such as English, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism.
For many students, the thought of changing majors drives them crazy. “Don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you!” Rue said. When asked how he realized broadcasting was the path for him, he credits the decision to his ultimate goal of becoming a director. Before moving completely to the production side of broadcast life, Street gave every aspect a chance. He also gave insight into his life while living with dyslexia and how it affects his career. He soon realized that it was not in his best interests to read from teleprompters, which is often the norm in his field. This may be seen as a setback for many people, but it was just the start of the against-the-odds adaptation for Street.
While in college, Street worked for WAFB, a local news station here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He first worked on the audio team for the weekend morning show, and by the time he graduated in 1994 he was leading audio for WAFB. However, that’s when reality set in for Street. Shortly before starting school, Mr. Street’s father had fallen ill. Being a family oriented man, he wanted to stay as close to home as possible. In this career field, moving up the ladder with an adequate salary requires a lot of movement. Managing audio for WAFB, Mr. Street averaged $9-10/hour, while in Atlanta the salary could triple. Nevertheless, compromises were made and he was able to find his outlet and move on.
Mr Street’s acting career began when he realized that to truly understand and master his field, he “had to get into the world of acting”. He started slowly at first taking on smaller roles, progressing to roles in films such as Waiting For Angels, Creepin’ With The Deacon and He Watch Over Me. Street strongly recommends having an acting mentor and coach.
In a chat with the Digest, Street went on to say that he’s a goal-setting person. He is very specific in his goals, whether big or small. He points out that it’s always good to have other people in your corner who have been through similar life events, to help you stay on track with fewer distractions.
Orlando Eric Street: Be on the lookout for this name as it continues to flourish. You can also see him in commercials and nationally aired series such as A House Divided, Paradise Lost and more. Good luck Mr. Street with all your goals and endeavours!