Recently I was called by Denise DeGeorgio Cooney. She said she saw my name “everywhere” and asked about the services I provide. I told her a little about Support Our #creatives®. She brought up Shawn Cornelius, a name I recognized. He does a show called “After Dark with Shawn Cornelius,” on Facebook Live, YouTube, and other platforms. Denise is the program director on the show. She recommended that Shawn and I talk. So here we are, as one of the “services” offered by Support Our #creatives® is to conduct interviews! Shawn is so much more than just the host of a show, and you will learn why he is called the Romantic Funnyman.
Meet Shawn Cornelius.
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you got your start in the entertainment industry.
My name is Shawn Cornelius (stage name) and I am a multi-talented entertainer in front of the camera and an award-winning writer, producer, and director behind the camera.
I was born in Queens, NY and I graduated from Shaw University [in Raleigh, NC] with a Theater Degree, and that is how I got my start in the entertainment industry. I’m a Leo, love walks on the beach…Lol kidding.
2. You perform in so many disciplines in entertainment. In the bio you submitted to me you state: Shawn Cornelius is a singer, actor, musician, radio host, author, screenwriter, director and a stand up comedian by career. Tell us about your career development as you added disciplines to your repertoire.
Well, my career started off with me doing music and acting once I graduated from Shaw University in 1991.
As I continued on in these areas, I started branching out and meeting people that would take me in different directions as well as situations that would adjust my focus.
Stand up comedy came later on in 1994, as once again life situations decided to cause me to realize other options that I had and could be good at inside the entertainment field.
Every time I moved to another area of entertainment I grew and just did as well as I could to be successful. Radio came last and I just did that because that was the road for a stand up comedian back when I started in 2000.
I’ve adjusted every time I needed to as a survival technique but also became a student of each discipline.
Lastly, as I embarked on my film [career], I had acquired a lot of the skills needed to write, produce, direct, and act in my own films…just blessed, man.
3. How did you get the name “The Romantic Funnyman?”
I gave myself the name Romantic Funnyman back in 2000 when I started doing radio in Charleston, SC at z92 Jams because I needed a DJ name.
I was given the 12am-2am slow jam request show “The Calm After The Storm” – so a romantic show given to a stand up comedian equals Romantic Funnyman.
4. Tell us about the vision behind Only 1ne Son Entertainment.
I am the only son born to my mother and father’s union so I decided to name my company in honor of their union.
I wanted to create a company that was a twin of who I am and provide a platform for me and other artists to showcase their talents and work.
Also, I wanted to create great work for the world and basically that’s it.
5. Let’s talk about your film “Whatever It Takes The Movie: When Blood Runs Cold.”
Detective Paul Baker, teams up with Detective Shawn Fishburne, to clean up the streets of NYC. Baker learns that the villain he’s chasing, may be from his not-so-distant past.“Whatever It Takes The Movie: When Blood Runs Cold” from IMDb
Tell us about the process of getting this film made and what challenges you faced. Why did you decide to make this film? What were your acting and non-acting contribution?
Basically, I created the original story called “When Blood Runs Cold” back in college in 1990. When I approached Omar Moore to co-write, I thought it would be kinda easy since we are both writers.
It wasn’t really hard but [when] you have two creative sources on one project there can be creative differences, but since we had respect for each other it worked out.
We just said we were going to make a film and we made a film. We paid for the movie with our own money and donations from family and friends.
I wanted to make a film because as a theater major you want to branch out and test yourself, so I challenged myself and fulfilled a dream.
My acting contributions were just that I played Paul Baker, which the main story was written around.
My non-acting contributions were co-writing, producing, directing, and just being a leader to some very talented people that helped us complete the award-winning film.
6. Tell us about your book “Expressions of Love & Romance.”
My book is my life story – discovering and understanding Love and Romance.
I basically am a romantic and decided to talk about my experiences from my first kiss, first love, only marriage, and a bunch of experiences along the way.
I included some poetry, short stories, songs, thoughts, and examples of my wins and losses trying to figure [out] those two important things that shape relationships.
7. What is the process for obtaining music used in a film? Do you compose your own music as well as using others’ music to be part of the soundtrack of your films? Mention some of the works to which you have contributed to the score or soundtrack.
Well, you just look up some producers, songwriters, and musicians and let them know you’re looking for music for your project.
You can either buy or lease tracks for your film and just negotiate what it will cost you.
Yes, I am capable of composing my own music so for my last eight film projects and four [projects] of some other filmmakers I’ve scored the projects.
I composed about 90% of the music for the film “Whatever It Takes,” but I had another producer Traviso Milner that worked on the score as well, but due to some unfortunate technical situations he wasn’t able to score the majority of the film, which was my original idea.
8. Tell us about music you have released besides that used in film.
I have three music CDs that I have released and several singles over the years.
My first CD is called “A Romantic Journey,” where I collaborated with Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Joshua Paul Thompson in 2013.
I wrote or co-wrote all eight of the songs on that CD.
My second CD was called “The Calm After The Storm” in 2017 (with Bostein Productions), in which I wrote all 17 tracks and played guitar on ten tracks and piano on two tracks.
I mention that because that was the first time I’ve ever recorded a music CD where I played instruments.
My third CD is a soundtrack to my short film “Just Say You Love Me” (2020) that I produced with Traviso Milner.
I have also written music for a film called “Anniversary” (2020), “Three Corners Of Deception” coming out this year (20 tracks), “Love Is Love” due out this year, and five songs for the stage musical “Back In The Dayz” by Omar Moore.
9. What is the primary subject matter of your stand up comedy? Where have you performed live and which media have you been seen on? How does audience response to your act in progress influence your performance?
I talk about just about everything in my stand up routine – Love, romance, relationships, current events, my marriage, my family, entertainment, and whatever emotional situation that gets heavy on me at the time.
Wow, in my 28 year career I’ve been a lot of places, man. They’ll [Author’s Note: You, the readers of this post! 🙂 ] have to go to my website and see my résumé for all of those, but some of the main places [include] New York, England, California, Amsterdam, Jamaica, Mexico, Texas, over 250 colleges, and so many clubs I can’t even put a number on it.
I’ve done HBO Tours, “BET Comicview” 4x All Star, Brooklyn TV, “Law & Order,” and Showtime.
Well, the audience is your funny gauge because if they’re laughing with you then you know you’re on; if they’re not then you know you have some work to do.
10. For your talk show “After Dark with Shawn Cornelius,” why did you decide to have each episode be two distinct parts – First conducting an interview to learn all about your guest; second the fun part where you and your guest enter the Love Zone?
11. “After Dark” is available on many platforms, either live or recorded. What are the advantages of doing that?
Basically the more platforms you’re on the better it is to expose your brand and fan base.
Plus some people don’t have New York TV, ROKU/Amazon Fire, or Spotify so I give everyone a chance to see or hear it.
So you want to make it accessible to everyone or as many people as you can get it to for support.
12. Are there any other project(s) you want to mention?
I just released my short film “Confessions” that won three awards last year and getting ready to release “Confessions 2” this month (February 2021).
Also, I’m producing another show called the “Mocha Black Show” and putting together my fourth music CD.
13. What do you want to tell our readers that will inspire them?
Whenever you decide to do something just do it.
Have faith in yourself and never lose the vision, determination, strength, trust, and love for what you’re doing.
There will be highs and lows so prepare yourself for all of that on your journey to winning.
God created you great and gave you all the tools necessary to be successful so go out and succeed.
14. How can we get in touch with you?
We have learned about Shawn Cornelius and his involvement in so many disciplines of entertainment. He added these disciplines to his repertoire in a deliberate manner and has achieved expertise with them over the years.
Creatives out there, if you want me to interview you, please contact me. This will give you exposure to an audience in my “circle,” that you may not have reached before.
To my readers, please provide feedback or questions in the Comments. I would really enjoy hearing from you. And let me know if there are any topics you would like me to cover.
Disclosure: The author has been financially compensated for conducting this interview.
The interview was edited for readability and formating.
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Originally published February 14, 2021. Updated March 6, 2021 to add link to Anchor.