We’re One Of Those Couples That Like To Be In Each Other’s Pockets!

Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what’s taking place in the Kingdom.

From entrepreneurs with Kingdom faith and principles, alongside industries being formed for the Christian culture, we wanted to take time out to celebrate the movement taking place in the UK.

2BRealMagazine was birthed to celebrate great content, great people and great businesses that are representing the Christian faith loud and proud. We pray that this series will be an inspiration to our readers not just here in the UK, but around the world and that the people’s lives will touch hearts, speak passion to birth purpose to everyone.

 

Jermaine Wong founder and artistic managing director of Final Call Productions opened the doors to the theatre production company six years ago. With the help of his wife Danielle Wong, who is the director of operations and producer of Final Call Productions, we spoke to the married couple on what it is like to build a business and an entrepreneurial brand with your other half.

 

2BReal: How did you get into your current job?

Jermaine: I used to complain a lot about the lack of substance in Christian dramas. Obvious plot storylines, cliché characters and the general feeling like the stories weren’t relevant to real struggles of faith, used to cause me to rub my temples in despair! Then one day, like a lightning bolt, a thought struck me…“Stop complaining and do something about !” That’s how Final Call Productions was born. Out of my desire to see relevant Christian entertainment that I would be super proud to share.

Danielle: I married the owner of Final Call Productions!! Don’t think I ever would have found myself doing this by any other way…but who knows God works in mysterious ways!

 

 

2BReal: Why was it important for you to start the theatre and film production company?

Jermaine: I knew this was a medium I loved ever since my first viewing of Back to the Future! From a child to teen, I was in every primary school play, in every school production and every performance based extra-curricular activity. As an adult when I realised that it wasn’t always appropriate to try and incorporate performance theatre into my sales assisting duties, I knew then that I better do something more suited to my skill set lol.

It was important for me to do something I was passionate about and skilled at but performance work is scarce for Black British actors especially Christian performers so I figured “You better go about creating your own work J”. One day I would like to say that I have a box office smash, have Universal Studios and Warner Bros on hold while Steven Spielberg and I hash out plans for Back to the Future 4 lol.

But all of this needs to be on God’s and FCP’s terms, not Hollywood’s! I’m not willing to compromise or do anything that I feel goes against what God has planned for me. Because of this, I knew I would have to do my own thing.

But all of this needs to be on God’s and FCP’s terms, not Hollywood’s! I’m not willing to compromise or do anything that I feel goes against what God has planned for me. Because of this, I knew I would have to do my own thing.

Danielle: I wasn’t there at the start but was very much a part of FCP’s rebirth! When I came into Jermaine’s life FCP was dormant but I saw the dreams and vision Jermaine had, I also saw the laptop full of unheard poems and scripts and was amazed by his talent.

He told me that a lot of his stuff came from praying to God for inspiration or praying for a poem, so obviously it was my job as wife to encourage him to share this gift and get his stuff out there, if God had given him all this, surely it wasn’t supposed to just sit on his laptop! So it was very important to get FCP started again. (He still has loads more stuff on that laptop too!)

 

 

2BReal: How has your journey as entrepreneurs developed you as a married couple working together and as individuals?

Danielle: I know not every couple feels the same but we’re one of those married couples that like to be in each other’s pockets! So the amount of time we get to spend together is great for us, it has drawn us closer together and to know each other much better (we’ve only been married 3 years).

We’ve learned a great deal through shared experiences which means when it comes to making decisions we’re usually on the same page. For me personally, this is a whole new world to me and I very much got thrown in the deep end but I’m learning fast and learning lots, it’s teaching me a lot about the world we live in and about people in general.

Jermaine: Oh yes! I like the word entrepreneur. The title suggests that that person is dedicated to their business and development. It’s a lot like that in marriage too! Our marriage is not a business but it’s definitely something we dedicate time to so the love develops and grows. The journey allows us to see where we complement each other. More importantly, it allows us to identify our strengths and where we can grow stronger.

 

 

2BReal: Had you both been working in theatre and film before you started Final Call Productions?

Jermaine: Kinda. I’d say more working within the field of Drama. I have an IMDb for an episode of The Bill! Do people still remember that T.V show? Lol. Previous work includes acting for TV, film projects and quite a number of theatre productions. In my late teens, I studied for a National Diploma in Performing Arts whilst I taught drama skills at an after-school club for kids and just before I started FCP in 2011 I was studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre & Drama Studies. I am the Head of Drama at a secondary school as well.

Danielle: No not at all, my background is school nursing, a job which I did really enjoy but nothing can give you more joy than doing something for the Lord and I absolutely LOVE being in this industry. It was always a dream of mine, actually to be an actor! So how blessed am I to have married a writer and director! Lol! I have had plenty of opportunities to now do that which is great, but I get too nervous, to be honest! I’m quite happy to be behind the scenes, being a part of the creation is just as amazing.

 

 

2BReal: Have there been any challenges entering into this field of industry as a Christian company?

Danielle: Yes definitely, as a Christian theatre company we have struggled greatly with funding and getting financial backing to support our Christian projects which are very costly. The Arts Council, for example, don’t even accept applications for funding if the project is “religious”. Also, there are many people who wouldn’t consider watching or supporting our productions when realising we have a Christian focus.

Being a Christian is not a popular thing to be at the moment so it limits us and turns people away before they’ve even given it a chance which is a real shame as the people with the power, the links, and means to support to help us get ahead won’t give us the time of day and the non-believing audience is one we actually want to reach! However nothing is impossible for God and he continuously provides and answers prayer so we put our trust in him, not man.

Jermaine: In my experience when you decide to do ANYTHING positive you come up against strong opposition. I believe in the scripture that says, “We fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces” so I’m not surprised that we have challenges but we believe that FCP is backed by the One who is all good. I anticipate challenges from those who don’t understand or appreciate or respect why we do what we do.

 

 

2BReal: How would you describe the balance of working with your significant other as your business partner? Is it something that you initially had thought of in the beginning?

Danielle: Unbalanced! Lol! It’s very hard for us to separate our work from our private life. We’ll be having a date night and talking about our dreams and visions for FCP and we literally have to tell ourselves to stop working! But we don’t really see it as work, we are passionate about using this medium to spread the good news and encourage a relationship with Christ. We actually believe it was one of the reasons God brought us together. We are honoured to serve him and to serve him together is a blessing for us!

It wasn’t even a question of ‘will you work with me on this project’, for me it was a given for me to support and help Jermaine in any which way I could. I didn’t expect that I’d take on such a big part of FCP but I saw an unmet need and put my skills to work for the best of the company. Jermaine is the creative side, I’m the business side, our skills in different areas just seem to work well and make sense.

Jermaine: I always knew that I wanted my partner to be my “partner” in this dream. I’m a strong believer of husband and wife working the garden together like Adam and Eve! Lol! I’m just really glad she shares the vision and wants to be a part of this as much as I do. We work very well together, we bounce off each other, support each other we communicate well in general, it’s a healthy working relationship so it doesn’t cause any issues in our personal life.

 

 

2BReal: What were the first three things you did straight away when you decided to start Final Call Productions?

Jermaine: I started preparing for a church production. I had directed a few school productions by this point so I thought, why not do this at my local church! I started writing the very first draft of And There Was War and I started asking, “Does anyone wanna be in my play!?”

Danielle: When we decided to get FCP up and running again the first 3 things we did was, 1. Got very excited.  2. We prayed. Prayed for wisdom and guidance and that God would be in the midst and God would use us. We prayed to remain humble and to bless us beyond our imaginations. 3. Got straight to work! We don’t hang about! lol

 

 

2BReal: As Christians, how imperative has your faith been as individuals and as a married couple whilst building Final Call Productions?

Jermaine: Faith is the skeleton key that has opened every door we have walked through. We have so many stories of where our only option was to just trust God for a favourable outcome and He has come through EVERY SINGLE TIME. There are moments when it would almost seem foolish to continue with FCP, especially when they’re no signs of financial support, when venues advise to cancel performances, when actors are unreliable or drop out last minute but in all of these instances our faith in what God can do to turn these situations around has never gone unrewarded.

Danielle: I don’t think I’d have the stomach to do this without Faith! It’s a lot of work, there are risks, it’s stressful, there are financial burdens and no promises of a good outcome, hats off to those doing business without Faith! God has taken me personally on a massive journey of Faith whilst working on FCP and I’ve been really challenged but also humbled as I’ve seen God do amazing things when I thought there was no way!

Jermaine and I have moments of weakness and moments of strength in our pursuits faith-wise and so the fact that we are there to encourage one another to trust and have faith and remind each other of Gods truths and promises and of what he’s already done is key to us supporting each other as husband and wife but also to us building up our faith and his ministry and moving forward in God’s plan for our lives.

 

 

2BReal: For some who may be wanting to start a business in a similar industry, what would be your advice for them in starting out?

Jermaine: Make sure that this is actually the industry you want to start a business in. If it’s not something you are passionate about then you will lose interest in show business very quickly. If, in all honesty, you could wake up every morning and do this with just enough resources to function, eat and maybe go to the cinema every now and again then go for it. Start praying and go for it.

Don’t wait for all you need… it rarely happens that way. Instead, use what you have. What God has already blessed you with to get started and the rest of the resources with come as and when you need it. God’s is funny like that sometimes. Find yourself a trustworthy business partner…you’ll need someone to bounce your fantastic ideas off but more importantly someone to hold you accountable to your dreams. The person who will encourage you to NEVER GIVE UP.

Danielle: It takes time to build and grow, be patient and doesn’t forget to enjoy and be grateful for even the smallest achievements. Don’t be held back by your limitations but seek God to fill those gaps of need, seek his guidance and follow his lead. If doors close, maybe they’re meant to. Or maybe now is not the time. Trust Him always.

 

 

2BReal: As a married couple, what is your favourite scripture that gives you comfort, confidence, and composure?

Jermaine: Oh man! There are too many! It changes depending on our situation. At this current moment, the scripture that challenges and gives me comfort is John 13:34.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

 

Danielle: Any scripture about worrying or fear! But more specifically one we like is Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

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