365 Entrepreneur: Justin Bland
Made Man Improv is what you get when you have a “creative dreamer” that believes in himself and in the people around him. And isn’t afraid to bring them all together to prove it. On stage. In front of theaters full of people. Justin Bland is the man with the plan.
For those who don’t know you, tell us about who you are and what you do?
I’m a creative dreamer and ironically my name is Justin Bland- crazy thing is Justin Bland means “creative dreamer” in Hebrew. (Laughs) Not really, but for the sake of this interview, we’ll act like it does. I’m known by my stage name, J. Bland Made Man and I’m known as being the creator and host of The Made Man Improv Show. A comedy based variety show that is composed of comedy sketches, on the spot improv games, a lot of crowd interaction, and whatever else happens while we’re vibing out.
What got you into your field?
Entertaining people has been a part of my personality since I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh and seeing people’s reactions to something that was created and formed from my own thoughts. By the time I got to high school and was constantly asked “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years” the answer in my head never fit the choices that were given on paper. I knew what I wanted to be but just didn’t have any guidance or a single clue how to make it happen. I credit a huge part of my entertainment career to my high school drama teacher Michelle Lewis. She inspired me to dream with no limits. I know everyone has those stories of teachers telling them they would never amount to anything, that wasn’t the case for me. A lot of my teachers told me one day I’d have my own show. They spotted the potential in me early. While attending Vincennes University, my mentor/advisor threw me the biggest oop by putting me into leadership and giving me a platform to have my own show. So to answer the question, destiny and fate got me into my field.
What ways you practice self-care?
Self care looks different depending on the person. For me, movies are ALWAYS my go to. Netflix and Hulu have been my besties during this process. I don’t like to force myself to work even when I feel like I should be productive because then I’ll end up producing crap. Instead, I do things that will help my creative process down the line. For me that’s diving into a great film. Film is my life, my peace, and my happiness. A lot of people forget I’m a filmmaker before anything but I’ll remind them soon enough.
In our community, we all know that mental health is a subject that is often shied away. What advice do you give to those who may be affected during this time?
I would suggest that you find something that brings you joy and cling to it. I also would say don’t overwhelm yourself with whatever it is you’re dealing with. A lot of the time we can worry ourselves with today and tomorrow’s problems, when we should be using that time to breathe, relax, and strategically plan how we’re going to get through. Take things one day at a time and prepare to never give up. If you walk through that storm long enough you’ll eventually start to see and feel that sunlight.
Where can we find you on social media? Do you have a website?
I’m actually terrible when it comes to this part of marketing so if that is your field and you just so happened to be reading this, LINK UP AND HELP A BRUTHA OUT! We do have social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. You can find them both under Made Man Improv Academy. You can find me on Facebook under Justin Bland and