MSU alums Delvon Roe, Maurice Ager take their shot at entertainment industry
Feb 10, 2013 (Menafn - Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The best way to make a slap to the face look authentic, Delvon Roe figured, was to actually deliver one.
That's what Roe did recently on the set of "The Broken," a film about kidnapping due to open in the United Kingdom in August. He didn't tell Rhea Bailey he was going to make contact, and the result was a one-take scene -- and a wide-eyed actress.
"She was shocked," Roe said. "Then I gave her a hug. And bought her lunch at Friday's."
The best way to really make a name in the music industry, Maurice Ager figured, was to make an album and make it authentic. His rap debut, "Moetown," was released in January and will be available Tuesday on iTunes.
"It's almost like a mini-documentary," said Ager, who has had his own music production company since 2010. "From my childhood in Detroit to my NBA experience, with Michigan State and everything else that happened in between. It's honest, and it's vivid."
Ager and Roe starred on the basketball court for Michigan State. Both now live in the Los Angeles area. Both are trying to make it in industries that might be less forgiving than the sports world -- with Ager aiming to be as real as possible and Roe trying to perfect the art of being someone else.
Occasionally, they even help each other.
"We got together awhile ago, and one thing I told Delvon is to always stay focused, man," Ager said. "Don't get caught up in the nightlife and all that stuff. I can tell he's focused on his craft, he stays locked in, and I applaud him for that."
Roe, who played at MSU in 2008-11 before chronic knee problems forced him to give up his senior season, is doing all he can to earn applause from larger audiences. He has appeared in a Dwight Howard adidas commercial and the Comedy Central show "Tosh.0," and he has landed supporting roles in three feature films -- including his first as a bad guy in "The Broken."
He plays Isaac in "Love and Honor," a Vietnam-era movie filmed and set in Ann Arbor that will open in select U.S. cities on March 22. It has been released on DirecTV and will be available on demand starting Thursday, and the hope is that the film, starring Liam Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games," will earn widespread theatrical release.
A good performance could really boost Roe, said his manager, Sean Kurzweil. Roe is auditioning for roles, several in TV pilots, while taking acting classes.
"He is really coming along with his acting and has a lot of heart and dedication for it," Kurzweil said. "I've been in this business at least 10 years, and I can tell you that I am seeing some strong signs that he just might have it. I'm confident he's going to be a real force if he stays the course."
Roe also is helping Kurzweil promote a forthcoming fitness website called rippedtraining.com that will include live sessions with trainers. Roe has enlisted basketball friends including former Spartans Draymond Green and Jason Richardson to help promote it, and Kurzweil said Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and other celebrities will get a cut for tweeting about the site.
So after what Roe called "a tough first few months," he's starting to earn while pursuing the dream of Hollywood stardom.
"It's been a blast, and I love it out here," said Roe, who lives in Burbank. "And I'm really starting to see a difference with my acting."
Ager was more established when he moved to Hollywood two years ago. The MSU guard in 2002-06 -- when he developed a talent and passion for creating music -- and NBA first-round pick made a few million dollars in a career that also included a stint in Spain. He said he was careful in saving his money.
Moe Ager Productions was registered as an LLC in 2010, and the clients for Ager's beats have included MSU, which used several of his tracks at athletic events and on its official website. He found more business in L.A., along with a sports and music talk show at blogtalkradio.com, but a fall trip with his girlfriend convinced him to do an album.
The trip was to Namibia, and his girlfriend is stuntwoman Natascha Hopkins. She doubled for Zoe Kravitz on "Mad Max: Fury Road."
"I just got inspired," Ager said. "I got away from the madness of America, and I was able to reflect on what 28 years have brought me. I decided that if I want to really make Moe Ager Productions blow up, I had to do my own album, a real album about my life."
One track is devoted to Ager's late father, Melvin Rucker, whom Ager barely knew before his death. There's a shout-out to MSU coach Tom Izzo and a caution about the fast life.
It's authentic. To a point.
"There's no cussing on there," Ager said, "so my mom can listen to it."
Contact Joe Rexrode: 313-222-2625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @joerexrode. Check out his MSU blog at freep.com/heyjoe.
What: Music producer and rapper.
From: Detroit (Crockett High).
Lives in: Hollywood, Calif.
Age: 29 (birthday was Saturday).
Latest project: "Moetown," released in January, available Tuesday on iTunes. Also Tuesday, a deluxe edition of the album with three bonus tracks will be available at agermusic.com.
MSU highlights: Ager is 13th on MSU's all-time scoring list with 1,554 points, averaging 19.3 as a senior in 2005-06. He was one of the stars of the Spartans' run to the 2005 Final Four and was a first-round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 2006.
From: Euclid, Ohio (Lakewood St. Edward High).
Lives in: Burbank, Calif.
Latest project: "Love and Honor," a Vietnam-era film set and filmed in Ann Arbor, will see limited theatrical release in the U.S. on March 22. Roe plays a supporting role in the film, which is available on demand and will be on DirecTV starting Thursday.
MSU highlights: Roe was plagued by knee injuries throughout his three-year career. His play through extreme pain in the 2010 NCAA tournament was key. And Roe sits third on MSU's career block list with 106.
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