“My inspiration started at childhood, with things like Disney records that I would memorize and act out, on up to a tape recorder my dad gave me where I would create soap operas and play 3-4 different characters at a time. From there I went to Colonel White School of the Arts in Dayton Ohio where my love and talent for theatre blossomed.”
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION/MOTIVATION TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
LASHON SMITH: My inspiration started at childhood, with things like Disney records that I would memorize and act out, on up to a tape recorder my dad gave me where I would create soap operas and play 3-4 different characters at a time. From there I went to Colonel White School of the Arts in Dayton Ohio where my love and talent for theatre blossomed. It was there I wrote my first books and although it was unpublished my teacher Sheila Ramsey loved it so much she read it aloud to all of her classes.
CEPTV was born out of the love for my people. We don’t have to sign bad deals anymore if we have digital content that we want to share with the world. CEPTV is all about having no excuses, if you see something you want and it is not available, go create it.
CEPTV or CREAFTERS ENTREPRENEUR/ENTERTAINERS at PLAY TV is all about the long game building infrastructure giving creatives a home they can come for free to showcase their talents on a platform that is affordable to patrons and free to contributors. We are in the era of no excuses if you have a dream there are people out here like me who are willing to put our neck on the line and use our resources to help catapult our own versus siphoning their talents and opportunities, we at CEPTV aim to build our own while helping people develop and Preserve their legacies versus selling them.
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: TELL ME YOUR JOURNEY IN STARTING THE CEP TV NETWORK
LASHON: Well You will learn More in my Up and Coming Book- Kick Down the Door- How I got into the streaming world, but I would say that when I wanted to make my dream materialize I started off with this jankity wix website with some window boxes with YouTube videos, no diss to wix but that site was hideous. I shopped it around to some people and when they saw the site they blocked my number and never called me back. However it served as blueprint for what you will see now and even this is a prototype of an ever evolving product as we will need to stay relevant. Some people like Author Edwina Fort looked at my little site and saw the vision right away, this sister trusted me enough. The journey has made me look at business in a whole new light, as well as relationships, friendships. I am having to come out of my shell which is I wont say introvert-ish but I used to have a personality that was less outgoing, now in order to get people to see and tap the vision, I have to connect more, be more, do more. I also currently work a 9-5 and I work hard as to not shortchange anyone but pioneering this dream means lets sleep, more travel and lots of time on the computer and making phone calls and emails, which I have never had to do before on this level, but I love it because I keep the end goal in the forefront of my eyes every step of the way.
BLAQVERSITY: HOW MANY YEARS HAS THE NETWORK BEEN STREAMING FOR SMALL FILMS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS?
LASHON: Technically our first year of streaming will be celebrated July 2020. However we had been pioneering CEPTV since 2018 but had not gone official yet.
BLAQVERSITY: WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO HAVE THEIR OWN TV NETWORK?
LASHON: Again this is about infrastructure and building blocks. I encourage anyone who has the time talent and prowess to get into the streaming area on either side creating opportunity or sending content. CEPTV is building a an Black owned independent streaming coalition. This coalition will teach and encourage fellow streaming platform owners how to work together and teach their streamers how to maximize the opportunity and utilize non exclusive platforms like ours to build what will be soon known as a streaming portfolio. It will be the same as building a fan-base for music. I do have a book coming out soon that will talk about the preposition of what is now known as TIERED streaming services and how one can get in on either side and take advantage of this new era of opportunity. This is so important to be able to tell our own stories right from the people who had the experience and not have it watered down due to some agenda if applicable or superiority complex..
BLAQVERSITY: DO YOU HAVE ANY GOALS AND PLANS FOR GETTING FILMS AIRED ON CEP TV NETWORK?
LASHON: Well I am happy to announce that soon and very soon CEPTV will be taking many shows to linear cable as a jr cable channel which is going to expand the network exponentially! As CEPTV Grows everyone will grow together. The exposure actually gives those who have content on CEPTV a bigger possibility of their concepts being picked up by larger networks..if that is the goal.
BLAQVERSITY: WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NETWORK IN FIVE YEARS?
LASHON: Every five years CEPTV will be a tier 2 streaming network, we will be able to help fund others who are looking for ways to enter into the film industry. We need to flood the industry and force aside the vanguards.
CEPTV will be producing our own full feature films and collaborating with some of the best in the business. We will use these strengths to continue to create opportunities for others.
BLAQVERSITY: ARE THEIR ANY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITERS OR INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS TO SUBMIT THEIR FILMS TO YOUR NETWORK?
LASHON: They can simply email us at email@example.com or go to www.mycep.tv and on the upper right hit submit content this will take them to a form. It may take about 7-10 business days to get the content uploaded but they will receive an acknowledgment response within 48 hours of submission.
BLAQVERSITY: IF SOMEONE WANTS TO STREAM MOVIES OR VIDEOS FROM THE NETWORK, IS THERE AN APP THEY CAN DOWNLOAD? IS IT AVAILABLE ON OTHER STREAMING SERVICES AS WELL?
LASHON: We are currently on all android devices and will be available on apple and Roku within the coming weeks. As stated earlier we will be going to cable projected in April this will allow us to stream on several networks.
BLAQVERSITY: HOW CAN READERS CONNECT WITH YOU?
LASHON: They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 706.438.8082 @ceptvradio on facebook @ceptvnetworks on twitter and Ig or www.ceptv.network to see whats going on with ceptv the latest movies events podcasts affiliate information and more. We also have amazing sponsor opportunities if anyone wants more information on that as well.
BLAQVERSITY: DO YOU KNOW THE STATISTICS/NUMBERS THAT CEP TV NETWORK REACHES ON A WEEKLY BASIS? MONTHLY?
LASHON: CEPTV NETWORKS LLC also houses CEPTV RADIO the Nope or Dope show hosted by 10 Karat and our flagship show that is also on iheart radio, blog talk, Facebook, YouTube, periscope, igtv and more, which is CEPTV Late Night Hype show, listeners from the show are converted to the platform. It is safe to say that we have a grown number reaching thousands weekly due to multi streaming and social media promotions.
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