People to Watch

Things are looking up for two local performers, one an actress who’s worked with Dylan McDermott, and the other a rapper whom Kanye West signed

> Jennifer Kincer
A performer since childhood, Jennifer Kincer has paid her dues, doing the bread-and-butter work of local talent: commercials, voice-overs, and other gigs. Now she’s reaping the rewards of her efforts, acting alongside the likes of Dylan McDermott, Henry Winkler, and Charles Durning. She chatted with Hour Detroit via phone.

Where are you from?
I was raised in Napoleon, right outside of Jackson. I attended Plymouth-Canton High School and then Oakland University in Rochester, where I have lived since 1988.

How did you get started?
My passion for acting really blossomed as an outgrowth of my singing. I have a master’s degree in music from Oakland. Throughout high school and college, I studied theater and music. Once I was out of college, I studied intensive acting and started signing with agencies.

What are some of your current projects?
I’m currently a full-time actress and have several projects under my belt, including commercials, voice-overs, television spots, and feature films. I appeared in Unbeatable Harold, which premiered June 26 during the Detroit-Windsor International Film Festival at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

What’s next for you?
I’m working on several upcoming projects, many of which are being filmed here in Michigan. [They] include: Red & Blue Marbles with Academy Award [nominee] Ruby Dee, Approaching Midnight with Friday Night Lights actress Jana Kramer, and Misery Loves Company, which is expected to begin production in late summer.

What do you like about Detroit?
There’s such opportunity for growth here that’s often overlooked. Detroit has an amazing university community, including schools like Wayne State and Oakland, which provide people with countless opportunities to excel and grow.

Who are some of your role models?
Some of my greatest motivation came [from] music teachers and acting instructors [who] really pushed me to grow.

> Sean Michael Anderson
Sean Michael Anderson, known professionally as Big Sean, has been working toward his dream of becoming a successful rapper since childhood. He recently signed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D (Getting Out Our Dreams) label, and has begun working with such renowned artists as John Legend, Common, and West.

Where are you from?
I was born in Los Angeles, but moved to Detroit when I was about 2 years old. I was raised in Detroit and attended Cass Tech High School.

How did you get started?
I started rapping when I was 11 or 12. By the time I hit high school, my best friend, Patrick, and I formed a group called SOS. We worked every Friday at a local radio station [102.7 FM’s “Friday Night Cypha.”] We were the youngest group, and we had to battle against much older performers.

So how did you get signed?
One day, Kanye [West] paid a visit to the radio station where we worked. I wasn’t at the station that day, but my friend pushed and encouraged me to take my demo track down to Kanye. By the time I got there, Kanye was on his way out the door, but he told me I had one shot to rap for him as he walked out to the parking lot. I was so nervous, but I just started rapping. Kanye is one of the toughest critics in the game, but he saw something in me. About a month and a half later, in the midst of a very rough time, I got a call from Kanye’s manager offering me a deal to sign with his label, G.O.O.D Music.

What’s next for you?
My single dropped in July, and you can expect the full album this fall. I recently returned from Tokyo, where I filmed the music video for my single “Getcha Some” with Kanye West and Hype Williams. I am also working on future projects with Common, John Legend, and Pharell.

What do you like about Detroit?
Detroit is a real melting pot. Here in Detroit, we are exposed to and can experience all sorts of music beyond just hip-hop. We have the ability take a diverse selection of music and make it our own.