What Do I Do Now?
By Samuel Sirmons
GUBA ft. Lady Dentaa Amoteng
In 2023, we are seeing that there is an incredible backlog of passport applications from the United States. Between people’s passport expiring or applying for their first one, the wait time is between 10-13 weeks. Even if you want that passport expedited for an extra $60, the wait time still stands at 7-9 weeks. So, if you are looking for summer travel, you might be traveling domestically. But, for those that are ready to add stamps to an active passport, we have someone that is interested in bringing you to the motherland of Africa. Not only as a vacation destination but as an invitation to reconnection to your roots.
Lady Dentaa Amoateng visited Atlanta for a fundraiser as the keynote speaker for the GWAG Millennials, but before that, she was able to sit with Sam Sirmons to discuss:
- What traveling to Ghana looks like from Atlanta
- Her background in nursing meets her passion for connecting people through GUBA (Grow Unite Build Africa)
- Initiatives that mean a lot to her (infant mortality, education, & autism)
- Tourism, travel, & its history in Africa as a whole
MEMORIES ft. Ambassador Andrew Young
The ability to speak with icons has been a privilege. And in this bonus episode, I had the distinct privilege to speak with civil rights icon & former Mayor of Atlanta, Ambassador Andrew Young. One area I've made intentional strides is to find an area of questioning that hasn't been asked. And I know the stories and the depictions in movies that his life has been shown all around the world. But, my question came from a place of where one building in Atlanta has both his and his brother's name. The answer he shares goes into detail of other civil rights icons who are no longer with us, but their humanity cannot be forgotten.
Enjoy this bonus episode and coming up next Monday, more great dialogue with people whom you know or may not know with a story to tell. Keep listening to the What Do I Do Now? Podcast.
FAVOR ft. Jeffery Sirmons
If you didn't hear the UNDERSTANDING episode, you won't get the full scope of what FAVOR comes from. So, I suggest you listen to last week's episode first. But, for those that have, I continue the conversation with my father that is centered around the life we have shared together. In the episode, we touch on:
- How his siblings shaped his parents opinions
- How he felt regarding early exposure to therapy for my brother & I
- Family love
- Raising your kids vs. raising your siblings
- Grieving the loss of parents
- Father/son vacation memories
- Blended families
- Bitter vs. Better
To find more about my father's ministry, please check out the Facebook page here. We've got more great conversations coming up next Monday on "What Do I Do Now?"
UNDERSTANDING ft. Jeffery Sirmons
There's been a conversation that I've personally wanted to have since last season, but time isn't always on my side. But, I have become very intentional about the guests I have on the platform as well as the topics that are discussed.
In this episode, I spend the afternoon with my father, Jeffery Sirmons, in his birth home in South Georgia. And to be honest, I didn't think the episode was going to take me through so many ranges of emotions as not just an interviewer, but as a son. Family is very vital to me and my success thus far in life so being able to discuss it in very explicit detail, it added a new layer to this passion project called "What Do I Do Now?" So, to date, this will be my most personal episode yet. In detail, we discuss, in no specific order:
- The Stages Of Grief, Loss Of Loved Ones
- Family Discourse
- Mental Health & Faith
- Law Enforcement Encounters
- Marijuana & The Church
- Cultures & Division Within Them
- What Church Looks Like In 2023
And this is only the first part of the conversation. The second half of this personal episode will be released on April 3rd, 2023.
CULTIVATE ft. Jordan Bundy
This episode is one that was unplanned, but truthfully speaking, that's when my best episodes happen. I saw a tweet from someone incredibly dope and knew that it was an in for a conversation that needs a platform.
Jordan Bundy is a black woman that cultivates from her farm in the countryside of Oklahoma. She's a maverick in this field for various reasons, but she has no problem addressing and finding solutions to making sure she isn't the only one in that space much longer. In this dialogue, we cover:
- Jordan's origin on a farm
- The health journey that led her to cannabis
- Understanding the stigma that comes with cannabis cultivating to change the narrative
- The history & relevancy of the Tulsa Race Massacre for her
LEGACY ft. Wanda Cooper-Jones
In the midst of everything that is going on, you need to find something to uplift and better ourselves as people. And this podcast has been that for myself & the listening audience all over the world. And in the middle of another black life that has been lost due to racism, a mother has carried her son's legacy and memory into a foundation that will be fundraising for an incredible cause.
On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was murdered during a racially motivated hate crime while jogging in Satilla Shores, a neighborhood near Brunswick, GA. Three men hunted him unjustly & as Arbery attempted to defend himself, Travis McMichael fatally shot him. The case would have been mishandled had the public interest not peaked and forced outside agencies to take over the case. On June 24, 2020, a grand jury indicted each of the three men on charges of malice murder, felony murder, and other crimes. On January 7, 2022, the McMichaels were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole plus 20 years, while Bryan was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Now, after 3 years since the tragedy, his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones is keeping Ahmaud's name alive with his the 1st Annual Run With Maud 5k Walk/Run. The Run with Maud 5K Run/Walk, an initiative to celebrate the life of Ahmaud Arbery and raise funds for the foundation established in his name, will take place on May 6 in Centennial Olympic Park. "Ahmaud ran to feel free,” said Cooper-Jones, who created the foundation. “It is the goal of the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation for all people to enjoy running for their mental and physical health. The Run with Maud 5K will raise awareness for that vision and funding to provide mental health resources for black boys."
This is the interview that is live on MajicATL.com as well as run during my show on Sunday afternoons, "Sunday Sirmons." Please visit AhmaudArberyFoundation.org to join the great cause.
ORIGIN ft. Sam Sirmons
It's nearly been 2 months since the last episode, the long breaks usually come with a life change or a lack of motivation. I am very proud to say that it was not the latter. January & February were one of the most busy I've ever been professionally. Being able to speak at my alma mater was truly a pleasure, continuing to executive produce the #1 rated PM drive show, and fly my mom into the city was just the beginning of all the things I've been working towards.
On February 25th of this year, I launched my apparel line and brand "Faith & Fruit Snacks." And it's been by far been the most rewarding thing I've put nearly all of my free time into. In this episode, I cover:
- Where the idea came from
- Issues that came along with it just being an idea
- Becoming an entrepreneur
- How I came to the launch date of Feb. 25th
- What's coming next within the brand including the next shirt dropping in March
The brand can be found on Twitter & Instagram. To purchase product or find out more information about the brand, visit here. Stay tuned as "What Do I Do Now?" continues to turn corners in more ways than one.
RECAP ft. Sam Sirmons
SISTAS ft. KJ Smith, Mignon, Ebony Obsidian, Novi Brown, & Crystal Renee' Hayslett
This past year, Tyler Perry's "Sistas" crossed the landmark 100th episode. And, in a time where so many shows don't make it past the first season, being in the middle of a 5th season with so much success is not an easy feat or one that should go without recognition. But, the principle characters (KJ Smith, Mignon, Ebony Obsidian, Novi Brown, & Crystal Renee' Hayslett) have let viewers know week in and week out, this is a show that isn't going anywhere. Make sure you tune in every Wednesday, 9 PM on BET & BET Her!
Being discussed in this interview:
- Does 6 months really equate to a marriage proposal?
- Each character's relationship status
- What men can take away from watching "Sistas"
- What does five seasons mean to each of them
- What their long lasting impression after finishing their career in acting
The series is MUST SEE TV! Follow the show on social media: @SISTASOnBET and use the hashtag #SistasOnBET to stay engaged with the ladies of the show!
PRIORITY ft. Dwayna A. Haley
With the new year finally here, I couldn't miss the opportunity to FINALLY release this episode! I enjoyed some time off, but rest assure that 2023 is bringing BIGGER and BETTER from the "What Do I Do Now?" brand. This episode reaches into my early memories in Atlanta with one of the most dynamic black woman I have had the pleasure of working with. And for the record, this is a family conversation so we did use colorful language. And by colorful, we were cursing. We grown and pay taxes round here.
Dwanya A. Haley is an award winning/nationally recognized Chief Marketing & Communications Executive with over 20 years of experience in the field. In other words, a bosses boss. And on top of that, she's an accomplished public speaker, devoted wife, & mother to two beautiful children. In this discussion, we cover:
- Our origin story during the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta
- Managing relationships within her field
- Prioritizing her marriage/family life with a successful career
- Parenting and being a mother in the midst of a pandemic
- Life lessons that have come from family members
Truly grateful to share the space and platform with a dynamic woman and she can be followed at @AskThePRGirl. Looking forward to another amazing conversation coming up on "What Do I Do Now?"
FROM.SCRATCH ft. Keith David
GROWTH ft. Dr. Jarrod Dortch
For the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to have a conversation that truly will feel like a family reunion. As stated in prior episodes, I am a proud Ball State University graduate. And on the journey when I found radio, I was able to meet an incredible individual, man, & friend in "Jim Flamez" but is known professionally as Dr. Jarrod Nicholas Dortch.
Our conversation touches on so many various areas, but highlighted by:
- His experience at Ball State University
- Being a founder of the Ball State chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated
- His family & their importance in his own life
- The value of education being a black male teacher
- Marrying education with the arts
- Finding his newest venture, Solful Gardens
You can support Solful Gardens here, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. You can find Dr. Dortch on social media at @jarroddortch.
Stay tuned in for another great episode of "What Do I Do Now?" coming up on Monday.
RELIEF ft. Miguel Cardona
Last month, I had the chance to speak with the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona and we spoke about the launch of the website where you can apply. Now, I have not yet held up my end of the deal at the end of the interview, but I'll be applying before the year is out. And for anyone else that is waiting to apply, don't wait too late. The program will only be available through October 2023.
Keep tuning into my passion project, "What Do I Do Now?" every Monday.
#TheFollowUp ft. Coco Jones
She kicked off this season talking about her smash hit series, "Bel Air" that is available to stream on Peacock. Now, she's back with her music that has gotten a lot of attention. "What I Didn't Tell You" from Coco Jones is a 7 song EP that has already been atop of the Apple Music charts and buzzing on YouTube all month long.
I had the honor of talking with her again the days leading up to the project being released on all platforms & got the chance to hear how the music sounded at a private listening session. She's truly a force and will definitely be recognized as a singer-actress contrary to being an actress-singer.
Keep listening to the podcast & share it with those that may not normally come across it. I'm back HEAVY on Mondays. Next week's episode is one you won't want to miss.
COMMUNITY ft. Sam Sirmons
So, on this Halloween, I am just getting back in Atlanta from my second trip to Indiana in two weeks. This visit was to speak at the 75th Anniversary Banquet for the Carver Community Center in Kokomo, Indiana. To have been asked to be a part of the celebration is something that I do not take lightly and I am still honored to have shared parts of my personal history with the city that I know as my hometown. This episode is centered around the speech that I was able to share as well as insights of what is to come for the rest of this year and the year to come. The giveback can't stop with me. I have to pour into the community I reside in as well as the one I am a product of. I look forward to more conversations and dialogue with Carver Center and other community leaders.
MORTALITY ft. Sam Sirmons
I honestly wanted to drop this yesterday, but in the beginning of the episode, you'll quick see why I had to sit and marinate on this episode in particular. The premise of mortality is something I have an interesting relationship with. And it's a topic I'm sure I will be circling back to in the near future with this podcast.
The shooting and untimely death of recording artist PNB Rock is one that reminds me of so many other high profile shootings. Ones that shouldn't happen at all. But, I think that it's a conversation that one should have with themselves, whether privately in your thoughts or maybe openly like this. And I hope this one hits home. Rest in power to those we lost too soon. If you would like to continue this conversation with me, please don't hesitate to reach out via the Instagram (@wdidnpodcast) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
MANIFEST ft. Iyana Halley
It's the 3rd week in a row! I'm knocking out some heavy hitting interviews/conversations this season and this episode absolutely falls in line with the evolution that's occurring with the podcast. This one is centered around an actress that is truly on her way to the next level & her latest film that it's theaters right now.
There are summer films that will get your attention, then there are movies that are summer blockbusters. The latest Will Packer Productions & Universal Pictures film, “Beast” is centered on a single father bringing his two daughters to Africa to build their relationship after their mother has passed. Idris Elba is doing his best to connect with his daughters, played by Leah Jefferies and Iyana Halley, but on a tour of a restricted area encounters one of the most feared animals in the world, a lion. How far will a father go to protect the only people in the world worth dying over?
I was able to catch up with one of the stars of the film, Iyana Halley, as the movie has been out for 2 weeks & has received great reviews from audiences. And from her roles in TV and movies such as “This Is Us“, “Abbott Elementary“, & “True To The Game” just to name a few, she’s got her sights on continuing to be a force in Hollywood. In this in depth interview, we discuss:
- Her acting career working alongside veteran actors/actresses such as Sterling K. Brown & Vivica A. Fox
- Working to expand her brand outside of acting
- How she feels about manifesting in her own life
- What she brought into the role of Meredith for “Beast” & co-starring with Idris Elba
- Addressing the latest story about how Idris Elba’s daughter didn’t get the role she was casted for
- What she would tell herself now from where she is currently
- What project she would like to take on next
You can follow her on social media: @theiyanahalley & @iyanahalley.
I'll be taking Labor Day Monday off, but rest assure I'll be back the following Monday with another great episode of the WDIDN podcast.
R&B ft. Rob Milton
And, Mondays are the best days of the week again with another installment of the "What Do I Do Now?" podcast. This week's guest was through an "organic discovery" via Twitter, a phrase you'll hear in this episode. I mean, we even talked Beyonce's latest album, Renaissance. The guest I am speaking of is singer/songwriter/producer, Rob Milton. Not only has he achieved success internationally as a solo artist, but is in two groups as well.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Rob's start in music starting as an undergrad
- Writing music that ended up on TV such as Insecure
- Diddy's declaration that R&B is dead
- Career goals to accomplish
- What the industry allows to thrive
Please make sure you follow Rob on all this social media accounts, @therobmilton, and his website.
Make sure you come back next Monday for another episode of "What Do I Do Now?"
BEL-AIR ft. Coco Jones
We are back for a third season. THREE?! Over 50 episodes in? I would be lying if I said I knew this was coming, but I am grateful to be laboring for another season full of amazing guests with interviews that I hope that people listen to and hear themselves in.
For this season's premiere episode, I went back to my vault to an interview I did in April 2022 with an incredible talent in singer, songwriter, & actress, Coco Jones. Newly signed to Def Jam Records, promoting her latest single, "Caliber", and Peacock's most successful original series, "Bel-Air", Jones has reminded that she's not new to this.
If you want to find yourself on the platform, please reach out to me via my website or follow the podcast page on Instagram, @wdidnpodcast! I plan to release new episodes every 2 weeks, so stay tuned for the next episode coming on August 29th!
ADAPT ft. Sam Sirmons
We finally made it to the season finale of "What Do I Do Now," or did we? What has gone on? Why the slow down in production? This ain't another.....you know what, just listen and I hope to see you all later on this year.
To follow the podcast, add @wdidnpodcast on Instagram & if you would like to be booked as a guest, e-mail your information to email@example.com! I look forward to Season 3!
TALENT ft. Curtis Akeem
From the radio to my personal platform I've been laboring into for almost 50 episodes now, I have the privilege of speaking with one of Atlanta's hottest stars, Curtis Akeem. From working with HS bands in the metro (shoutout to Creekside HS), collaborating with the HBCU band culture across the country (shoutout to ESPN), his upcoming endeavors (shoutout to myself for mispronouncing it & Curtis getting me together), & who he is modeling his career after. He already has smash hits, challenges going viral all over social media, but this is only the beginning for a true artist/student of the industry. Most importantly, he understands that he's only as successful as his team that he has surrounding him & does not shy away from their shoutouts.
To follow everything that Curtis Akeem and his personas have upcoming, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
FAMILY ft. Towanda Braxton
APOLOGY ft. Sam Sirmons
As I am getting ready to wrap up the second season of WDIDN, I went personal this episode. And I wanted to talk candidly about something I've had on my mind for awhile now, the art of the apology.
#NorthOfThe10 ft. Don Benjamin, Tosin Morohunfola, Wesley Armstrong, Terrance J, & Rhyan LaMarr
The days of going to the movies have changed. Not only due to the pandemic, but streaming platforms rule EVERYTHING around us. And there are a lot of creatives that are able to make their own lane in the entertainment industry due to streaming platforms becoming accessible for film makers from all backgrounds. Today, I have the opportunity to speak to the director (LaMarr) & main cast members (Benjamin, Morohunfola, Armstrong, & Jenkins) of the next movie to be released exclusively on BET+, "North Of The 10."
In the interview we discuss:
- the premise of the movie
- significance of it being on BET+
- what the "North Of The 10" means
- TikTok dancing being merged with martial arts
- mental health impact of social media
From the movie's official press release:
Five friends struggling to succeed during the dawn of social media put their talents together to become viral stars and wind up influencing the millennial generation.
North of the 10 sees five struggling, but extremely talented, friends grow their own social media empire out of necessity through the reliability of their friendship. Their success is a team effort and each individual entry into their chosen professions in the worlds of modeling, acting, gourmet cooking, dancing and gaming but each profession offers its own hurdles. It's Knocked Up / Superbad for the social media era era - a hangout movie about creative people trying to make it on their own, finding strength in unity, and inviting the world to join them.
To follow the cast & director on social media: @terrancej, @tosinmorohunfola, @wuzgood, @donbenjamin, & @rhyanlamarr.
BHM ft. Trey Baker
BAKING ft. Ava-Leigh
I have never been more honored to do what I do than what I was able to accomplish last month. The fact is that there are children that like to be in the kitchen, then there are children that possess a gift in the kitchen. The Food Network has truly found a gem in Atlanta, GA by the name of Ava-Leigh.
Now, I will say I carry a heavy bias with her because I have known her since she was born, but even if I didn't, her star power is undeniable and you will be able to hear Ava-Leigh discuss her appearance on "Kids Baking Championship" which airs on Food Network & Discovery+.
To follow Ava-Leigh, you can follow her on Instagram, @ava.leigh_bakes! More episodes coming for What Do I Do Now?
SPECULATE ft. Sam Sirmons
I ain't think I was gonna be back bringing my mess to the platform, but this is exactly why I do it. In this situation I discuss, I had to ask myself, "What Do I Do Now?" Am I gonna let folks get harassed again? Am I going to acknowledge someone hiding behind a phone/tablet/keyboard? Well, I think I give a pretty decent response on this late Wednesday night. I also mention a lot of my favorite people in this episode. I wanted to keep it entertaining as possible. See ya'll on Monday with another amazing episode of "What Do I Do Now?"
VARIANT ft. Dr. Cameron Webb
Because this passion project came from the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel like it is my responsibility to keep the listeners across 37 states and 13 countries outside the U.S. up to date with not just numbers, but people that have the insight of the best access to this crisis as possible. With this responsibility I've taken upon myself, I have been able to speak with several members of the current White House Administration. This episode features Senior Policy Advisor for Equity & COVID-19 Response team member, Dr. Cameron Webb.
Dr. Webb is a JD/MD, proud husband to Leigh, proud father to Avery & Lennox, and a sports fan who after this interview was taped tried to tell me that the state of Georgia needs to let up on the championship winning. After all the sports curses that have been over this part of the South, we are going to keep applying pressure. I mean, we still haven't figured out parades. So, maybe the follow up will be more sports related. But, in this episode we discuss:
- "Deltacron"/"Flurona" cases
- The Biden Administration updates on at-home testing
- Vaccination for children
- The importance of the booster shot
If you want to follow Dr. Webb on Twitter, you can follow him here. Stay tuned for more from the What Do I Do Now podcast.
#TheFollowUp w/ Tondaleya Carter
JSU ft. Thomas K. Hudson
Today is a surprise episode and it couldn't be more timely. Following last week's episode with the President of Morehouse, I stayed in the HBCU category talking with another leader of an institution in Jackson, Mississippi.
In the last week, tickets went on sale for the Celebration Bowl at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta between the Jackson State Tigers and the South Carolina State Bulldogs, meeting up to settle who is the King of the Black College Football gridiron.
But, in the last 24 hours, Jackson State University has garnered a lot of attention with a top ranked high school recruit, Travis Hunter, de-committing from Florida State and will be headed to JSU this upcoming fall. Coach Prime, Deion Sanders, told the world that he was going to shock the world on National Signing Day & he delivered on that promise.
I was able to talk with the President of Jackson State University, Mr. Thomas K. Hudson to discuss:
- JSU's Recruitment Fair today at Drew High School in Riverdale, GA
- JSU's Alumni Mixer on Friday
- JSU's 1st Celebration Bowl, which recently announced it was sold out
- JSU's online degree programs
- Partnership with Morris Brown College in Atlanta
- A financial literacy program, a first at any HBCU
- The rise of their athletic program this year & what it means for the university
- Why an undecided student should consider JSU for their education