THE RENT IS ALWAYS DUE ON THE FIRST: VAUGHN HEBRON

THE RENT IS ALWAYS DUE ON THE FIRST: VAUGHN HEBRON

Growing up with 10 siblings can cause a little rivalry within the house. However, Vaughn Hebron didn’t have this problem. Instead, he would take on more responsibility by helping his parents raise hit brothers and sisters. Vaughn hit the television waves with his role as Barry on Tyler Perry’s The Oval on BET+. While chasing down his ex to find his daughter and fighting for his current girlfriend to stay in a relationship with him, Vaughn’s character couldn’t be any further from the person he is in real life. Nonetheless, the acting newcomer is here to stay. 

We had a chance to link up with Vaughn during this Covid pandemic and ask him questions about his life, the show, and how he sees his life moving forward. All things considered, his only dilemma is to make sure he is never back in a place trying to figure out how to pay his rent. The Lafayette College graduate and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated member is going to stomp and hop his way all through Hollywood and won’t hesitate to let you know his bark is just as big as his bite. 

SUAVV: 10 Siblings is a lot to grow up with? Did you find yourself fighting for attention from your parents? 

Vaughn: Yeah, I guess it was because, especially being the oldest, right where you’re the oldest, the attention is on you because you’re the firstborn. And so, you know, your parents want to make sure everything is done a hundred percent correctly with you. Like they’re probably the most strict on you. They’re probably the most, you know, on your tail about everything. And then when you start having siblings, you know, they, their attention kind of goes towards them and they start getting better treated than you did. I saw my siblings. Like they, my parents weren’t as strict with them. I guess the way that I still was able to keep my parents’ attention because I was a straight-A-student all the way until college. They kinda got used to me just bringing home good grades. And then also cause eventually I played D1 in college football, right? So basically my whole football career up until college was exceptional. Breaking records, being in the newspaper, All-American, All-County, All-State sports athletes and not just in football, but in track and field, and in wrestling as well. My acceleration in sports and academics really kind of separated me from the rest of my siblings.

SUAVV: Yeah, I hear the oldest child syndrome is real (laughing). Did it make you a protective older brother? How was your relationship with your siblings?  

Vaughn: It kind of made me more so like a disciplinarian. I would just say it made me expect a lot out of people. Because my parents, my stepfather, in particular, was so hard on me. And I knew what he expected from me and my siblings. I was very protective of them, but I was also expecting a lot of them as far as our chores, homework, and getting assignments done. And so that really made me have to always be on my grind and make sure I’m doing the right things when it came to work, when it came to school, and sports as well. I was protective of them by trying to keep them away from other stuff. 

SUAVV: Strict parenting will definitely give you a serious work ethic and that’s something that you took into your professional life after college. But you hit a point where you realized you weren’t happy with being in the corporate world. How did that look for you?

Vaughn: Right, I had been in pharmaceutical sales, for about two and a half years, and I think I was 25 at the time. I just remember waking up on Monday’s and already looking forward to Friday’s, you know? The only thing I was looking forward to was my checks and the weekend…that’s it. That just didn’t sound appealing to me. I thought, what am I gonna do with the rest of my life? Just go work somewhere I don’t want to be, make my money, and be good? So, I started exploring the other passions in my life. TV and movies were such a big interest of mine. I was always watching something or going to the movies. I was like let me see what it would be like to actually be in one. So that’s what drove me to acting class. And then later that year, there was a huge company layoff. If the product doesn’t do well, the company does a layoff and then they hire people back when it’s better. So it was a very volatile industry. They offered me another job two days later. But by that point, I had been thinking about it, and I had been praying about it, and I was like, I think I’m going to take my severance package and put all that into pursuing this acting career. 

SUAVV: That’s really risky. But I get it. The last thing you want to do is sit at a job that you hate being at. But on the flip side, I know parents aren’t typically too happy when their kids make “life-changing decisions” around their career. How did your parents deal with that? 

Vaughn: I was actually in Florida at the time and I moved to Atlanta to “start my acting career”. So, I moved there, booked a short film, started taking acting classes, and was living with my parents because they were staying in Atlanta. I think they were still processing me leaving my job, but thought that I was still going to get back into corporate America… going to get a “real job”. It wasn’t until eight months later that I said, Hey, I’m moving to LA to really do this. That’s when they were like, Oh shit, okay. I’ll always remember it, it was my mother who had the most hesitancy towards it and I think still has a hard time processing all of it. Even though I’m doing well, she’s still like, are you sure you’re okay doing this? Are you eating? Are you homeless? And I have to reassure her that I’m good. 

SUAVV: (Both laughing) Yeah moms are definitely the ones who don’t like that we make decisions that don’t have a level of certainty. I know when I told my mom I wanted to start a magazine and she was like, “that’s cute, now, Where are you gonna work?” (both laughing)

Vaughn: I know exactly what you mean. (laughing) She really saying like, what am I going to tell people that you ACTUALLY do? What do you really do… Exactly? And are you being paid to do that?

SUAVV: RIGHT!! (Laughing). Note to everyone reading this, have a plan before you tell yourself parents you’re about to quit that “good job”. Okay. Let’s get back on track. There are many people, especially here in Atlanta, who feel that, since the industry is doing a lot of filming here that this is where you need to be. But the serious actors know that if you haven’t built a name for yourself where the casing directors are looking for you, you need to be in LA to do the major casting, to work in Atlanta.

Vaughn: Yeah. That’s always an interesting conversation, man. I really think it comes down to people’s personality, what works for people, and what people are really looking for out of life as well. Because there are some benefits of being in Atlanta as far as cost of living, being able to buy a house, and being around family. Because most black actors out here, that I know, have more family on the East coast than they do out here. So, yeah, it has benefits. But like you said, man, the writers, the directors, the producers, the showrunners, the big actors that I aspire to be like, you know, for the most part they live out here. So that was a huge point for me when I was like, okay, do I stay in Atlanta or do I go to LA and really shoot for the stars. And also the thing with Atlanta that I was finding and maybe because my family was there was that it was a sense of comfort in Atlanta that I couldn’t afford to have if I wanted to really make it. When I moved to LA, there’s no comfort. I wasn’t comfortable for two years. I had to figure it out. I had to grind, I had four jobs, you know, there wasn’t family there to lean on and moving back home to family would have been a setback for me. So, LA forced me into a different mindset to proceed and accelerate.