AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Titus Macon is an actor, musician, and entertainer, and he’s on season three of ABC’s The Rookie.
He joined weekend Good Morning Augusta anchor Shawn Cabbagestalk to talk about his role on the show, working during the pandemic, and also other projects he’s working on.
SHAWN: You guys are in season three right now, and the newest season is covering race relations. Your character is Jackson West. Tell me a little bit about the character and how he’s different compared to other projects you worked on in the past.
TITUS: Jackson, he’s the son of the commander of internal affairs. So he, from the beginning, he’s always kind of had this light put on him that he’s going to have to perform under and make sure that he was doing everything to his best. And from the beginning we see season one, we see that he struggles with that, and he’s top of his class at the Academy, but when he gets out on the field, he’s, he’s struggling with street savviness. Now all the way to season three, he’s grown so much and we’re seeing them step into a zone and standing up to racial injustice and police brutality and risking his, his career for the better. So it’s been quite the coming of age story and obviously career-wise, I’ve never played a character that quite as raw, I’ll say that because everything else I’ve been in has been very, you know, music-based or a teen TV, but this is like very real, very adult very now.
SHAWN: As a person of color, how much input did you get to have on your character or the story as a whole?
TITUS: Thankfully we’re part of a team that’s very loving, very open. We had some zoom calls, obviously to the pandemic, but season three to talk about everything that was going on the news things that have obviously been going on in our country and how we felt about it, and what we felt like we should be saying as our characters are, or what we felt like would be uncomfortable if we did it talk about. So they were very open and accepting to our stances and our views on things and seeing how they can incorporate them into the story to make it an organic, truthful message from an African-American character.
SHAWN: The climate right now in the United States involving police officers, as well as other law enforcement officials is a little unsettling. So how were you able to train for this role? Did you reach out to other law enforcement officials to get an authentic take?
TITUS: Well, thankfully we’re surrounded by officers and one of our writers is African American cop himself. We partnered up with colors of change and their organization that makes sure that we’re organically represented in on TV. African-Americans and people of color are represented properly, truthful stories, genuine thoughts, and making sure that there are black writers and people of color on sets in all of the spaces that control the narrative as well. So there were a lot of ears and assistance there to make sure that we were heard and telling the story.
SHAWN: The pandemic has forced many of us, including me as well, to change the way that we go about our daily lives. So how did the pandemic affect you guys shooting the rookie? Did you guys have fewer people on the set? Did you have plexiglass, tell us a little bit about that.
TITUS: “I’m actually, it’s been weird for sure. I mean, we, I know we’re probably different than other sets, but we have like these like red zip-up tents that we can be in there, like pods, if you will, that there are clear we can see out of, so in between setups and stuff the actors, all of us, we’d go back to the pods. We can take off our PPE and sit in the pods and eat and whatever. It’s pretty much like a big bubble that we sit in. So, it’s definitely weird, but we’re making it work. Obviously, they thinned out the crew and kind of made it to where everybody’s just spread out more and tested very frequently.
SHAWN: What can we expect as season three continues?
TITUS: More action and a little bit more romance coming in there, but overall, these points that we’ve been hitting on that, you know, some people haven’t been the biggest fan of that because, you know, they like to fully turn off from the world when they’re watching a show, but we can’t turn a deaf ear to the reality. We would be ignorant ourselves if we weren’t acknowledging the reality. So we still touch on a few very important topics, which I’m happy that we do. It’s educational, it’s action-packed, it’s entertaining and it’s still the aspirational show. So there’s tons to look out for, for the rest of the season.
SHAWN: In addition to acting, you’re also an accomplished musician. So will any of your music be featured on the show?
TITUS: Actually that’s something that we are starting to work on now, so probably not in this season, but hopefully if we get to season four by season four, we’ll be able to infuse Butterfly. I lead to some of “The Rookie” soundtrack and get some of that going up and cool.
SHAWN: So what other projects are you working on?
TITUS: It’s mainly just my music. I have a new EP my First Butterfly EP coming out around June, but the first single from that comes out April 23rd. There’s a music video as well. So we’ve pretty much just been headfirst into my music stuff, which is cool.
SHAWN: If folks want to find you on social media, what are your handles?
TITUS: @titusmakin on Twitter and Instagram
The Rookie airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on WJBF NewsChannel 6.
Born into a military family, Titus grew up traveling and moving across the United States, including Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona as well as Germany. From a young age, Titus took to sports, singing and performing with his older sister at home-staged talent shows. Titus began excelling in gymnastics and dance at a young age and would eventually start looking into gymnastics as a potential profession later down the road. It wasn’t until his senior year of high school that Titus decided to give acting a try after watching the hit dance film STEP UP, which opened his eyes to the possibility of combining his love of dance with acting. From there, Titus dedicated his time and energy to further his craft and would eventually go on to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. During his time in NYC before moving to LA, Titus took jobs to get by and eventually became a New York Knicks Acrobat, and a dancer/tumbler for the WNBA’s New York Liberties.
Once relocated to Los Angeles 2 years later, Titus immediately began working on auditioning and booking gigs. One of the first roles he landed was as one of the original ‘Warblers’ from FOX’s hit sensation “Glee.” From there, his original 3-episode arc turned into 2.5 seasons of work, as well as touring and being a part of the GLEE 3D CONCERT MOVIE and national tour. Titus began to flourish in the industry and soon began booking roles as a leading man in various television series and films including A CINDERELLA STORY: ONCE UPON A SONG opposite Lucy Hale, Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars,” HULU’s “The Path,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” and the CW’s “Star-Crossed.”