Shirt by Comme des Garcons. Suit by TopMan. Shoes by GEOX Jewelry (Stylist’s Own)

EPHRAIM SYKES
INTERVIEW BY KATINA GOULAKOS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SERGIO KURHAJEC
STYLED BY CARL LATION

Ephraim Sykes is an undeniable talent who is taking Broadway by storm starring as David Ruffin in the story of the Temptations’ rise to fame” Ain’t Too Proud”. His strong faith, work ethic and all together positivity is a breath of fresh air. The hard work is paying off with two nominations, one for a Drama League Award, and the other for an Outer Circle Award.

Turtleneck by David Hart. Suit by Mr. Killion. Pocket square by The Tie Bar. Socks by Happy Socks. Shoes by Scarpe Di Bianco. Jewelry (Stylist’s Own)

Imagista: Where are you from?
Ephraim: St. Petersburg, FL

Imagista: How did you get into this industry?
Ephraim: I started out dancing and singing in church and went to performing arts schools growing up. Later I graduated from the Ailey/Fordham University BFA program and toured with AileyII then made my Broadway debut in the Little Mermaid.

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Imagista: Who inspires you most as an actor?
Ephraim: Denzel Washington

Imagista: What has it been like being in such a successful Broadway play?
Ephraim: It’s been an absolute dream and humbling honor…not just because of the success but because of how the show is reaching, touching and educating people.

Shirt by Comme des Garcons. Suit by TopMan. Shoes by GEOX. Jewelry (Stylist’s Own)

Imagista: How did you prepare for this role?

Ephraim: I’ve been a Temptations/David Ruffin fan my whole life, so I’ve always studied his moves and voice. With this, I read Otis Williams’s (the last living original Temptation) book and spoke to him a lot and others that knew David to find out more about his childhood and the demons he fought as an adult. From there I paired those things with stuff I’ve gone through similarly in order to really feel his pain and understand WHY he acted the way he did.

Shirt by David Hart. Pants by Paul Smith. Shoes by GEOX. Jewelry (Stylist’s Own)

Imagista: To you, what is the biggest difference between film and theatre?

Ephraim: In film, you get chance after chance to get things right and nail something and then it also gets edited to help tell the story. With stage, you only get one shot and have the immediate reaction of a live audience taking in what you’re putting out.

Shirt and Pants by Private Policy. Hat by Goorin Bros. Shoes by Scarpe Di Bianco. Socks by Zara. Watch by Kenneth Cole.

Imagista: How do you stay grounded in this industry?

Ephraim: Prayer, breathing and great friends and family keep me grounded. Focusing on gratefulness and what I’m giving to others versus what I’m getting. Knowing that everything I’ve got isn’t because of how hard I’ve worked but because God gave it to me.

Imagista: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?

Ephraim: If I wasn’t acting I’d be a professional drummer.

Hat by Goorin Bros. Shirt by Stussy. Jacket by Mitchell Evan. Pants by TopMan.

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