Most reality shows focus on backbiting and cat fights, but George Ray, a member of the cast of rapper/actor T.I.’s “The Grand Hustle,” seems to be focused on using the opportunity as a platform for greater things.
“The Grand Hustle,” which airs on BET, features 16 contestants competing for a six-figure job in T.I.’s entertainment empire. Ray said working alongside T.I. has exposed him to a different level of business.
“He is worth nearly $80 Million and has given me a front-row seat on how to get to the money bag. Observing his moves have inspired some ideas that I plan on implementing to create wealth,” said Ray, a Miami, Fla. native.
Ray said he received an invitation to appear in “The Grand Hustle” from Brendon Brice, who he worked with on “Find Me My Man,” another reality show. However, Ray said he was eager to work with T.I.
“The casting post for ‘The Grand Hustle’ described me to a ‘T,’” he said. “I knew that if I was given a shot I could potentially go far. It’s not every day that you have the chance to showcase your two natural talents, me as a hustler and a non-scripted actor. It was a natural fit in that respect.”
Ray said the show has been a great way to showcase his talents.
“It has given me a bigger platform to share my talents and the chance to expand my hustle,” he said. “I never knew I would make it this far but I always believed in myself and worked hard. The show also allowed me to observe my actions and be more accountable. You cannot control the story line or how you’re portrayed on non-scripted projects.”
He also learned other valuable lessons about the show business and business world from T.I.
“TIP (T.I.) pays attention to detail and always has a vision,” Ray said. “Most people only have sight. They can only see what is in front of them. But if you want to be great, you have to have a vision that matches up with your work ethic. He is a great actor and working with him has allowed me to pick up on a few things. I feel like no matter what happens with the outcome of the show, I will be gaining a big brother. That’s priceless.”
Ray is a graduate of Talladega College, a HBCU, and he has an MBA from Florida International University. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project, a mentoring project.
He’s currently branching out into the political arena. Ray will participate in the Congressional Black Caucus meeting later this month where he will serve on panels focusing on mentoring and the school-to-prison pipeline.
You can follow Ray on Instagram at @georgeray4real.