“Loves never been easy but it’s always been worth it.”
Amid loss and a global pandemic, JD and Pilar Witherspoon have mastered the art of keeping it light in their relationship, being low-key influencers, and believing in the power of black love.
Comedian and voice-over actor, JD Witherspoon, and his entrepreneur wife, Pilar, seem to have most of the answers. The 30-something newlyweds have seen their fair share of challenges, including career hiccups, relationship woes, and family loss. Thankfully, their lively sense of humor, upbeat attitudes, and deep appreciation for one another, provides a solid foundation to navigate anything life throws at them.
Probably the most interesting thing about this “power influencer couple”, is that they don’t really seem to be focused on being influencers, in the technical sense. With over 200k followers collectively on Instagram alone, you would think this dynamic-duo would be more obsessed with their audience. But it doesn’t even seem to be top-of-mind, as we discuss love, life, and the pandemic. They are rightfully more focused on each other and the socio-economic issues going on within the Black community and the world outside.
“We both work hard and are blessed to work for ourselves, so right now money is not an issue,” JD says. “A lot of people don’t have it, which is upsetting. With us, being at home and trying to be aware and present, is what matters most right now. [There are] people that look like us being shot and killed left and right…”
“We’ve been donating to the Black Lives Matter organization, in addition to smaller, local causes. We go to marches, and just support as best we can,” Pilar adds. “We as a community and people of color have always had to rise above, and be there for each other. We just really support each other when we can, just so we can get through all of this.”
It all flows fairly naturally for them. For their online presence, they both seem to use it as a medium for sharing small percentages of their actual lives. JD’s roots in the online community seemingly predate Instagram and Facebook, while Pilar uses an informed approach, only posting when absolutely necessary. “I think it’s a challenge for me because I feel like with social media people get really attached, and all the posting and sharing online gets so overwhelming sometimes,” she exclaims. “Like, can’t I just make it, and get it out to the world; just post one thing, and have people know about it?”
Pilar, who goes by “Pilar Teaspoon” on Instagram, was born in Cleveland, then her family moved to California, and she spent summers back in Cleveland. She still claims to be an East Coast girl. “I really don’t identify with California behavior, that much. So it’s a Lil tough.”
With the true spirit of an east coast hustler, she’s founded a handful of notable businesses over the years, including Boho Glow, which provides organic spray tans and lash extensions/lifts, and Lashes and Seams, a Beauty Retail Therapy brand. Using the latter, she designed a t-shirt that donates proceeds to fellow aestheticians, who were struggling during the pandemic.
On the flip side, JD was born and bred in the “mean streets” of Sherman Oaks, as Pilar describes it. Rather than being mean at all, it’s a suburb of Los Angeles, CA. “[It] isn’t special at all, in my opinion,” JD seemingly shrugs off. As the son of beloved late actor, John Witherspoon, JD is unfazed by much of his upbringing, in a cool and nonchalant kind of way. He doesn’t take it for granted, but rather, the respect JD has for his family name lies in his determination to forge his own, unique path, just as his father did.
Fast forward to the part about their meeting and living happily ever after. Or, something VERY close to that.
The pair met at E3, an annual electronic gaming convention, in 2010. At the time, Pilar was working at THQ, at the jeopardy booth, while JD was attending with a group of friends trying to see some of the new video games that were coming out. Concerning Pilar, JD gushes, “You were noticeable.” “Yes, I was! I was cute and my boots were fierce!” They both laugh. After they met at the convention, they started dating and have been together ever since.
Eerily, their story actually parallels me and my late husband’s story, in more than a few ways.
Domonic Prince and I, started out as friends in high school, but we had our first official date at E3, in 2005. He was a gaming and tech enthusiast and had invited me, because he thought I’d enjoy it. I actually did, and we were together for ten-years before he passed away in 2016. His death inspired me to follow my dreams of becoming a TV host, and a life and dating coach.
As JD discusses his involvement in animation and video games, I am reminded of the years that Domonic worked for Vivendi Universal and how he would travel the world, working on video games. JD currently hosts a project with TBS called, Super Punch, about the gaming industry. He’s also working on two other projects, Sugar and Toys for Fuse TV, and Lazor Wulf for Adult Swim. I can’t help but think about how much Domonic would have loved those programs and the content JD was making. They probably could have even been friends. Who knows?
One thing is for certain though, Pilar and I are pretty much besties. This woman is not only ambitious, but she’s also witty, fashionable, and charitable. A quick browse through her social media will clue you in on the fact that she loves a good fit, but also stays up on social issues.
In this age of constant content, the pandemic has shifted the gears of how creators are making their mark. The upside of this shift is that it has freed up time for many artists, including JD, who are excited about working on projects that were formerly shelved. Already a self-proclaimed social media and tech pioneer, JD is fascinated with the newest adaptations of older platforms.
Right now, his jams are Tik Tok and Twitch, which he uses to connect directly to fans, while streaming Verzus, and playing video games live. “I’ve been making a lot of live streams on Twitch. I think that’s the best part about quarantine because now that we’re in the house, I just pop up the computer and start hanging out with 200 or 300 people. That’s one of the things I’m really enjoying.”
When it comes to his career, JD says that he “used to be very focused on art growing up,” but he had no direction. He knew that he was funny, and could make his friends laugh, but he just wasn’t into comedy. “I think I felt like I didn’t really want to do it because my family was already in entertainment.” It was then that he started making YouTube videos with his original content, and he started getting noticed. He eventually landed a few gigs, and the rest is history.
As a dating coach, I’m always interested in finding out how couples approach the current dating climate, based on their past experiences and what they observe. JD starts, “We had the luck and privilege of having social media, but it wasn’t like this, so dating was the complete opposite.” He continues, “In this day and age, if I told [these guys] what I’d do, they would be like, ‘That’s trash, Boomer! You don’t know how to get girls!’ My advice is, go out, but not in Coronavirus times, but in regular times, and socialize and meet somebody. Maybe when you’re grabbing groceries…try to spark up a casual conversation.”
His advice, albeit simplistic, is a far cry from what is actually happening in today’s dating world. In the land of ghosting, text-only communication, coffee date disasters, and perpetual one-night stands, not many people are making genuine connections. Especially not by sparking up casual conversations at the grocery store.
And yes, technology is to blame. With the rapid advancements in technology, social interactions seem to suffer more and more with every generation. A recent study via Brainspace stated that, “reduced human-to-human interactions and increased human-to-machine interactions have the potential to greatly obstruct normal development.” That being said, it is no wonder so many people struggle with making connections, especially when it comes to dating. As our engaging conversation came to a close, I had one final question for this couple: “Are we too old to use the term ‘no cap’?” “Hell no,” Pilar says, supportively. “Dead ass,” JD shoots back.
At this point, it is pretty obvious that we are, in fact, too old to use the term, “no cap.” But what do you expect from a pack of “Boomers”, just trying their best to navigate a completely dysfunctional state of affairs? Thankfully, we are far more concerned with making an impact, constructing our own paths, creating a legacy, and encouraging the generations that follow to live their lives unapologetically. With the weight of social injustice, economic strife, police brutality, rapid technological advancements, love, happiness, and blackness in America, I think it’s safe to say we’re allowed a pass on this one.
By Vee Prince