Although these men were his professional influences, Flex grew up without strong male role models in his childhood. "I cannot say that I had a strong male figure," he says. "I only saw my father twice in my life. The first time I was about three or four years old, and the last was just before he passed away. He apologized for us not having a relationship." Although he did have a stepfather, Flex admits that not having his father around left a big void in his childhood. "I wanted so much to be able to say, 'Dad, come to my game.' If I was in a play or needing something for boy scouts, my mom was off working two or three jobs to get what I needed."

Like many others in his situation, what his missed as a child now influences Flex's role as a parent, but in a positive way. "I enjoy being a dad and have always said I will not put them through that. It is going to be me and their mamma until they put us in the ground." Flex knows he winds a tight rope with this statement, since parents often can't deliver on these kinds of promises. But he and his wife, Shanice, a successful R&B singer, try hard to fight that trend while raising their preschool daughter, Imani Shekinah and toddler Elijah. here I am.

It might seem cliché to some, but Flex and Shanice were only friends in the beginning. Although their paths had crossed in the Hollywood entertainment scene, they did not begin dating until after he moved into her apartment building and they happened to bump into each other. "I was coming out of a relationship and I wanted to take it slow. Then it just blossomed, and I knew I wanted her to be my wife." After dating for four months, they married. That was six years ago.

Like most parents, juggling professional life and family is a challenge, and although he and Shanice both have show-biz jobs, they have an acute sense of reality. "If we don't work, there won't be any food on the table, and we'll eventually be out on the street." The couple doesn't believe in making life all about work, but as entertainers, "You have to work while you are hot and attack while you can." Flex says. "I want to do everything I can now, so later we can sit back and not have to hustle."

Flex Alexander is a son, husband, father and budding entertainment mogul. Today, he is known as a stand-up comic, movie star, creator, executive producer and star of a successful TV show. But Flex's road to success was rather inauspicious. "My first paid gig was break-dancing at the bar mitzvah of my teacher's son," Flex laughs. Eventually, he became a dancer with the rap team Salt 'N Pepa, spending five years with the popular group and landing additional opportunities with headliners Queen Lafitah and Heavy D. While he enjoyed dancing, it was Eddie Murphy's Delirious that inspired Flex to pursue comedy. He found his groove at the comedy clubs in Harlem, and from there his career shifted into high gear.

Flex identifies with the comedy scene in New York, and says that it differs greatly from Los Angeles because there are more venues available for young comics. "I could perform all week long, four or five nights a week and then on the weekend." During those early days, Flex watched firsthand as some of the biggest names in comedy fine-tuned their craft. Before becoming megastars, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle and Martin Lawrence could be found regularly at the local clubs.. "I looked up to them. It was a fun time."

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