- Posted January 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
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Anthony O. Dalton II ~ A Man Who Stepped Out On Faith To Live In His Passion!!!
I was first introduced to Anthony O Dalton II in Tyler Perry’s stage play, “Laugh to Keep from Crying”, where he played Officer Donnie Harris, who eventually dated Cheryl Pepsii Riley and helped to locate her daughter, Tamar Davis. Being that this play is one of my son’s favorite Tyler Perry plays, I knew I had to interview him and get to know more about him.
Anthony O. Dalton II, I must say is a man, a God-fearing man, a man who is passionate about his craft, and a man who is about the business of acting. Before he hit the big stage with Tyler Perry, Anthony received his BA in Theater from the University of Akron, where he also played football and modeled. After going back home after graduation, he later told his mother that he was moving to Atlanta and would be working with Tyler Perry. On January 2nd, with only $400.00 in his pocket, no job, nothing lined up, he moved to Atlanta to pursue his dream and in 6 months he was starring in a Tyler Perry play and his dream became his reality. Since then Anthony has had numerous roles in television shows and films. In addition to acting, Anthony has appeared in music videos and advertising campaigns. His credits include: the series “Suite 28”, “187 Detroit”, “A.T.L Above the Law”, “Drop Dead Diva”, “Reed Between the Lines” and “Let's Stay Together”. His feature film credits include: “The Cure”, “Secrets She Keeps”, “Mary Me” and “American Stories”.
I was honored to speak with Anthony about his journey, not only because I am a playwright, but because he starred in the play that motivated me to laugh more and cry less and his role always makes my son smile or mimic him. So when he agreed to speak with me, I became nervous and shy, because I was about to talk to a man that my son and I watch daily and who healed me during a rough time in my life. However, once we got to talking and then realizing that we are both cancers (June 29th & July 1st) it went from an interview to talking to a brother, a friend, or a next door neighbor. Anthony Dalton II is a man who respects his craft and loves his mother, and his interview will teach you more about him, so enjoy.
What made you seek out a career in acting and how has that journey been treating you?
Anthony said that he was a class clown and to channel his funny side, he took some theater classes in high school. He was interested in theater, but he wanted to become a sports commentator, so once he got to college he decided to major in Communications with a Minor in Theater. However, after he completed the run of his first theatrical performance in an August Wilson’s play entitled, “Fences,” where he played Corey he accepted his calling and made theater his priority. He immediately switched Theater to his major and Communications as his minor, only to later drop his minor to focus on theater completely. So theater and acting became his love and where his passion lied.
When it comes to his journey after college, he states, “I did not go to college to be a celebrity; I went to be an actor. Anything that comes with that is a bonus.” Anthony is extremely humble, appreciative, and loves his ride thus far but knows that anything is possible tomorrow and that quitting is not an option. He further states, “If you can put time limit on your success, then it wasn’t meant for you in the first place.” He is still landing roles and gaining opportunities with the support of his manager/publicist, so he never know when the right call will be the right job, but waiting to see what happens is the joy in itself. “Hollywood is going to be Hollywood with or without you. But the key to make it in this industry the person who makes it is the person who is willing to stay in line the longest,” he says
Now I see you have worked with Tyler Perry, how was that experience and are you two working on another project?
He quickly responded that Mr. Perry is a phenomenal man and working with him was a wonderful experience that happened very fast. He stated that while folding clothes and listening to Mr. Perry on the television with the cast of “Meet The Browns” on a talk show, he saw Tyler look at him through the television screen and say, “If you have a dream go for it” and he found himself walking into his mother room to tell her, “I am moving to Atlanta and I am working with Tyler Perry.” With Tyler’s motivation and conversation on that show, Anthony got up, packed up, and headed south to work with Tyler and after the first show ended of “Laugh to Keep from Crying”, he went behind the stage, called his mom and cried!!! “God is real,” he says!!!
He further described him as a very funny and hard-working man. However, he emphasized that he is a perfectionist; he is on every little detail and works alongside every production crew member from wardrobe to writing to make sure that all shows are crisp and correct. Anthony and Tyler have reunited in Tyler Perry’s upcoming movie “Single Moms Club” staring Terry Crew and Nia Long. Anthony stated that working back with Mr. Perry and the cast of this movie is funny and enjoyable…. Congrats on landing this role!!!
When you are not acting, auditioning, or preparing for a show, what is a typical day like for you?
Anthony says he loves to read, watch movies, communicate with his publicist, building a relationship with his agent, and just trying to get better every day as an actor and artist. He made it clear that he run errands; he does not have a butler or a maid, he live life just like everyone else out here in America. He enjoys the simple life!! “Bigger is not always better,” he says. As long as his mom, his family, and his publicist are cool, then he is cool. Taking care of others is way more pleasing to him than any gift he could get himself. His biggest testament is when people compliment his character, his personality, or that his mother did a great job. “When you are doing the right way, it’s a good feeling,” he said.
What kind of roles are you open to do, and what roles will you deny without a thought?
He states, “you have to be very strategic on the things you take, but the since the roles for African –American are slim to none, everyone is fighting for that one role.” He is pretty open to any role that has a message, a story that needs to be told, and that has the value of art behind it, however, he will not do anything for shock value. One thing that he talked about was the need for people to learn how to separate the actor from the person. He stressed that he is not perfect, and every role that he plays is a character in a story that he needs to tell, however, it is not 100% who he is. People tend to label him as the kind of guy he portrays on film or on stage, but has confirmed that he is acting. “This is where you need to know yourself (actors) because if you allowed others to define you or your working to please everybody you will kill your career, for sure.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years or where would you like to be within this industry in the next 3 years?
“Where ever the good Lord sees me fit to be!” he says. His mother always tells him, “Shoot for the moon, if you fail you will still land amongst the stars.”
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, are you preparing it for that lucky woman at home or are you still waiting for her to find you?
“There is a special lady in his life, and it’s his mother,” he said. Actually, he just got out of a relationship, but he is enjoying life and his journey.
If the world no longer needed actors/actresses, what other profession or career would you explore and why?
He said he is very skillful in many areas, but without acting he would probably die. He removed his minor in college to focus on theater, so without acting he would not be happy. “I worked in Corporate American and my last day I cried, and since I have left that world, I never want to work in a job where I am unhappy again. Acting is his passion, and with a person this driven, this actor is here to stay.
I must say, my conversation with Anthony was rewarding and so inspirational. Even though, we sounded like twins with our responses, he understands the meaning of grinding, living, and just enjoying life. Remember the name, Anthony O Dalton II ……. A man who is creating history throughout every step of his journey!!!!!
Anthony Dalton can be reached at:
Atlanta Models & Talent, Inc. ~ amtagency.com
Prototype Public Relation ~ Charnae@prototypepublicrelations.com