We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonio King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Antonio, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is everything. If I didn’t take risks, I’d still be in Indianapolis, Indiana surrounded by corn. (I do love and miss Naptown though.) It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Emmy nominated actress Neicy Nash, “You can’t be on tv by sitting at home watching it everyday”. You have to get up and take those risks. But I’m also aware of how blessed I am. I was raised with so much love and support, so I was prepared to take risks because I knew I had a safety net below me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been acting professionally since I was 6 years old. I started singing in church, played piano for a while, dance, voice lessons, opera camp, showchoir, musicals…YOU NAME IT! But honestly, the pandemic truly shifted my idea of what a successful life as an artist is.
In March of 2020, I did a callback for my dream role on Broadway. I killed my callback. A week later…the world shut down. I went home to Naptown for a while, and I felt completely defeated. But I remember the Bible story of the woman who prayed for a son for many years and God blessed her with one in her old age ( 2 Kings 4). God wasn’t surprised by the pandemic. I was. It forced me to walk it like I talk it, and not lean on my own understanding. I had forgot my number one rule: Trust Your Gift. And I had to trust that God would make room for my gift, which is a daily practice. Child it ain’t easy! So I had to learn how to pivot. I got more creative on my social media, I started taking courses at the famed Second City Improv for Voiceover work. I began to do readings with Black Men Read Bedtime Stories, I started producing videos that showcase my singing my range (one of my videos “Friends on the Other Side” has over 16k views on Twitter), I learned how to edit videos, I strived to perfect my craft, and got back to doing things because I enjoy them. Not simply so I can appease a casting director. My growth has been very substantial, and I’m so grateful. I also got finer during the pandemic, I don’t know how that happened! Haha
Long story short, I stopped waiting for permission to practice my art. When I did that, things started to open up for me. I just signed to the Black owned FSE Talent Agency, and recently did an ad for Converse on their Tik Tok platform. I’ve been winning because I haven’t been worried. Amen!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I first moved to LA, I couldn’t tell anyone where to eat or go to have fun. I was so consumed with auditioning and working, I wasn’t present enough to even enjoy my surroundings. So I had to end that! If I had family coming to visit, we would have to go to a few places. Republic of Pie, Salt and Straw, &Waffles, do a hike on Runyon, the Art’s District Brewing Company, hit the up the Grove, and go to Angels Tacos!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many people to give thanks to for supporting me, and praying for my journey toward my purpose. My parents are at huge reason for why I feel the audacity to know I can make a difference in an industry that is so difficult. My grandparents, especially my Granny Bessie for always reminding me to always “Take Him with you everywhere you go”. And I have to thank my mentors such as Andrew Stainbrook, who really gave me a foundation as an artist. I’m spoiled with support.
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Jake Schwartz @Schwartz_Jake