FRENDY: Wow! That’s a whole football team! Shout out to mom dukes for real. Which HS did you go to? Most of the cats I knew who lived in Canarsie attended their zone school: South Shore.
ANTHONY: We skated at South Shore because they had four steps with a good lead up *Laughs*. My mom wouldn’t allow me to go to South Shore and I don’t blame her. I went to Talent Unlimited HS for Drama. TU changed my life and helped open my eyes to dreams people in Canarsie didn’t have access to.
FRENDY: Your mom came through with the clutch decision! Where is Talent Unlimited HS located?
ANTHONY: Talent Unlimited is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Very different from Canarsie, but it was the balance I needed. TU was very diverse, not only consisting of different races but the LGBTQ community was introduced to me. I realized that Homophobia was a norm in my culture and it challenged me to understand other people's perspective on the world.
My mom supported me because my older sister, Princess (hence the name), was a vocal major at Laguardia HS for the Performing Arts. I remember her going to Spain to sing. I’m sure she wanted me to have that same access.
FRENDY: I’m sure it was an eye opener for you. Is the school still open?
ANTHONY: I believe it still exists and I hope to go back and speak. Maybe even start a program where young black boys can seamlessly enter the school.
FRENDY: Seamlessly enter the school? Is it specifically hard for young black boys to get accepted there?
ANTHONY: There is less access to the arts in Canarsie. If there was an after school program in JHS that was connected to a HS, it would make a difference in the opportunities they seek.
FRENDY: I totally agree. Growing up in Brooklyn after leaving Haiti, I always knew there was so much more to experience. Being at the right places changes lives. Soho was my gateway to see it all. Exposure definitely is everything. Did you attend The Arts Institute of NYC right after graduating from TU?
ANTHONY: I completely agree, and yes, straight out of HS that following August. Funny thing is I was in and out of court since graduation for a crime I didn’t commit. Little did I know that my case would last until college graduation. Cops said I did a shooting because I matched the description of someone with a red hat—that was just a classic example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Film was a place for me to get away from it all.