This irresistible, sure-to-make-you-hold your stomach, internet sensation is everything! He’s certainly grown from getting his big break on YouTube, after his first video went viral. This in itself has garnered him a whopping following of 1.66 million subscribers! What’s more, is Snapchat now causes him to earn over $10K per month with his following, and all he has to do is be himself! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have also amassed millions of views with his hit video “You Belong In Any Room!”. The comedic relief gets to live his best life, while offering the world a much needed reprieve with his hilariously realistic parodies and skits. Antonio ‘Tony Talks‘ Baldwin was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, blessed with loving parents that fully support him. They encouraged him to boldly walk into any room he enters! In a world where so many don’t agree with his lifestyle, Antonio is making sure you know that you too can walk into any room regardless of how you choose to represent yourself! Currently residing in Atlanta, Baldwin now has partnerships with TikTok, Google, Airbnb and Sprite. Antonio just seeks to be a voice, a light, and ultimately a representation of what happens when doors close on you due to your personal pathway in life. He’s creating a way for children and others just like him to break barriers, and he’s not done yet!
The phrase “You Belong In Any Room You Step In!!!” is such a beautiful one, and an even greater video title! What exactly inspired you to use that as the foundation for your first YouTube video?
Tony Talks: The phrase “You Belong In Any Room You Step In!!!” comes from conflict with impostor syndrome honestly. Being around other creators that had similar achievements started to feel somewhat intimidating as if I “had” to live up to some type of standard or expectation. This industry is extremely competitive, however, through internal work, I discovered a new kind of light that I carry with me in every room I walk in. If I ever feel out of place, I simply create a new one.
Can you share with us the story of your journey, highlighting you finding your footing in entertainment, to now amassing so many followers?
Tony Talks: My journey started in my early teen years by making at-home music videos on an app called Video Star. I never posted them, but my creativity sparked highest during those times! After finding my confidence and building the courage, I started creating on Vine. This was a pivotal point in which I discovered that comedy may be the direction I had the most fun with. Once I identified my path, I figured, let’s take it a step further and move to YouTube. At that moment, I realized that creating content was truly my passion and dream career! It didn’t have to always be strictly comedy, but my end goal was to bring my ideas to the screen to evoke emotion to the viewer. This had become my new purpose in life. I prayed a lot and told God almost everyday, “If you get more eyes on me, I’ll give them a reason to keep watching.” Shortly after my “Clock Out For Me” video went viral, my work ethic skyrocketed! It helped my realize that my goals were truly obtainable and that was my concrete evidence. I made it a point to post consistently and from that day, which was 3 years ago, I have grown a huge audience and had amazing experiences within this industry!
How does it feel to know you’ve impacted so many people on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter? Did you ever imagine your impact granting you opportunities with Google, Sprite, Snapchat and Airbnb?
Tony Talks: It’s surreal to be honest. It’s quite a beautiful feeling. The purpose of creating is to show my younger self how awesome his imagination was and is, and to be able to inspire and affect so many people during this journey. I will never take it lightly. I did and still see my art granting me opportunities to work with those companies and so many more. I’ve put so much time and effort in every video I create and these same creations have put me in important rooms, but if not, I’ll create them.
I know that your videos often depict daily interactions with people in a very comedic way. Do you have a favorite video to date that you’ve produced?
Tony Talks: Absolutely! My favorite video to date is the one discussed earlier in the interview titled, “You Belong In Any Room You Step In!!!” It’s a great reminder for me to stay authentic and consistent. There are moments that I experience insecurities and that video in particular reminds me of how far I’ve truly have come!
Before producing a video, what is your preparation routine? How do you get prepared and mentally ready to get into character for a role?
Tony Talks: Before filming, I’ll create a script based on a scenario I want to portray. I like to make sure everything looks as perfect as I can make it, such as, checking lights and removing any distracts from the background. I’ll then review my character’s lines to make sure I have my reactions accurate, and then lights, camera, ACTION, A STAR IS BORN!
How do you avoid being “put into a box“ when performing your skits, considering there are so many others trying to do the exact same thing that you are doing? What do you think sets you aside from the rest?
Tony Talks: I try to stray away from stereotypes. I portray women in most of my videos and I want to make sure I don’t portray them in a negative light. I also try not to give my characters names so I don’t get tied to them. Honestly, my focus is never on how I can be different, rather than how I can continue to be me. I don’t focus on anyone else and that is not to sound conceited. I’ve taken initiative in protecting my mental health, therefore, to eliminate the fear of competition, I just focus on what Tony is putting out and Tony only.
What is your greatest goal with your skits? What kind of impact do you wish to leave?
Tony Talks: My greatest goal is to make sure these skits create an escape for the audience watching. I remember watching shows like Family Guy or MadTV and not thinking about life’s problems. I feel comedy can do that. It can take you to a place that’s fun and not so stiff. I always question what kind of impact I wish to leave. I just want to make my inner child happy and excited to grow up to be me and within that self journey, you guys have come along! So, to circle back around, the impact I want to leave is similar in a sense. I just never want people to doubt the power of your imagination and to stay true to who you are!
Where do you get your wardrobe from and all of your amazing wigs? How do you keep them so fresh and shiny?
Tony Talks: As for my wardrobe, I’m not a huge “fashionista”. I love dressing up but don’t like to spend too much time in the closet. As for wigs, believe it or not, they usually look a mess prior and after filming with them, however, I add a little “Tony Magic” to make sure I show up and show out right before I press record!
Are there any actors or actresses that you’d love to work with in the future?
Tony Talks: I would love to be featured on Abbott Elementary with Quinta Brunson and Tyler James Williams! I feel that Quinta matches my type of comedy very well. Keke Palmer is another name on my list as well!
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m sure many of your viewers appreciate you dearly for being a positive light and representative of walking boldly in who you are. If there was ever any advice you could offer someone having a hard time living to the fullest in their light, what would you say?
Tony Talks: My advice is to trust yourself. It’s something you learn from doing, but trust that your heart will lead you into rooms you need to be in. Trust the direction your feet walk you in. It’s easier said than done, but it starts with the first step. I get insecure, sad, lonely, but guess what, so does Beyonce… Right? Maybe not. But, what’s worked for me is understanding we are ALL the same and THAT alone allows me to trust myself!
What’s next for “Tony Talks”?
Tony Talks: This answer is FOREVER changing! I want to do so much and be on EVERY screen, EVERY billboard, etc. A passion project of mine is to create a scripted reality series that would be filmed similar to the TV show The Office, Abbott Elementary, and The Real Husbands Of Hollywood. I recently released a video of me testing out that style called “If I Had A Reality Show”. The result was amazing, and I have since then started the writing process!
After you’re finished creating amazing content for all of us to view, how do you spend your downtime? How do you pour back into yourself after you’ve poured so much into us?
Tony Talks: Such a beautiful question and if I’m honest, it’s something I’m currently working on! My focus in the beginning was to give my audience an escape. Years of doing that, I noticed I didn’t have one myself. Today I focus more on grounding techniques such as reading, running outside, hanging with family, and watching shows I love. These simple activities create an escape for me and allow my cup to be filled!
For more about Tony Talks:
Email: email@example.com Website: https://www.iamtonytalks.com (https://www.iamtonytalks.com/) Instagram: @iamtonytalks Facebook:OfficiallyTonyTalks Twitter: IAmTonyTweets
Written by: Ashley Lambert
Neville Forbes, Paris Steward and Deandre Lemans