Antonio ‘Tony Talks’ Baldwin: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian
Don’t read the comments — As a creator, you can’t help but want to see how your audience reacts toyour work. Unfortunately, sometimes you look over all the positive comments and stick on to the onebad one. This overtime can affect the way you create. From now on, I focus on posting and then getting off.
As a part of our series called “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian”, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Antonio “Tony Talks” Baldwin.
Originally from Fairfax, VA, Antonio “Tony Talks” Baldwin is one of the most recognized comedic influencers on social media! In 2020, his first video to go viral, “LET’S GO CLOCK OUT” skyrocketed his career to the brand he is today. Currently based in Atlanta, he is known for his video content featuring wig-wearing characters influenced by growing up in a household full of women. Now, across YouTube, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter he has a total reach of +4.5 million followers and climbing!
Because of his massive audience, Baldwin has had a vast myriad of partnerships with international brands such as Google, Crest, Airbnb, Universal Pictures, Snapchat, Citibank, Verizon Media, KFC, Scope, Comedy Central, LogoTV, iHeart Radio, Sprite and more! However, in spite of his massive success, “Tony Talks” remains dedicated to his passion: making people laugh.
Today, he is most recognized for his comedic video shorts, which often take an everyday situation and apply a funny, breaking-the-fourth-wall, over-the-top comedy that is uniquely his style. He cites the TV shows Mad TV and Family Guy as being two of his biggest inspirations for his creative process because of their off-the-wall dry humor. As an actor, Baldwin has always admired Will Smith and Debra Wilson for their comedic timing and versatility to portray a variety of different characters, and currently strives to recreate their success in film and television.
Baldwin was formally trained in acting at Words in Motion Studio and film credits include Beast Beast (with Executive Producer Alec Baldwin) and an independent film entitled, We Did a Bad Thing.
It is Baldwin’s hope that his videos will continue to let others escape their own lives and simply live freely through the content he creates.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
My story started as a young boy who loved to create. I remember recreating music videos with an app called Video Star. At the time, I hadn’t shown anyone my projects because it truly was a passion for me to see things I created. As I grew up I started getting the courage to post little things here and there across different social platforms which paved the road I’m on today! As for family, fortunately, I have always had the support of family. I struggled a lot in school, but my parents knew I would succeed at something else!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path as a comedic influencer?
I’ve always admired short-skit comedy. The ability to shove such chaos into just a few minutes, yet still have a fulfilling storyline is what I always strived to create. I remember when my family and I would watch a new episode of Family Guy every Wednesday, which has a big influence on my comedy today. I genuinely feel watching such shows, along with MadTv, designed my style of sense of humor! Fast forward, I wanted to create more of what I wanted to see, especially with people of color. That desire paved the way for becoming a content creator!
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I’m going to tell you what just happened. I was in Mexico City filming a project that will come out in October. , While on set, I experienced this thing called “high altitude sickness”. Needless to say, during filming, I was in the back of an ambulance with oxygen and an IV attached, and without exaggerating, an hour later, I was in front of the camera ready to film.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Hmm, one mistake I made was accidentally uploading an almost nude picture on one of my platforms and being called out by a friend for it. Luckily, it was the beginning of my career and there weren’t a lot of eyes on me. I learned to never take nudes on the same phone I work off of and triple-check things before posting!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely! There isn’t a particular person, there are particular people. I try to surround myself with great energy! My boyfriend, friends, and family all have played a special role in my internal growth. There are no specific stories I can think of, however, their presence alone is all I needed for my growth. My team has also been a major blessing.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I love this question! My biggest advice is don’t look for your audience. Let them find you! The minute your focus changes from what you want to create, to what others “want to see”, is when you start going into a wormhole of stress! Stay true to yourself and the best way to do that is by focusing on what YOU want to create. Everything else will come in time. I’m living proof of that. Don’t stress over algorithms as it’s always changing and you probably won’t conquer it. Just focus on what you want to create and everything else will follow in due time!
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
Unfortunately, I can’t really speak much about it at the moment, however, next month a one-of-a-kind series will be released across various platforms produced by Snapchat. With the release of this project, I see more acting opportunities arising, which is ultimately one of the end goals of my career.
What do you do to get material to write your jokes? What is that creative process like?
Life is truly my muse. Sounds so hippie but It is. Life experiences create my skit ideas! If I’m experiencing writer’s block, I know that’s a sign to experience more. My creative process consists of taking notes on my phone when something crazy in my life happens. I jot down bullet points of what happened and then when I’m home, I write a full skit based on it.
Super! Here is our main question. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Comedic Influencer” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Plan for taxes — Without revealing too much information, I learned the hard way. A good percentage of your self-employed income will be paid back during tax time yet everyone talks about will be returned via refund during tax time. It’s important to know this before you decide to move into a mansion or buy your dream car!
Don’t read the comments — As a creator, you can’t help but want to see how your audience reacts to your work. Unfortunately, sometimes you look over all the positive comments and stick to the one bad one. This overtime can affect the way you create. From now on, I focus on posting and then getting off.
Log off — It’s super important to know when a break is needed. It’s a lesson a lot of creators look past. However, this lesson alone has allowed me to stay authentic with the art I create Don’t take it too seriously — Once again, very hippie. But this lesson alone keeps me from being stressed out! As creators, your role is to show the creative side of life to the world. There is nothing serious about it. In fact, I can confidently say it’s one of the most un-serious occupations. I have to remind myself constantly to have fun, enjoy it all, and relax.
Hire a team — This was a hard lesson for me seeing as though I’m a one-man show. It was difficult to learn how to trust that my brand would be pushed in the way I wanted by other people, however, it was one of the best decisions I ever made! You truly can’t do it all alone!
Can you please share with us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Turbulence is the price you pay for flying high”. This quote means the world to me because it allows me to continue to shoot for the stars without allowing the rough flight on the way to stress me out. I’m human and I get annoyed, scared, nervous, stressed, etc. However, this quote alone has taught me it’s okay, it’s all a part of the flight!
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It’s crazy because that was the goal. However, my goal isn’t to really change anyone anymore. My goal is to continue to work on myself and discover what truly makes Tony happy. I believe that during the journey others will be motivated to discover in themselves what makes them happy.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Believe it or not, Rupaul. Not because of Drag Race, but I admire how he presents his wisdom. I would love to sit and learn from him about life. He is someone who is so connected to the world.
What additional social media platforms can our readers follow you on?
Instagram — IamTonyTalks
X — IamTonyTalks
Snapchat — TonySnaps
Facebook — IamTonyTalks
Youtube — IamTonyTalks
Threads — IamTonyTalks
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Antonio ‘Tony Talks’ Baldwin: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.