From Hardship To Hamilton To Hollywood | Anthony Ramos: storybooth Stars

From Hardship To Hamilton To Hollywood | Anthony Ramos: storybooth Stars


So I grew up in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I grew
up in the projects, a single mom. And, you know, it was funny. My mom used to say to me, when I was a kid, I used to sit by the window and say, “I don’t want to be here
anymore.” She’d laugh, she’d be like, “Haha, where do
you want to be Papa?” And I’d be like, “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
I had dreams for myself that I couldn’t actually, like, vocalize. I couldn’t say
the words. I felt like I was just locked in this box, and I needed to be free of
this box that I I feel like I was in. I always enjoyed singing, I would sing at
the family events, I’d sing a Christmas, I’d sing at Thanksgiving. But in my junior
year, I went in auditioned for what I thought was a talent show. My director, her name is Sarah Steinweiss. She said, “Hey, what are you singing for us?”
I said, “I’m singing Ordinary People by John Legend.” She said, “Okay, go ahead.” I sing my song I’m like, “Okay, great. Thanks!” And she’s like, “Hold on, you didn’t do the
lines.” I said, “I’m sorry miss, I don’t do lines.” And she’s like, “What? Do you know
what this is?” And I’m like, “Yeah, a talent show. She’s like, “No, it’s a musical.” I said,
“Whoa, hold up. I didn’t sign up for a musical.” She’s like, “Well, since you’re here, can you do these lines?” And I’m like, “Alright, cool, whatever.” So the next day, I
was selected to play the character of Zeus. Fast forward, I get on stage. I get
this overwhelming feeling that came over me. And I’m like, I couldn’t define it, but
later on I realized that it was this sense of joy and this sense of belonging
that I hadn’t felt in my entire life. You know, you see in the movies, like, you see the superhero getting their powers, like, spider-man. Like how a spider bit him and
all of a sudden he’s, like, spitting webs from his wrists. You know, like, I’m not
saying I turned into spider-man, but I felt like I became a superhero on stage.
Fast forward, I’m ready to apply for colleges, but my grades weren’t that good.
All of my applications had gotten withdrawn from every single school I
applied to because I didn’t get my financial aid forms in in time.
Unfortunately, my family was going through some hard stuff and we just couldn’t get
the forms in in time. So I had no school to go to. I was doing a community theater
show at the time. Sara Steinweiss, my director in high school, comes to
rehearsal and gave me a pamphlet. She says, “You need audition for this school.” I’m
like, “I can’t. This is not a school that a kid like me can afford.” I don’t really
have any actual formal training. She’s like, “I don’t care, we’re gonna go for it.”
I was like, “Alright, let’s go.” And then I do the audition and I get the
call – I get into the school. I’m like, “Thank you so much.” Fall to my knees and I’m, like, praying, “Oh my god, wow, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Next thing you know, I get the Welcome Packet and then I see the magical page
with the numbers. I was gonna have to take a loan for more money than I could
ever afford. And my reality set in – you’re poor, from the projects, you didn’t get a
scholarship, and this is where your dream stops. Then Sara Steinweiss comes to our
rehearsal. She says, “Hey, I gave your name to the Jerry Seinfeld Scholarship
Foundation and they want to meet you.” So I have this meeting with this amazing
woman named Kate Fenneman. I said to Kate, “You know, I don’t need anybody to give me a handout. All I need is someone to give me a shot. If someone can just give me a
shot, I’m gonna give it all I got.” I’m crying, she’s crying, I’m like, “Peace,
I gotta go.” Kate calls and says, “Hey, we’re gonna pay for your school for all four years.” And immediately, my life changed. My mother
and I, I’ll never forget, we were in the living room when we both fell to our
knees and we both cried because we knew that, in that moment, that was a chance for me
to do something that was beyond anything that any of us could have imagined or
have ever experienced before. And fast forward, I end up going to musical
theater school. I studied and worked my tail off. I kept going and I worked hard.
Today, I can gratefully say that I have lived
some dreams out and I still am that I could never imagine as a kid. From being
in the biggest musical in the history of Broadway in “Hamilton,” to working on a
movie that seems to be changing people’s lives with “A Star Is Born,” to now starring
in “In The Heights” – the movie version – to playing the lead role, when I never
thought that there’d ever be a lead role for me, because there weren’t many lead
characters that looked like me, that were Latin, who came from where I came from.
But I thank God that when you dream big enough, your dreams sometimes become bigger than reality.

56 thoughts on “From Hardship To Hamilton To Hollywood | Anthony Ramos: storybooth Stars

  1. Im tempted to upload what happened today when I decided to have a midnight feast with my friends on the roof. 🤷‍♀️

  2. I love Anthony Ramos in everything hes been in, John Lauren's an icon, Justin an Icon, or seems like its lins goal to hurt Anthony's character, John Dies, Phillip dies, Justin goes to jail.

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