.Hi Tony… how are you?
I’m doing great Maureen and thanks so much for the interest and interview.
. What are your full names?
Anthony Tambi Kelechi Mbuagbaw
. What else are you called? (nickname?)
. What is your sex?
. What is your age?
I’ll be 37 in September 2015
. What is your height and weight?
6’1 and 195 lbs (not sure what that is in Kilos)
. What about your ancestors and heredity?
My mother is from Nigeria and my father is from Cameroon. I was born in Nigeria, moved to Cameroon when I was 7 and 14 years later moved to the U.S.
. Where do you live? (city, state, country)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A
. What is your title?
I don’t have a title but I like to say I am in the entertainment business, principally as an actor but I write, direct and produce as well.
. What show/shows are you currently working on?
I’m starring in a short film called “55 AND 7” written and directed by Ari Dassa. A feature I worked on last year called “Filmmakers Anonymous” is in post production.
I’m currently writing several feature film scripts as well as a TV pilot. They are all in various stages of completion with one – Letter From The President, ready to go if financing becomes available.
Collaborating with fellow Cameroonians is something I love doing and I’ve had the opportunity to really get engaged in the collaborative process on two projects recently: Ben Tubuo, Gerard Ngwang, Doh Daiga and I are working on an Animated Show about a judgmental guy from Cameroon who comes to the U.S. and does what he does best – judge everything and everybody.
The second project is adapting the short story Ananda into a screenplay. Ananda was written by Bernice Angoh Lakota and we hope to shoot the feature this summer in Cameroon.
. In one sentence, describe your job.
It’s so hard to describe what I do in what sentence. Actually I’ll do it in four words: Abundantly satisfying; Exceptionally frustrating.
. What skills are necessary for a person in your position?
I would say some amount of talent, lots of patience, a decent amount of good luck and a willingness to work hard.
.What special abilities do you possess (languages)?
English is my first language and I also speak Pidgin English. Then there’s what I call Conversational French or the ability to sound like I know how to speak French. I can also do a few accents if the role calls upon someone with an accent.
. What kind of training did you go through to get to your position?
A little bit of everything. I’ve worked with various acting and dialect coaches over the years to keep honing my skills.
. What was your first job in theater?
Professionally it was a play called “The God Botherers” with the Furious Theater Company in Pasadena, CA.
Non-professionally, will have to be in Kindergarten. I played Joseph in the Nativity Scene.
. Why do you think theater is important?
That’s where it all began and there’s something very exhilarating about performing in front of a live audience.
. What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
I would say diversity.
. If you could change just one thing about the industry with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?
One wish? Hmmmm. Make Tony Tambi a household name like yesterday, hahaha.
. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do?
Think twice, then think again. After thinking, if you still want to do this, start early and commit to being the best that you can be. It’s going to be tough but you should embrace it and enjoy the process.
. If you could work with any of the great, who would it be?
There’s too many to name – Let’s see, this is crazy but I’ll like to collaborate on a screenplay with Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino, be directed by David Fincher, Lee Daniels and Ava Duvernay, and work on this same movie with Forest Whitaker, Denzel, Meryl Streep, De Niro and Sidney Poitier.
.What are your hobbies?
I watch and play soccer, basketball, movies, tv. Just being home with the family.
. I saw you had a role in the series Scrub, how was it working with them?
Scrubs was tons of fun. The crew was nice and the cast had as much fun as you see on screen, off screen.
.As far as i know you were also nominated for NAACP award a few years back, tell us more about it.
It was a great, great, great experience and moment. My nomination was for Lead Male in the stage play “The God Botherers”, which also happened to be my Los Angeles stage debut. It was my second year here, and it felt like validation for my decision to follow this path. There’s nothing more encouraging than your peers telling you ‘good job’ and saying you excelled at something you did at a particular moment in time.
.Most of your scripts are written by you, where do you get your inspirations from?
My brain is constantly throwing different scenarios and possibilities at me based on my personal experience and what I see and read about. Some of those stories just need to be told. In addition, my goal is to bring more stories of the African born immigrant to the limelight. We are so much more than the poor confused refugee, kind simpleton or child soldier that is usually portrayed in the media of today.
.Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Ideally, I’ll be at the point in my career where I’m working everyday and creating work for other like-minded artists. The best case scenario would be me asking myself where did the last 10 years go, because I’ve been so busy working.
.I know you are a very busy man, thanks for making time for this interview. One love. Peace
NO, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for your time and have an excellent day.
Have a glimpse of some of his movies:
Check him out at http://www.tonytambi.com