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Tyson Hall: Shaping Narratives Through Art, Entertainment and Advocacy

By Tammy Reese | Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 11:39 AM ET



In the vibrant tapestry of New York City’s artistic landscape, actor Tyson Hall stands as a testament to the power of talent, resilience, and community engagement. With over two decades of experience in classical theater, television, and film, Hall’s journey reflects a commitment to both artistic excellence and social impact.


Tyson Hall, a native New Yorker, embodies the essence of commanding the stage with his theatrical prowess to captivating audiences on the small and big screens. His notable roles, including “Sam” in Power Book III: Raising Kanan and “The Vein” in The Godfather of Harlem, showcase his versatility and depth as an actor. Beyond his contributions to the entertainment industry, Hall’s commitment to philanthropy and community upliftment underscores his belief in the transformative power of art. Through charitable endeavors and artistic initiatives, he seeks to inspire and empower others, leaving an indelible mark on both the cultural landscape of New York City and the hearts of its inhabitants.


Can you share with us your journey as a classically trained actor with over 20 years of experience, and how it has shaped your career?


Tyson: This journey is one that I would not change for anything. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing people. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in the world. I have grown as a person and developed life skills that have me where I’m at today. As an actor, you are your own instrument and what you experience shapes you. The introspective growth has meant the most. Learning that to really excel at this craft I had to learn transparency and vulnerability. When I’m asked how long I have been acting I say all of my life. I have been pursuing a career at it for over 20 years.

My first acting class was at The Harlem School of the Arts studying under James Pringle. I later worked out of The Acting Studio with Estelle Parsons. Most of this was stage work. As for Film and T.V. I initially took classes with Tony Greco. I also studied at City College. On the set training was so very vital. Working on sets as a stand-in or background artist put me in front of many established directors and actors which taught me a lesson.

As for theater, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe was my onstage training. Working with Miguel Algrain and Rome Neal, and acting in plays written by Amiri Baraka and Ishmael Reed set the foundation for me and has shaped my career.





What drew you to the roles of “Sam” in Power Book III: Raising Kanan and “The Vein” in The Godfather of Harlem, and how did you prepare for these characters?


Tyson: Oddly enough I was not going to audition for Sam. I just completed work on “The Godfather of Harlem” playing The Vein. I didn’t want to fall into the typecast. The thing that made me take the audition was two things: the recurring aspect and the opportunity to be a part of the Power Universe. As for The Vein, the idea of working on a new series based on Bumpy Johnson was first for me. Being raised in Harlem and getting the opportunity to work with Forest Whitaker.


Preparing for each role was very different, the one thing that both had in common was the backstory I created for both characters. Sam’s character was layered with a lot of turmoil, which drove him. The Vein had a much darker tale with the bottom completely dropping out of his life. Overall both characters had very dark stories.


How has working alongside award-winning actors like Forest Whitaker influenced your approach to acting?


Tyson: Working with Forest Whitaker was beyond impactful. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience not only as an actor but in life and you feel it when he walks in the room. He has great poise and ease and an ability to channel his character. It just flowed. It was an honor working with him.


Could you tell us about your experience working on the indie film “Pimp” and what it was like to co-star with KeKe Palmer, Aunjanue Ellis, and the late rapper DMX?


Tyson: Pimp, the indie film that packed a punch. We saw Keke Palmer like we’ve never seen her before. We saw Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor in a downtrodden state, we got our last chance to see DMX work. My first day of shooting I get to the set and I greet Keke. It was like meeting my little sister. Aunjanue was a force. The scene we shot required me to refrain from her dying man (DMX). She is a strong women, I mean strong…lol. As for working with DMX, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought there would be a crew of motorcycle bikes outside, pitfalls, etc. He was the coolest dude ever. We laughed at a few locals, we split wings from the Chinese spot. It was a great experience.




With a background in theater from Harlem School of the Arts and City College, how does performing on stage differ from acting for television and film, and do you have a preference?


Tyson: The major difference between the stage and T.V. is that stage provides instant gratification. When you move the audience in a positive or negative way you feel it immediately. The biggest difference is that there are no cuts. If you or your co-star drops a line you have to pick up and keep it going.

T.V. or film, you get to do it over again if you mess up. The greatest thing about film is that the content will outlive me. I love them both. Give me all of the smoke….lol


Why has it been vital to utilize your artistic abilities and talent to educate, motivate, and inspire?


Tyson: I believe everybody has a gift and a talent. I think one of the greatest downfalls to human beings is not utilizing the gift. Gifts and talents come in various forms ie. Cooking, painting, singing etc. They will make a way for you if you tap in. These talents are not only for your own benefit but also to motivate and inspire others. So having a talent or gift is a responsibility and what is most important is how you utilize that gift.


You’ve been involved in various charitable endeavors, including donating artwork for auction to support organizations like The Jackie Robinson Foundation and Abyssinia Baptist Church. What motivates you to give back to your community?


Tyson: To Whom much is given much is expected. I believe that when I look at my life as a whole, what I have, what I’ve been able to do, where I’ve been able to go along with knowing how influential my being has become. It is a no brainer to give back. The greatest understanding is knowing how great of a need there is for positive influences to show up and be present in our communities. Karma is real to me, and I feel like whenever I am able to give back not only is it beneficial to the individuals who receive what is being given but it also benefits the person doing the giving. It’s reciprocal.


Connect with Tyson Hall on Instagram @tysonhallorg


 

About Tammy Reese


Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media, Tammy Reese is an award-winning writer and journalist best known for landing major interviews with Angela Bassett, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Laurence Fishburne, Geena Davis, Billy Porter, Morris Chestnut, Nelly, Mona Scott Young, Giancarlo Esposito, Luke Evans, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Connelly, Joseph Sikora, Meagan Good, Leon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Phylicia Rashad, Omar Epps, Courtney Kemp, Vivica A Fox, Ryan Coogler, and so many more.


She is a proud member of ForbesBLK as well as New York Women in Film and Television.


Other articles by Tammy Reese in Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine.



 




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