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Tyson Hall: Embracing Authenticity in Art and Acting

By Tammy Reese



Who is Tyson Hall? Raised on the vibrant streets of New York, Tyson’s upbringing was steeped in the cultural renaissance of the Hip Hop era. From the rhythm of breakdancing performances to the vibrant hues of graffiti art, the city became his canvas and muse. Portraying iconic roles like “The Vein” in “The Godfather of Harlem” and “Sam” in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” catapulted Tyson into the spotlight.


Beyond the silver screen, Tyson’s artistic talents extend to charitable endeavors, where he utilizes his platform to raise awareness and support various causes in his community. Through teaching programs and art fundraisers, he remains committed to making a positive impact. Tyson navigates with a sense of purpose and determination, focusing on making his talent work for him and those he seeks to inspire. As he continues to carve his path in the entertainment industry, Tyson remains grateful for the support of his family, allies, and community. Their encouragement fuels his passion and propels him forward on this extraordinary journey.


If someone were to ask you who is Tyson Hall, what would your reply be?


My initial response would be the coolest dude you will ever meet…lol, I am first a child of God. I am a loyal, committed person who believes in himself and believes in living for a purpose and having that purpose be of benefit to others. I love life. I am both introverted and extroverted, balance is a very necessary element in my life. Tyson is someone who never wants to live for should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, so instead I live life every day as if it’s my last.


How did your upbringing on the streets of New York influence your approach to acting and art?


The New York backdrop completely molded me for both the arts and acting. Growing up during the Hip Hop evolution gave light to Fashion, Performance (Breakdancing), and Graffiti (Art). I used to attend middle school in the South Bronx and from my classroom window I could see the 2 and 5 train going back and forth. These images were like going to a museum every day. I would get familiar with color, lettering, and characters and this was also an introduction to the world of branding.


Like most people when you are under such a heavy influence, you find your niche within and begin to do your own thing. When I was graduating from the first grade I was the only one in my class that could fully remember a speech that was written. This was my first monologue ever performed publicly..lol Breakdancing was another forms of exposure. Performing in talent shows or battling other dancers. This was what first introduced me into performing arts.


Although breaking didn’t require any dialogue it required having the confidence and the courage to take the initiative and “go for yours” as we would say. The Hip Hop culture gave us all something to gravitate to and find ourselves. It gave us an opportunity to express ourselves in one way or another. Whether through Rapping, D.J.ing, Dancing or Graff. Even if it wasn’t about doing any of those things, just having a style on how you put your outfit together. So, this era was very influential, and I am grateful that I grew up in New York when I did.


How has your portrayal of “The Vein” in “The Godfather of Harlem” and your role as “Sam” in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” made an impact on you personally?


Both roles are what would be called Break Out roles for an actor. In that regard meaning they have been roles that have garnered great recognition from the public. Especially “Sam” from Raising Kanan. People were really able to relate to the character and develop feelings and emotions for him. “The Vein” was major because of the GOAT Forest Whitaker. The fact they both dropped somewhat simultaneously really made an impact.


Please tell us about some additional roles you’ve portrayed in both television and film, and how have they contributed to your career trajectory?


I have played various characters on different projects not only t.v. and film but also on stage and they all support in contributing to my careers trajectory. As of now I have predominately played a a lot of street-affiliated characters ie. Pimps, drug dealers, or fines, and moving forward I want to portray cleaner characters. ie Lawyer, husband, schoolteacher, etc.



 

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Who is your favorite actor and why?


I have been influenced by many. I will start off with Sidney Poitier. I was home from school one day and I was watching The Raisin in the Sun. As I got further emersed in the movie I was completely in awe of how his character came in and out of the house. He was so dynamic, and I had never seen a black man act on a screen. Also, I have to give it to Jeffery Wright. From Peebles in Shaft to his portrayal of Jean-Michel Basquiat and more recently his work in American Fiction, it’s like there’s nothing that he can’t do. His work in Basquiat actually was what made me go out and pick up the paintbrush. I always did graffiti and after seeing the movie I want to Pearl paint on Canal Street. I brought two 8x10 canvases and five primary colors. I went home and had fun. I never put the paintbrushes down.


In what ways have you utilized your artistic talents to raise awareness and support charitable causes in your community?


I have taught the NYU leaders for Ladders program for several years. I also am co-chair of a organization called Dad’s Make A Difference and a P.S. 185 in Harlem. I also tough at a non profit organization called Moving Mountains. I am also set to start teaching and another organization in the Bronx. This is one way that I give back. I also use the art as a fundraiser for various organizations. The Jackie Robinson Foundation, The Jazz Museum of Harlem, and South Bronx United are just a few that I have utilized my art in aiding charities.


Please tell us about your passion and work in the art world.


The art world can be very perplexed. Like any other world but what I have come to know is how to make it my own. I don’t get caught up in a lot of who is not accepting of my work, but what I do is focus on is how to make my talent work for me and those who are to receive the benefits of this gift. As a New Yorker, I learned very early on not to wait for things to happen, but how do I make things happen.


What do you love most about being an actor?


I love the ability to be something or someone other than myself. The process of developing a character is another thrill. Developing and understanding the mannerisms, dialect, etc of the character is one of my favorite things about being an actor. Being able to live and do what I am passionate about also means a lot.


Is there anyone you would like to shout out?


I would like to shout out my Mom, my daughters, my little man, my family, Ally Roberson and all of those who have supported me throughout this journey. Thank You!


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TAMMY REESE


Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.


Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.


Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sharon Stone, Angela Bassett, Jasmine Guy, Sigourney Weaver, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Porter, Steven Yeun, Luke Evans, Geena Davis, Morris Chestnut, Nelly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Leon, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Giancarlo Esposito, Jennifer Connelly, Laurence Fishburne, Vivica A. Fox, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Ryan Coogler, Hailey Kilgore, London Brown, Patina Miller, Malcolm Mays, Carmen Electra, Essie Davis, Donell Jones, Courtney A. Kemp, Theo Rossi, Skeet Ulrich and many more.


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