There are many driving forces that push people to carry their lives forward and achieve their goals. Motivation, inspiration, and determination are just a few. However, passion is the single most powerful force that compels a person to work hard for their goals and accomplish more.
While for some people finding their true calling takes years, for most, all it takes is an impulse to realize that they are passionate about a particular thing. Everyone is born passionate and talented, but only a few have the courage and enthusiasm to take their passion to greater heights.
Among the population of people who are respected and idolized today, the greater circle consists of individuals who not only recognized their passion but worked hard and fulfilled their dreams by putting their passions to the right use.
Today, the name of Anthony Johnson is distinguished in the world of theatrics. Not only has he persisted in his path toward greatness, but he has also received several accolades for his talent.
Recognizing His Passion
Born on January 22, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Johnson received his early education at John F. Kennedy Elementary school, after which he went to Gompers Jr. High School. During the summer of 1983, he started studying Television Broadcasting at Tech High School. He also received scholarships to Wright State University, the University of South Florida, and Point Park College.
As a kid, Johnson developed an interest in theater and ballet. Knowing that the love he had for theater was more than anything, Johnson didn’t wait too long to achieve his dream. He started working at Circuit Playhouse for Playhouse on the Square and Theater Memphis while still in high school.
During this time, Johnson was landed with the role of Smee in Peter Pan and worked offstage as a lighting assistant, props manager, and follow spot operator for a multitude of shows, including A Day in Hollywood/A Night in Ukraine, Ain’t Misbehavin, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Something’s Afoot, March of the Falsettos, The Diary of Anne Frank and Where’s Charley? Johnson also starred as David at Circuit Playhouse, directed by the late Calvin Lockhart, and landed a small part in The Mississippi television show with Ralph Waite and Dack Rambo. As a student at Wright State University, Johnson worked at Procter & Gamble.
While studying Point Park, Johnson was cast as the High School Emcee in the ABC Television miniseries Jackson’s: An American Dream. After graduation, he performed at Busch Gardens, where Lou Pearlman was in the audience. He was so impressed by Johnson’s performance that he hired him as the Backstreet Boys’ assistant choreographer and rehearsal director.
Soon after Johnson moved to Atlanta, he began performing with different bands, including Those Funny Little People, Ballethnic Dance Theater, and International Ballet Rotaru. After Johnson was given a role in Dreamgirls, he relocated to Chicago.
Moving to Chicago served well for Johnson. He starred in Randy Newman’s Faust, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Charles Drew Story, among several others. He played the role of Wayne in the feature film Black Limousine, also known as The Land of the Astronauts. He also featured in Son of the Beach, Mobbed, and Skin Walker with RuPaul. Among Johnson’s career highlights is the exceptional performer’s casting in The Trees Don’t Bleed in Tuskegee and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest in 2005. He also earned the name “Michael Jordan of Ballet” at Chicago Festival Ballet.
Sharing His Passion With The World
In 1999, Johnson decided that he wanted to do more. He partnered with his friend, Gene Wooley, and launched his own firm, “Ballet Magique.” The company debuted to a sold-out performance during Carnival (Now Oak 1) in May 2001. Ballet Magique performed four shows over the course of the next four years: Empress, Les Vampires, Mélange, and Ring of the Rose. Johnson also participated in the Strip Poker TV Show in 2002.
Ballet Magique also received accolades from around the globe. The show “Ring of the Rose” also gained several Lester Horton Award nominations for “Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, Costume and Lighting Design.”
Johnson has written the upcoming film Vodun for his husband, Franco Sama. He is looking forward to directing the film after Alexis Colette in 2024!
Anthony is presently directing the motion picture musical Alexis Colette in Montreal.
He plans to follow with the adventure thriller, Vodun in 2024.