Post Classifieds

Antonio Wright stays true to acting craft

By James Bright
On October 13, 2010

There is seldom anything better in life than knowing what you want to do for a career. Theater and special education major Antonio Wright knew he wanted to act from a young age.

"I played Martin Luther King Jr. when I was in third grade, and from then on, I knew I wanted to do this forever," he said.

Classic acting style is what Wright said he enjoys most. Although Wright said his dream is to work with directors like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, he loves method actors like Sidney Poitier and Meryl Streep, and has found that they tend to influence him more.

"They are true and straight to the point," he said. "There is not a lot of garbage. Plus, they had to work around the lack of special effects."

Learning from the masters of the acting craft is something Wright greatly appreciates.

"If you learn from the best, you can produce the best work," he said.

This particular type of acting style is how Wright said he makes a role his own.

"You have to dive in and make it work for yourself," he said. "You have to completely immerse yourself in the character."

Research is the key to this form of acting, according to Wright. He said the most important thing in portraying a character is finding out what makes him special, taking that information and making it your own.

Wright's roommate, theatre graduate student Erica Franks, said his eccentricity contributes to his abilities on stage.

"He pretty much says whatever is on his mind," she said.

Wright's acting skills do not stop at the stage. As an openly gay man and a prominent member of the Association for the Needs of Gay and Lesbian Students and Supporters of, Wright has had to step into the role of a host for a drag show.

Former A&M-Commerce student and ANGLS member Morgan Corley said Wright is a lot of fun because he always finds ways to fix problems.

"We (ANGLS) put on our first drag show and our MC backed out," she said. "Antonio was there to step up."

It was during this show that A&M-Commerce got its first taste of Ko Ko Delicious, Wright's alter ego drag queen persona.

"We came up with a lot of different names in an ANGLS meeting and Ko Ko is the one I liked the most," he said.

His passion and skills are also reflected in his friendship, according to Franks.

"Our birthdays are two days apart, and this year he bought me a dress that was better than any straight girl could have bought," she said.

Aside from acting on campus and his work with the ANGLS drag shows, Wright has also appeared in different theaters all over the DFW area. He said he has done work with the Civic Theater, Greenville theatre and acted in children's shows.

Despite his love for acting, Wright said he feels more comfortable with directing. After co-directing last semester's production of Patsy Cline, Wright said he realized how much more relaxing it can be compared to acting.

"I do not have to perform every day," he said. "I get to fine tune my craft and don't have to worry about specific nuances."

As director, Wright said he is able to concentrate on the audience and what they will get from the performance.

"I get to make sure everyone has the best possible view of the stage," he said.

Acting is not Wright's only passion. He said his mother got him involved in working with people with special needs.

"Once you work with these people, something touches you inside and makes you want to keep helping," he said.

Wright especially enjoys helping special needs individuals hone specific skills.

"This group of people has a lot to offer," he said.

The future is still uncertain for Wright. He said he has a few things he would like to try upon graduation, but has not decided on what course he will take.

Although Wright is not working on anything on campus, he said he will be performing in a national competition, which could earn him prestigious recognition.

Regardless of what he chooses to do, Franks said Wright has a bright future.

"He has not reached his peak by a long shot," she said. "He's got the drive and ambition to go wherever he wants."

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