Los Angeles, CA — There is an image of Hollywood that portrays actors waiting around for their next big break. If that was ever true, it is no longer the case today and that is especially the reality for actors like Tyrone Burton.
Instead of waiting behind the camera for others to create work, Burton is creating business for himself and others, and the first project involved the youth at his church.
“I was one of three youth leaders in my church, and said let’s do something for youth; let’s do a play. So I wrote it (in less than seven days); it came from the stories in my life,” explained Burton, whose acting credits include, “Fox 24-Hour Kids Club” (New England); “Squeeze” (Miramax); and “The Parenthood.” The play is the story of a young man living the street life.
In addition to staging the play in conjunction with the Coleman and Smith Artistic company at local theaters, Burton said he also put it on DVD and began selling copies out of the trunk of his car through his company–Tyrone Burton Entertainment.
That entrepreneurial spirit goes back to his childhood. “My brothers, cousin and I, in Boston, used to pump gas to make money, and we helped people carry bags to their cars. I started doing this at age 11, and the highlight was the night I made about $25.”
The play was just one of the independent projects Burton has developed over the years while working on his “big break.”
Another is a pilot called the “Tyrone Burton Show,” which he first started thinking about in 1999.
“I sat on the script for seven years,” said the East Coast bred actor, who is once again taking a different tack to get his work seen.
“Usually people create a script (for a pilot) and pitch it to the network. If the network likes the script, December is pilot season, and you will shoot it in the studio, and they may air it.
“My way, I just stepped out on faith to shoot the pilot. Now I’m in the final stages of post production, and then I plan to take it to the networks like the WB,” said Burton, who predicts there will be a bidding war for his work.
“From there the Lord will open doors somewhere, some how.”
Burton is counting on the doors opened by the Tyrone Burton show to lead him right to the big screen with another script he has been writing for the last 10 years. He plans to take that idea to “the big boys” but won’t just walk away with an agreement in his pocket. Instead, the television actor intends to use his own entertainment know-how to serve as director of the movie.
Creating his own projects through his company Tyrone Burton Entertainment gives Burton the best of both worlds: “I create so I can do what I love; so I can act . . . it allows me a platform to do what I love doing, and to do it my way.”