Tony “T-REP” Betton, Jr. is a 12th grader at Mount Zion High School. He is making a major impact with his many versatile talents, which include public speaking, hosting, service and music. Influenced by a blend of very different artists, T-REP’s out-the-box, and no genre specific songwriting, rapping and singing style is embedded with Pop, Hip Hop, R&B as well as Inspirational influences. Tony has been extremely active in performing on stages since the age of 9. He has grown to become a multi-talented & multi-award winning all-around teen entertainer and a much respected youth leader throughout Metro Atlanta and beyond.
As we grow as young people, we all begin to find our “niche”. We’re all looking for that special something that makes us happy and gives us passion. That something that we know for sure, we want to do for possibly a lifetime. While figuring out that special niche, it’s always an important to research and develop yourself to add that extra confidence to know that your career choice is not only your passion but also a perfect fit as you continue on your journey to perfect your craft. I’ve realized that my special niche, my spark, is Communications, which includes Entertainment and Broadcasting. Acting, singing, rapping, hosting, interviewing, performing, communicating and networking have always intrigued me and given me a personal satisfaction of feeling right at home. It’s “my thing” for sure. That’s exactly why having the opportunity to represent Usher’s New Look during a recent job shadowing experience with Major Kasim Reed’s Office of Film & Entertainment at Atlanta’s City Hall was a blessing and an honor that I will never forget.
During my spring break, I received a call from our Usher’s New Look Atlanta Coordinator, James Harris, asking if I would be interested in a special job shadowing opportunity at Atlanta’s City Hall. Immediately, I responded with excitement and without hesitation accepted the invitation. On Monday, April 7th 2014, I arrived early at City Hall ready to learn, to work and to meet knowledgeable and awesome people who have the same niche that I do. I met the amazing staff members in every field of The Mayor’s Office of Entertainment, which is a newly established department created to support Atlanta’s huge increase of film and entertainment opportunities, which are flourishing in my beloved city.
Among the many interesting things that I learned, I was given an extensive and enlightening tour of City Hall and the Office of Film & Entertainment. I was also able to learn about the new rules pertaining to filming in Atlanta’s city streets, parks and beyond. There is so much that is involved behind the scenes that happen when people are not in front of the camera that I would have never even imagined. For instance, there are permits that have to be issued, fees that must be paid, and even the social media aspect of notifying the public. This office facilitates in employing local talent, creating the production and including residents and businesses affected by the production of the film.
I send a personal thank you to the staff of The Office Mayor Kasim Reed who I met and worked with during my experience, which includes LaRonda Sutton (Director of Film & Entertainment), Cardellia Hunter (Film & Entertainment), Lorielle Broussard (Film & Entertainment’s Marketing & Communications Manager), Patty Miranda (Film/Entertainment Coordinator) and Tkeban X. T. Jahannes (E-Communications Manager). I would also like to send a huge special thank you to Usher Raymond IV, James Harris, Gavin McGuire, Shawn Wilson, Melissa Ely, Jordyn Smith and my entire Usher’s New Look family for trusting me to represent them during this awesome career opportunity.
The most impactful quote of the day, shared with me by Ms. LaRonda Sutton (Director of Film & Entertainment), which I will never forget: “YOUR NAME IS ALL THAT YOU HAVE.”