Teen Entrepreneur AJ Carr Lands Role on Showtime’s “The Chi”

Teen Entrepreneur AJ Carr Lands Role on Showtime’s “The Chi”

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AJ Carr

Academy Sponsors Spring2017Madison’s own Ajani Carr is set to star in Showtime’s newest drama, “The Chi.”

The show is a coming-of-age tale based in Chicago. According to The Chicago Tribune, the show involves familiar names, such as executive producers and Chicago natives Common and Lena Waithe.

Carr is a freshman at Verona High School by way of the Exploration Academy, a project-based learning environment that allows students to create personalized learning plans. He has earned his first recurring role in the upcoming show, which recently began filming in Chicago.

“When I got the phone call I didn’t know it would be a recurring role until after I got it. So the fact that I even got it was exciting. It’s just really cool,” Carr said.

Showtime_logo“It’s a really good show because it’s really realistic. They actually shoot in Chicago, they actually got people from Chicago. They put a lot of time and research into it,” Carr told Madison365 in an interview after a basketball game with students from his Level Up After School program at Badger Rock Middle School. “The producer is from Chicago and she wanted to highlight her life and her experiences on the southside of Chicago. I think it’s really cool because it’s people like Common working on it.”

Aside from acting, Carr has a passion for basketball, music production and songwriting. He has also exhibited a strong interest in community involvement. Carr is determined to do as much as he can within the community, between school and acting.

At the age of 13, he managed to create his own organization called “Building Bosses.” The organization provides youth programming to promote “leadership, entrepreneurship, and service.” According to the organization’s website, “Building Bosses will provide adolescents with guidance and support by offering mentoring, private tutoring [and] clothing…The program will also include sending out young ambassadors to raise social consciousness about constant youth violence.”

The new show is centered on Chicago’s Black youth. While the show is underway, Carr, who originally hails from Chicago, is not yet allowed to share much about his part. “He’s a not the same as me, but I didn’t have to step out of my comfort zone because he’s a character I am familiar with,” he said.

After high school Carr aspires to go to Columbia College in Chicago. He shared that his mother attended the university when she was younger but wasn’t able to finish. This young entrepreneur plans to follow in her footsteps and attend Columbia College to continue exploring the arts. However he also shared that he is very excited to delve into the arts after high school by continuing his work as an actor. “I think I’m trying to go the career route, while there’s a lot I could do with a degree, this is really my passion and I don’t want to just put it away”

He is eager for others to see his work on Showtime’s “The Chi.” The network has yet to release a premiere date for the series, according to Chicago Tribune. Carr hopes for a date that is sooner than later.

“I’m not sure when it will come out, probably 2018–less likely 2019. But I’m hoping 2018. I’m on the show but I’m really excited to see it,” he said.

Written by Kynala Phillips

Kynala Phillips

Kynala is a Black girl enthusiast and a Journalism and Mass Communication student at UW-Madison.

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