As we grow older and wiser, new beginnings are inevitable. Each New Year, a resolution is chosen by the masses to usher in a new beginning, a new cycle for the next 365 days. I for one, welcome in the new on my birthday, finding within myself a word to welcome what’s to come and guide me until my next solar return. This ritual of new beginnings brings awareness and allows one to transform into a being different from before. Whether it be minimal change or drastic measures, a new beginning is a rite of passage as we trek through this thing called life.
However, a new beginning comes more frequently to some. Artists, for example, welcome a new energy, a new personality, a new disposition with each project. Transforming what and who they are to become a fragment of their creation or character, brings to life a new beginning while releasing pieces of the past. For one young man, that process has been his safe haven, his livelihood, and his ticket to life beyond Carson, California.
As we hop on a Zoom call from different continents, I am welcomed by the sun in Milan from the balcony of actor, producer and fashion icon Ashton Sanders' hotel room. Before diving into the interview we take a moment to discuss our atmospheres; me sitting in my studio apartment in Los Angeles on a rare gloomy morning, while Milan looks like a shot from a movie. Sanders, there for Milan Fashion Week, meets the screen in comfort and black glasses giving an effortlessly cool and calm vibe that’s often seen on screen yet fits perfectly to his natural essence and environment.
We dig into conversation, reminiscing over mutual friendships and fun LA nights. The connection between the two ties in his roots, the beginning of his ever-changing life, the answer to how he found his passion for acting. “I got into acting at a very young age. I grew up in this nonprofit theatre organisation called Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC) founded by Wendy Raquel Robinson – that's where I got my start at.” He tells how this was where he built his foundation and most importantly, “how to be your authentic self in the world as an artist.”
“I started [AGC] around the age of 13 at a time where I was just going through a lot. It was between ages 13-16, and I found comfortability within shedding my shit you know, like shedding my skin and taking on a different character even if it was for an hour in that play. So I definitely loved it, I was like yo, I love doing this shit..."
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Ashton wears Gucci on the cover.