Ajani Carr, at just 14, is one of the real up-and-comers in Madison. He’s a young entrepreneur, founder of Building Bosses and Level Up. He spoke at the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Icebreaker event, and will soon appear on the new Showtime show The Chi. He’s been getting a lot of play in the press lately, so we think it’s time to give some shine to the driving force behind his success — his manager, his agent and his mother — who all happen to be the same person — Dorecia Carr.
Rank your Top 5 MCs.
Tupac – the G.O.A.T
Kanye (THE OLD KANYE)
Which motivates you more: doubters or supporters?
I don’t really pay much attention to doubters. The supporters are so much more important. My supporters motivate me, because they believe in me. I know that some of my supporters are inspired by me, so I work even harder so that I can continue to inspire.
Why do you live in Madison?
I only live in Madison because I have an illness, and I don’t trust any other hospitals other than the UW hospital.
What three leaders in Madison under 50 have impressed you the most?
AJ Carr has impressed me the most, because he is changing lives everyday at the age of 14. Vanessa Rae McDowell (of the YWCA) impresses me. I truly admire her. She’s works so hard, and she’s such a positive individual. Very inspiring. I’m also very impressed by Will Green from Mentoring Positives. He doesn’t just “talk the talk”. He really does work to make a positive impact on the lives of young people. He even took time out of his life to help my son when my son was going through a tough time. He is a true leader.
What’s the biggest stumbling block in Madison to turning the corner on our racial disparities?
The biggest stumbling block is trying to get black people to support your efforts.
What are your top three priorities at this point in your life?
My top 3 priorities are ensuring my children’s happiness, managing my health and managing my business.
What do you miss about living in Chicago?
What I miss about Chicago is the food, the hair stylists, the many places to go to have fun like Downtown Chicago, “Dave and Busters” or “Gameworks”, the radio stations, the churches, and my family and close friends.
What three tips would you give other single mothers on how to take time for themselves?
I don’t have an answer to that question. I have no idea how to make time for myself. I’m still trying to figure it out.
Your son AJ is in the entertainment business. He is in the new Showtime series “the Chi” with Common being one of the executive producers. How do you balance being his mother and also being his manager?
I’m actually his mother, his AGENT, and his manager. There’s a big difference between an agent and a manager. I’m both for him. It gets difficult to balance it all sometimes, but he’s such a great kid. He’s so fun to be around. We are best friends. People always say you shouldn’t be friends with your kids, but we don’t believe in tradition. We create our own rules, and we are best friends. As a mom, I spend time with him everyday talking about everything from school to music. He tells me everything, and I mean everything. I’m very grateful that we have that relationship. As an agent, it’s easy for me to represent him because he’s so great at what he does. He’s so talented, and he works very hard. The hardest part for me is being his manager. That is actually very difficult. I personally would like for him to get another manager, but he disagrees. So I just continue to do the best I can. The way I balance it is by telling him to trust me to do my job, and I will trust him to do his job.
What advice would you give other kids who want to get into acting?
The first thing I would tell them is get some professional training outside of Madison. Unfortunately, there is no place in Madison kids can go to get the training that is needed for the field I work in. I’d suggest they search in Chicago. I would also tell them to be patient because AJ is getting ready to bring an amazing new program to Madison that will help kids get into acting. And I also do workshops here in Madison for parents who want to get their children into acting.
Chris Rock or Kevin Hart?
That’s tough. I think the both of them are hilarious, but I’ll have to go with Chris Rock. I like that his comedy is sometimes educational and makes you think.
Who is Dorecia Carr?
Dorecia Carr is a mother whom her kids consider Superwoman. Dorecia Carr is a business owner who represents over 200 professional actors. Dorecia Carr is a strong, hardworking, caring individual who wants to do all she possibly can to help better her community every day.
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