When it comes to someone who has a number of credits across verticals to her name in entertainment, La La Anthony is on that list. This powerhouse started in radio, went on to VJ on MTV's TRL, is a best selling author, a beauty mogul with her brand La La Anthony Motives, had a successful reality series and directs/produces. As an actress in a number of movies and shows, fans know her as LaKeisha in STARZ's Power. Currently she is taping the upcoming season of Power and with the year coming to a close, we wanted to to know about the importance of leaning into all of your talents - no matter how many there are, how she is able to multi-task and be present and to continue her success.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When you say La La Anthony, you are a legacy. Starting from radio and many of us first heard you as a VJ on MTV, to being someone who owns a beauty line and is an actress and best selling author. How important is it to establish yourself as a powerhouse not only for yourself, but for women and women of color?
LA LA ANTHONY: I think it’s important! You want to stand for something and be about something. For me, it’s always been about show people that you can do more than just one thing and be great at it. You can start in radio, be a VJ, have a reality show, be an actress, be an author, be a producer and be great at all of them! So many times people try to put us in these boxes and say, “if you’re a VJ, that’s all you’re going to be and if you’re a radio host, that’s all you’re going to be.” I’m just trying to continually break those misconceptions and those barriers down.
AM: We know that we’re busy and many of us are in a number of projects, but you are constantly on the move – how do you keep it together with your schedule, your family, a number of red carpets….
LA: I always say that I don't sleep! But no, you have to prioritize and I always say that my son comes before anything else. Being a mom is my most important job and I put him before anything. I have a great support system and am so fortunate to have a family that helps me out with Kiyan when I need it, friends that can help me out so if I’m at work at 4am in the morning or like a day like today that the alarm went off at 5:30am in the morning and I was like, ugh – I know that my mom is there to help and Melo is an amazing dad and has always stepped in and been a great father and partner for me when it comes to raising Kiyan. We just make it work!
AM: School is a large part of your focus with Kiyan and we’re in the midst of cold season, how do you go against that to make sure that your son is fine and you coming off of set with all the germs that are found in these areas?
LA: The first thing is to wash your hands and I’m constantly doing that! I’m shaking people’s hands all day, Kiyan’s hands and I’m always disinfecting and using Lysol disinfecting spray to take care of my kitchen, bathroom, video game console, and it brings me to the partnership that I have with them known as the One Less Sick Day Program. It’s all about reducing the number of sick days in school which starts at home. You have to make sure that you’re doing your part at home so that these kids aren’t coming into the school sick. When kids have sick days, not only are they not feeling well, but when you’re at work, it also throws your schedule off. They’re missing school or Kiyan’s missing school and basketball practice and it throws everything into disarray. We want to prevent that and one of the things that Lysol is doing is providing 10,000 schools with Kinsa thermometers which helps with early detection of cold and flu symptoms and viruses which is great because a lot of these schools don’t have the proper tools to help with this properly and it’s why I wanted to be a part of this program.
AM: How do you stay fit because you always look amazing.
LA: I do workout and I realize that you can’t cheat the gym no matter what you do! You always have to go back to the gym. I do traditional weights with my trainer, a FlyWheel Bike in my house that they gifted me which I am so grateful for that. So I do FlyWheel at home and boxing I love. You have to find things that you do that you love or you will never be able to stick to it. I’d be lying if I said that I loved working out, but I know that it is something that I have to do to stay in shape and be healthy. But I am not one of those people that are like, “hey I’m going to the gym today and I can’t wait to work out – it’s just not me!”
AM: We’re all about moments here so who are 3 people that inspired you in your career, where those were your key moments that you needed that little push to take it to the next level.
LA: I think that watching some of my mentors from Oprah to Mrs. Obama, just they embody everything I want to be as a woman as a successful career woman. Mrs. Obama as a successful career woman, wife and mom. Oprah Winfrey, building this entire legacy and everything that she stands for – so I just watch people that I love and watch what they navigate and if I can even get a piece of what they are doing correctly, then I would be very happy! For me in my day-to-day life, it has always been my mom. She hasn’t had this amazing career, but she has given me so much life common sense that has taken me further than a lot of the business advice that I have ever gotten. Because my mom always says that, “when it is all said and done – some of these answers are just common sense and you guys just make it so complicated.” That has really helped me throughout my journey as well.