The Challenges That Anthony Ramos Has Encountered as a Result of His Ethnicity
"Some of the days were hard, but every day was more than worth it," actor Anthony Ramos said of embracing his Puerto Rican ethnicity.
Ramos had to make do with what he had during his early days — sleeping on leaky air mattresses and pull-out beds before couch surfing through his senior years in high school.
He was hungry, both literally and figuratively. He yearned to live a life where he wasn't playing skip with poverty, a Mcdonald's was admittedly on his wishlist.
Thanks to some help from his high school’s musical theater director, Sara Steinweiss, landed a spot at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
While in the academy, trying his best to catch up to the experience and the institutional knowledge of his peers, he was offered a frankly disrespectful pitch — disrespectful to his ethnicity and his identity.
Anthony Ramos Was Asked to Forego His Ethnicity
"Folks would say to me that if you grow your hair out and speak in American Standard, you can be more ethnically ambiguous," he recalled during a conversation with Hollywood Reporter. "You won’t be in the 'Latino box.'"
Back then, he too thought that his ethnicity was a box, a hindrance, a narrow glass ceiling. In retrospect, he felt that being a Latino was his superpower because that was who he was.
But, life looks different in the rearview mirror.
Despite putting himself in the so-called "box" for a while, Ramos refused to budge.
I don’t want to be hired for being ambiguous. I want to be hired for who the [explitive] I am.
This was years before he embraced his ethnicity and identity to proudly wave the Puerto Rican flag with glee. Soon after, the Hamilton cast won the Grammys for best musical theater album.
While the fantasy of a utopia lives rich and rent-free in many minds, the reality of the matter was that the "box" did exist.
Anthony Ramos Almost Quit
Ramos still had a hard time booking roles, and by the time he was in his final semester, which was around 2011, he was in low spirits.
Call it a plot twist, call it a twist of fate! Around the same time, he got a chance to catch In the Heights while the show was in its closing weeks on Broadway.
Seeing a Latino cast onstage gave him enough motivation not to quit.
He admitted that the ensuing year was rough, with long gaps between tough gigs — local shows that were constantly late on payments, nonunion national tours, and cruise ship performances.
Eventually, he landed two key roles in Hamilton, Hamilton’s son and one of his allies.
Eventually, his talent was seen. He embraced his identity, his ethnicity.
About Anthony Ramos's Parents & Family
Anthony Ramos was born to his mother — Mildred Ramos — whereas the identity of the other one of his parents is not available in the public sphere.
He grew up alongside his older brother, Mario Martinez, and younger sister, Stephanie Ramos.
The mother made $30,000 per annum before taxes.
"So that was barely 10Gs as a kid," Ramos recalled.
On the romantic front, Ramos' last known public relationship was with Jasmine Cephas Jones, which unfortunately came to an end in 2021.