Longtime R&B singer Tony Terry has recently had the pleasure of serving as a cast member in both a stage play and on a reality show. He’s the leading star of the JD Lawrence musical production “Your Husband Is Cheating On Us,” which is also the name of the Bravo reality series that follows the behind-the-scenes antics that take place while putting this production together.
Starring Ginuwine, D’atra Hicks, Tondy Gallant, Lia Grant, Kristen Plati, and Jermaine Sellers, “You’re Husband Is Cheating On Us” gives viewers an inside look at what it really takes to put on a stage play. It also gives the world a look into African American musical theatre — the genre that propelled Tyler Perry to the top. Unfortunately, the drama that follows between cast members threatens to put the production in jeopardy.
“There might have been something with Ginuwine and one of the women in the house. They tried to make something happen between them, but I’m not fully versed on what that is. On the show, they look like they were trying to get something started and I think they have,” said Terry, 54, who joined the cast late. Joining midway through the process of rehearsals and filming, it was Terry’s experience and professionalism that saved the day after weeks of drama filled turmoil.
Check out what Tony Terry has to say about rehearsing for the play, filming the show, and living his best life after 50.
How did you become a part of the play and reality show “Your Husband is Cheating on Us?”
JD Lawrence is a longtime friend of mine. The show was shot back in September, and he called me halfway through and said, “I need you to come and be a part of this play and this reality show.” I said ok and we talked about it casually. I didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks. Then he called me back and told me that he really needed me to come up right away.
Apparently, they were having some issues. Ginuwine was in the show and he decided that the part was a little more [than he could] handle, given his schedule. They had an understudy, Jermaine Sellers, from “American Idol” and one of the finalists from the first season of“Sunday’s Best,” and he might have done a couple of Tyler Perry’s shows. He was the understudy, who was then cast in the lead and was having some issues committing to the part. JD called me and basically had me come in and save the day because he knew that I work quickly. He knew that I could pull it out and he called me in to join the cast.
I didn’t know about the drama that happened before I got there. But for me, it was a good experience. It was a lot of work, but it was fun.
Describe your character in the play.
I play the lead character Marvin, who is a player. He’s running around messing with everybody. He’s just caught up and gets caught by his wife, and has to deal with the situation. There’s a lot of funny moments that happen, along with some emotional moments. But, lots of laughter, some great music, and great original songs. It’s a meaty part, so I had to really dig deep and work quickly to get it.
What are some of the parts of the character that you can personally identify with?
Well, back in the day, I might have been a little bit of a player myself. I married now, 14 years, so those days are long gone. I’m in show business, so I understand what it’s like to juggle several situations at one time.
The reality show depicts drama between some of the female cast members, but what was the energy like between the male cast members?
By the time I got there, Jermaine had been fired so I never worked with Jermaine at all. It was just me and Ginuwine. He had come back to do a smaller part after quitting the show. We got along great since we’ve worked together a lot over the years on the concert side of things, both nationally and internationally. There was really no drama between the guys, all of the drama was with the women.
In addition to your music career, you’ve acted as well and been in a lot of productions. What’s the difference between being a singer or an actor, and coming into a project like this where you have to do both?
Performing is acting. If you’re on tour you have to sing the same songs every night and perform them with the same intensity and passion every time. You have to do the same in a theatrical production. They are very similar. We’re acting, even when we do the concert stuff because it is a performance.
Does this particular production have any plans of touring soon?
I think so. I think the show is greenlit for a second season, which will follow the production on tour. They’ll have some tour buses mic’d and camera’d up. Put the cast on the bus and watch the fireworks happen.
What does Tony Terry have planned for the future for your career?
I’m doing a lot. I’m partnering up with my friend Deedria Chantee, who has a CEI Hair School in Atlanta. It’s doing really well. Deedria is instrumental in helping me pull together [my] product line. I’m developing a men’s grooming line that will be launching soon called Heads. I’m really excited about that.
It’s about generating income outside of the music industry and reinventing yourself so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m also working on a fitness DVD and looking at a couple scripts for television. I have an audition coming up for a series on FOX. I’m just trying to stay healthy, fit, and be available for whatever the universe has for me.
On the health and wellness front, how do you stay looking so youthful after being in the entertainment game for over almost 30 years?
There’s really no secret. I try to stay on top of it. I don’t always eat well, but I try to be mindful of what I’m eating. I try to stay in the gym daily. You hear the word try, but I don’t always get there. I make it a point to try to drink water. The first thing I drink when I get up in the morning is water. The last thing I drink before bed is water. I know that it’s the small things.
I want to be around for a long time. I’m in my mid-50s and I got a young son. He’s eleven. He got me running around, being an assistant coach for football; running behind him outside. You got to stay fit. You got to stay in shape. I love it.
How do you balance your home life and your career as an entertainer?
It’s not so difficult. Being an entertainer is my job. I go to work and turn it on. I’m Tony Terry, the singer when I’m out, but I’m daddy and Tonio when I get home. I got to fix dinner, take out the trash, take my son to football practice, and while doing that I’m still developing the next thing. It’s not a separation, all of these things make me who I am as an artist.