Master of Vines: Tonio Skits
Transformed & Misunderstood
June 1, 2020 | The Creative Corner
Q: Having been born and raised in New York and relocating to Miami years later after graduating from high school, was that transition easy for you?
A: No, not at all. The transition from New York to Miami was difficult. Number one, I’m young and to me in my perception Miami was too slow and I never heard of ‘booty music’ before so I never really got to appreciate it until later on. So the transition was just different. Everything was different. I come from a family of seven living in a two bedroom apartment and I come to visit my aunt in Miami and she has a house and there’s a pool in the backyard so I’m thinking, “oh my gosh she’s rich.” I saw life differently. You can live better. So it was a transformation nonetheless, but I saw so many positive things.
Q: Do you miss New York?
A: I do, I do. I go back often.
Q: What were you like growing up?
A: I was funny. I was a class clown. In junior high you were only able to get voted in one category. I was the only one voted in two categories: Most popular and the funniest.
Q: Being an American Vine Star, what was your most memorable skit?
A: ‘Call a Dominican.’ That video just went viral and it touched all generations, especially my people, the Dominicans. Till this day most people recognize me from this video. Just today I got stopped by some guy who wanted to show his wife that particular video.
Q: Does it bother you when you get stopped?
A: No way, not at all. If I don’t get stopped then I’m like ok i’ve got to put stuff out there and I’m not going viral enough. (laughs)
Q: Have you had someone you’ve enjoyed performing a skit with the most?
A: I love working with Leli (@lelihernandez), my cousin. I don’t know if it’s the most because different people bring things to the table. I just like working with most people.
Q: Do you have any comedy idols?
A: Absolutely! Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real). I’ve worked with Kevin Hart and I was on the same with him.
Q: How did life change for you after you suffered from the accident that put you in a coma and nearly paralyzed your spinal cord?
A: Perception. After that happened, my perception didn’t change immediately. It wasn’t until I looked back that I realized that, wow I changed. I looked at life differently. I took whatever opportunity came my way. I became closer with my family and it gave me a different look on petty stuff. I am slower to anger. I don’t find the negativity in stupid little things. I witnessed how precise and short life is.
Q: Do you have any projects in the works?
A: Actually yeah. I wrote two movies. One is called, “Mr. Social.” I wrote a tv series that’s called, “The Novelas.” It’s basically about a drug kingpin family whose last name is Novelas and they are really dramatic like novelas (laughs).
Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
A: You know, people think I am this big party guy, but I'm not. I don’t go to strip clubs. I don’t really go to parties unless it’s to do some kind of hosting or something. I like to stay home. Creatively it’s good for me.
Q: What’s a quote you live by?
A: There is one and I think I posted it on Facebook like ten years ago. It went something like, “appreciate what you have now because there is someone in the hospital praying to have the life that you have right now.” That was so important to me because it’s true. I remember being in the hospital praying and wishing I had an opportunity to do what I am doing now. People take for granted the things that they do have no idea how there is somebody in the hospital at this very moment wishing to be in your position