Colman Domingo’s inspiring throwback photo left the internet in tears

Colman Domingo looked back at the beginning of his career and now we’re all in tears.

Domingo is officially a part of the Hollywood elite. After slaying awards season (where he was nominated for performances in Rustin and The Color Purple), serving on the red carpet, and snagging new high profile roles in Michael Jackson and Nat King Cole biopics, everything is coming up Domingo. While the Oscar nominee’s rise to superstardom feels like an overnight success, Domingo’s latest social media post proves otherwise.

Domingo took to Instagram where he posted a throwback photo of him from 1998.

“This pic is from 1998,” Domingo wrote. “Producing my own work in the basement of Theater Rhinoceros on 16th street in San Francisco.”

Many fans are familiar with Domingo’s work in television and film. He’s appeared in everything from If Beale Street Could Talk, Candyman, and Zola to Fear the Walking Dead, Big Gay Sketch Show, and Euphoria (the show that earned him an Emmy). But Domingo, got his start in theatre, performing in productions like Passing Strange, The Wiz, and his own play, 1998’s Up Jumped Springtime.

As an early creative, Domingo mentioned that his theatre dreams-turned-reality were supported by grassroots efforts, with him producing the production, his friend directing it, and paying his actors from the play’s proceeds.

“I had Duane Cramer’s photography on the walls,” Domingo wrote. “I co wrote the script and paid my two other actors Vann Duke and Brian Sharber Yates proceeds from the box office since I produced it with $500 of my own money. Had my friend Maurice Lee direct and formed Afrobluesoulpower Theater Collective.”

Of course anyone following Domingo’s career can see that he’s a long way from his theatre days in the ’90s. Now, he’s gone from funding his projects with $500 to starring in $100 billion productions.

“Kid, you did alright. This message is to tell those out there to invest in your own stories. Don’t wait. Build it the way you want to see it. Start now and don’t ask for permission.”

Clearly we all love Domingo, as fans and celebs flocked to the post sharing their support of the Tony Award-winning actor. Noah’s Arc actor Darryl Stephens recalled how he remembered young Domingo, while comedians Alok Vaid-Menon and Margaret Cho shared their love for Domingo with heart emojis. Insecure‘s Yvonne Orji shared a simple “Amen!” under Domingo’s post and Cassandro actor Raúl Castillo called the post “Beautiful!”

Domingo serves as an amazing reminder to continue pursuing your dream, which is why his posts final two words will resonate with many still traversing the tricky career journeys.

“Keep going.”

We’re not crying, you are.

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