WJBF – Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard has been deemed a summer time hit especially after most recently being renewed for a second season on Bravo.
WJBF Digital sits down with one of the breakout stars of the reality series, Amir Lancaster, as he discusses his time on the show and actually his life outside of reality television.
Amir, thank you for taking the time out to join us here today on WJBF Digital. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Texas native, born and raised originally from Arlington, Texas, a little small town, but I migrated over to Austin when I went to Texas State University. After I graduated, I kind of jumped around a little bit. I lived in Houston, Chicago, and some different areas just to try to find my fit in the world. And then, I ultimately ended up coming back to Austin and pursuing sales and then eventually real estate.
So, you just mentioned that you are in real estate now. What attracted you to real estate? What made that something that you wanted to focus on?
It was the opportunity to make an impact in my community. I worked with corporate sales for three years, like I mentioned, and there wasn’t too much fulfillment that I felt when closing a deal or making these business connections. I wanted something where what I did made a difference, not only in their business lives, but also personal lives. So, real estate is one of those careers where you can help people, whether it’s building generational wealth and investments in it or their personal lives and just giving them something that’s theirs. So, that’s kind of what drew me to real estate was making the connection in my community.
Now, we have to get into the show, of course, Martha’s Vineyard. Now, did you ever want to be on reality television? Was that something that you were searching to do?
You know, I’ve been approached with opportunities to be on reality TV, but none of them were really on brand with myself. I wasn’t ever wanting to be painted as a lover boy or dating. I wanted something where people got the opportunity to know me. So up until Martha’s Vineyard, it was a hard no. And then when they approached me with Martha’s Vineyard and told me basically it’s just a group of friends getting together and exploring an amazing place that’s rich in African-American history and culture. I was like, “Yes, sign me up.”
On Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard, you got to stay in the house for 15 days as a group of friends staying together. Now, how was that experience?
Yeah, it’s tough. It’s obviously not for the faint of heart I will admit. There’s a bit of an adjustment period. I think the first couple of days of all of us being in the house, you know, you want to get to know each other in the most authentic way, but you also aren’t too sure what’s going to get captured or what’s going to eventually make the cut.And so, you’re kind of guarded, but I think as we all started to get a sense of who we genuinely are, everyone started to let those guards down and was like, okay, this is a safe space. I know that who I am is going to come across on the other side of that television.
So, you came in as one of Nick’s friends. That’s how you were introduced on the show. Who else in the house did you feel like you bonded with the most?
I would say Preston is someone who I really like. That’s my best friend; he is one of my boys. He is someone who I really, really bonded with. He’s someone who I still talk to this day, whether I’m having a tough week and I just need someone to tell me it’s going to be all right or process logically. And then there is Alex. All the guys and I became really, really close. Alex is someone who I really admire just because of his ability to be centered and grounded and just kind of eliminate toxic people just like that.
So, with reality television, a lot of people sometimes talk about how they don’t like the way that they’re edited or portrayed. Do you feel like you were edited correctly, or did you like the way that you were portrayed on the television as you watched the series?
Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely tough. I feel like there were some elements of me that were missed that you can only capture so much in a 40-minute episode. All in all, I would say I loved the way I was portrayed. I think I was someone who showed a good balance of wholesomeness while also being vulnerable enough to for people to relate to. And then, you know, being someone who also wasn’t going to take any BS from anyone else.
You did talk about how you are half-Black and half-Lebanese, and you talk about how you were raised by Lebanese family. Tell us about how coming onto Martha’s Vineyard, because Martha’s Vineyard is so rich African-American culture and African-American history, and how that impacted your life as far as learning all that culture.
What was really great is before coming in the house, I wasn’t too sure of my identity. I would say l had a semi-identity crisis just because I was raised by my Lebanese family, and the only relationship that I had to my Black side was through sports and the few friends that I have that I’ve made over the years. So, you kind of question whether you are Black enough or a good representation of what it means to be Black or mixed or whatever it is. So, coming into the house, I was really nervous. I was really nervous that all of these people who are proud of Black people or full Black or whatever might have a different take on me. But throughout the filming and being in the house, I realized that Black excellence – I know Preston hates that term – but it comes in very many shades and expressions of it. And I’m just one of those many that’s deep.
Thank you for saying that. Now, you are definitely one of the fan favorites of the show. I definitely will say that people loved you on the show. How has your life changed since the show aired?
Honestly, it hasn’t changed too much. I would say a little bit more recognition on the streets and not so much here in Austin just because, you know, it’s not based in Austin and not really a lot of people care about it. But I’m trying to change that by just being someone who is in reality TV, doing news press, and that stuff. But honestly, I’m still me. I’m still working my tail off trying to make a name for myself and, you know, be a figure here in Austin that can just kind of do it all: reality TV, rugby, and real estate.
Now, it was just announced by Bravo that Summer’s House: Martha’s Vineyard has been renewed for season two. So, congratulations on that for sure. I know you guys are still waiting to hear back on who will officially be coming back, but if you do get the opportunity, would you be open to doing another season of the show?
Absolutely. Being in the house with my friends is something that I look forward to. I’ve had the chance to connect with a couple of them every time I go to New York, whether it be for work or the show. So, I think getting back in the house would be a dream come true just to kind of reconnect with everyone.
If people want to follow your journey, how can they do so?
Instagram and TikTok are going to be the best two. I’m pretty active on both of those platforms, and it’s going to be @_ Amir Lancaster_.