Ty’Rae Carter is proving to his city, once again, that he has the kicks, the flips, and the experience with the release of his new movie, THE.PLOT. Following his previous DIY film, Gem, this new project is a culmination of Carter’s travels, relationships, and most of all, his home.
As a Black, Houston-raised skater, Carter has dedicated his youth to the skate parks he was raised on. At the age of 22, he is not only a pro on the board, but also co-founder of the DTP Foundation, a nonprofit organization educating at-risk youth in the Houston community. One thing is certain, the debut of this nation-spanning film this weekend demonstrates how Carter is carving out a unique space for himself, taking Houston with him wherever he goes.
"No matter where I went, whether I was in Chicago, Seattle, or Kansas City, Midwest, whatever, people always knew, ‘Oh, that guy's in Houston,’ he tells Houstonia. I grew up at the downtown skate park, basically what used to be Fourth Ward, and I had to make sure I got a clip at my home park in the video. It was probably one of the last clips I got. And yeah, that one clip is kind of special to me, because everybody in Houston knows that park. They know I grew up there.”
We spoke more with Carter about his passions, his movie THE.PLOT (which debuts at a new space in Third Ward), the DTP Foundation, and his life as a Houston skater:
Your movie is dropping Saturday at Theory Studios on Emancipation Avenue. You’ve released other videos like the Gem. What would you say is different about this one as opposed to Gem?
I've been conceptually thinking about it for the past two years. Gem was a strictly Kansas City kind of thing. I was there for the summer, but THE.PLOT, I've been to like 20 different cities working on this, like 10 different states.
I really took my time on it. There have been 10 different filmers that have touched this part, like people from the skate industry, just regular homies that skate, some who don’t skate. I really took my time on this one, whereas Gem was, like, more spontaneous. This one's very, very thorough.
What was the process of creating this like?
Initially, it's all in your head, it's just an idea. From there, you have to have people around you that really look out for your best interest and have got love for you. So, people like my homies, they really looked out for me throughout this whole process. We're always skating anyway. So, it just kind of organically happened. I was fortunate. When people respected my idea, they took it seriously. They were like, “Okay, what's your time?” “When do you need this by?” “What's your timeline on that?” “Where do you want to go?”
Like, I booked tickets not knowing if I would have a filmer or not, and then one of them would be like, “Oh, at least let me connect you with another filmer in Seattle or somewhere else.” It all just happens organically.
Just having that you're a co-founder and Co-VP of an entire foundation on your resume alone turns heads. How did you get into that? How did it start?
It was an idea between me and my sister. We grew up just doing certain things, like homeless drives, food drives, voluntary stuff. My sister came up with the idea of doing a homeless drive while we were actually thinking about starting a nonprofit. I had the free time. It was right when COVID happened and classes were starting to go virtual. And we did this homeless drive called Riding & Provide, where we got 75 people, skateboarders, skaters, bikers, and we all just went into downtown Houston and fed the homeless.
I mean, we had around 200 meals, essential products, care packages, prayed over people, stuff like that. And then, once my other friends found out about it, they were like, “Oh, we have the same idea of starting nonprofits.” So, then we collaborated, and we put our ideas together. And all of 2020 every Wednesday, at like 6pm, we created our board, did research, and wrote our bylaws. Now we’re in the process of getting our 501C3 status.
What DTP Foundation stands for is Developing Today's Potential Foundation. The name comes from the skatepark that we grew up at. So we grew up at the downtown park, which was called DTP. The mission is to empower at-risk communities through educational mentorship and career opportunities. Specifically with a focus on at-risk youth.
Do you have a specific skate style?
I skate a lot of ramps and transitions, probably what you're used to seeing Tony Hawk skate. Those big half pipes and ramps are kind of the things that you see. Or, natural transitions like a little bank quarter or bank quarter pipes on the streets. It's a mix between street and transition. That is all encompassed in the video, which I think is beautiful because within the skate video, you don't want all to just be straight skatepark footage.
And it's all so subjective, it's hard to judge.
It's kind of like dance or art. We can't judge it. Someone may be in love with my style, but then the next man may be disgusted with the way I skate.
What are some, you know, dreams, some goals that you have for the future?
I want to go work as an engineer. I want to try to gain as much knowledge as possible. And my next thing would be having my own for-profit. I want to start my own for-profit business. I don't plan on being an engineer forever, you know? I plan on maybe moving into the engineering business. The next mindset that I’ll gear into after I graduate will be: “Where can I fit within the industry to grow my myself as an entrepreneur within the engineering world?”
THE.PLOT will premiere at Theory Studios, located at 4212 Emancipation Ave., on November 20. Show begins at 7pm. Visit the website for more information.