Today we’d like to introduce you to Adwin Brown.
Adwin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m originally from Tampa, Florida and to be completely honest, I spent the majority of my childhood as a very timid kid. It wasn’t until around 4th or 5th grade when I really started to break out of my shell, and I must admit I’m not exactly sure what that catalyst was. Possibly all the television I watched? I spent a lot of my time watching TV, re-enacting my favorite scenes, and falling in love with the different characters and storylines that made me feel things. Whether they made me laugh, upset, or hopeful, I always had a deep connection with everything I watched.
I was smart enough to know what I was watching wasn’t exactly “real” but innocent enough to feel completely involved and invested in each show. So, on a whim, my parents enrolled me at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Performing Arts, and that’s where my love for acting really began. As I got older, I tried to involve myself in as many productions/projects as possible. I did school plays, church plays, acting competitions, etc… Anything that could get me in front of an audience I did.
When I was 15, I saved up enough money to get headshots done from a very popular photographer in Tampa and I started submitting myself to local agencies. Once I signed with an agent, I started booking little regional commercials and print ads for department stores, and let me tell you, I truly thought I was the Will Smith of Tampa, FL. By the time senior year of high school had approached, I had already received a theatre scholarship from the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & Art, and although I wanted to attend college in Los Angeles, my parents were very adamant about going to college in Florida (which was honestly for the best because I definitely would’ve missed a final exam to attend a callback for Hannah Montana). I ended up attending the School of Theatre at Florida State University, where I really got to hone my skills as a performer not only on the stage but also in film, thanks to the prestigious FSU Film School.
When I graduated college, I finally got to fully take charge of my career and fulfill my lifelong dream of moving to LA. I packed my bags, along with three of my friends from college, and we road tripped from Florida to Los Angeles. That was almost seven years ago! It’s been a very rocky road of ups and downs, but I’m proud to say I’m still living my dream. I’ve been able to work with so many actors I admire and have done guest spots on so many shows. “Brooklyn 99”, “The Middle,” “Will & Grace,” “Jane the Virgin,” to name a few. And this fall I’ll be recurring on the second season of Netflix’s hit show “You,” which I couldn’t be more ecstatic about!
Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not! I think the biggest struggle that any actor faces when they move to Los Angeles is that dreaded question “Where/How do you start?” You’re suddenly in this city where all the magic supposedly happens, but you have no idea how to get your foot in the door. And suddenly you’re met with all these catch 22s. “In order to book acting jobs you have to be SAG-e, but in order to be SAG-e, you have to book a certain number of acting jobs” or “in order to get an agent, you need good credits on your resume, but how can you get these good credits without an agent?” It can all seem very overwhelming and almost impossible. Not to mention, there is absolutely no blueprint on how to become a successful working actor. There’s no formulaic answer for how to get an agent, or how to be SAG, or how to pick the right acting class…it’s all up to chance.
And, on top of all this dedication to your career, you also have to do normal human things like pay rent, feed yourself, and try to be social and make new friends. It can be a lot to handle at first, but I guarantee that the first year is the hardest. Once you get the hang of it, it’s all up from there!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an actor who finds joy in telling authentic stories that can inspire, entertain, or even change one’s perspective. I love all types of projects, but I must admit I gravitate towards comedic performances the most. I think it’s possibly because of the immediate gratification. You hear a joke, you laugh. It’s instant. I think I also enjoy the community aspect of comedy, I love creating with other like-minded people and coming up with something completely from scratch. I have a background in improv and sketch, and both of those not only bring me personal joy but also really help me out when I’m in a professional setting on set.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is waking up every day, doing what you love and getting paid enough that you never have to worry about expenses. Although I can’t lie, like many actors out there, I’ve practiced my Emmy speech in the mirror multiple times but when it comes to those huge prestigious awards, there are so many factors (money, the network you’re on, popularity, etc…) that dictate who wins, it’s hard to put all your eggs in that basket. If it works out, amazing, but if not, I wouldn’t want that to affect my opinion of myself or my career. As long as people are enjoying my performances, that’s all that really matters.