While working in entertainment I relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career opportunity. One of the first people I met and promptly fell in love with was Ms. Yvette Nicole Brown. We bonded over boys, life, work, spirituality and of course…hair. I saw in her such drive and passion and I just knew she was destined for GREAT things. Life took me back to NYC but Yvette and I have stayed in touch over the years. I am FIERCELY proud of this sister! She is an amazing talent. And the hair…yea…omigoodness can you say #haircrushalert.
When did you 'love affair' with acting begin?
I've loved acting since I was a kid. It's ironic that commercials are where I got my on-camera start because I remember as a kid acting out EVERY commercial and singing every jingle for anyone who would listen. I also really loved sitcoms. I'm shocked daily that I get to do this for a living.
How long have you been acting?
Professionally since 2000. I started with a touring gospel play. Barring a kids' television show I did back in Ohio when I was a teenager, the play was the first time I was paid to act. I was on the road for a year. Once I returned home, I got headshots, a commercial agent and haven't looked back since. :)
Where did you study?
Aside from drama class in high school, a couple of classes tagging along with a friend when I first moved to LA & a drama ministry at my church out here in LA for a year back in the late 90's, I'm not a studied actor. I've been blessed that my natural ability...whatever that may be (lol!) and innate foolishness have been enough for whatever job I've booked so far. Once I reach the end of the ability God gave me, I will surely be sitting in somebody's class immediately! :)
What has been your career high-light to date?
Getting to meet and work with Henry Winkler, one of my childhood heroes. He is an extraordinarily kind man. One who's never met a stranger. And I've learned so much from watching him work and being able to witness first hand the decent and respectful way he walks thru life. He's one of our national treasures!
What are your goals and aspirations?
Career-wise, I'd love to create and be a part of--either as an actor or executive producer--a hit, multi-camera, network sitcom that's a throwback to shows like Golden Girls and The Cosby Show. A show that's hilarious but accessible to folks from eight to eighty. One that viewers and critics alike love! How's that for writing the vision and making it plain? Lol!
What was your 'princess' moment? A time when you just wanted to pinch yourself?
That's just about anytime I'm on a red carpet and the photographers are kind enough to actually take my picture and call me by name. That may sound like a small thing, but every actor starts out on the carpet as someone no one knows or wants to "waste" film on...and this is in the age of DIGITAL (lol!). And please know that I'm not saying any of this from a place of ego. It's not really about the picture; it's about having worked hard enough and in enough good projects that the photographer knows that taking your picture isn't a waste of his or her time. That they know they will be able to place that photo of you somewhere. That gives me that solid, princess-y moment of feeling like I have actually contributed something memorable to this industry. And as a little black girl from East Cleveland, that's miraculous! Divinely miraculous! :)
We have to ask...the hair...what is the best thing about being Naturally Curly?
That rain isn't my Kryptonite! ;) My hair is big, wild and has a mind of its own, but it's unique and pretty much indestructible. I love that!
What are three pieces of wisdom you have for anyone looking to pursue a career in acting?
I've gotta do four. Is that okay? :)
1) Make sure you count the cost...acting may seem easy and glamorous, but it's never the former and rarely the latter. I work 16 hour days, 5 days a week. I am up at 3:30am EVERY Monday and not home until 7pm that same day most weeks. It's a fun job, but it's a job. Know that going in, along with what you "lose" along with your anonymity and you're ready to give it a go! :)
2) Be professional...actors work on multi-million dollar sets, it's important to be on time, be respectful and know your craft (your lines, your mark, etc...) You don't wanna be the guy slowing down the day. Nobody likes that guy. ;)
3) Do your own research...be it finding an agent, acting class or headshots; it's YOUR job to figure it all out. Folks already in the business should only be "used" to confirm information you've found out for yourself. Barring nepotism, no one is gonna hand you a career in this industry. You have to earn it. But it's so much sweeter when you do. I promise!
4) SAVE YOUR MONEY!...There will be lean years. If you're serious about acting for the long-haul, there will be stretches when you're not working. If you want to make acting (and only acting) your career and you only want to act in projects and with people you respect, saving your money will give you those options. I am a legal secretary by trade (& I love that I have that skill!) but saving my money has allowed me to not have to do that in between acting gigs. Save, save, save!!!!
What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you began your journey? Before every audition, vet everyone you will be working with should you get the job.
What are your thoughts on being a fab curvy in Hollywood?
I love being curvy. I think it's an honor to have the body-type that most of the women in America have. And I am blessed to have been able to have this wonderful career where I have never been asked to lose a pound. Talk about miraculous! :)
What is next for Yvette Nicole Brown?
Sleep and lots of it once we finish this season of "Community"! :)
Be sure to check Yvette out on “Community” airing Thursday Evenings at 8PM EST on NBC!!!
For more information on this fab diva go to: www.yvettenicolebrown.com