Rj brown, actor, producer, And director
If you don't already know who RJ Brown is, you will now. This actor and producer is exploding on the entertainment scene with some pretty important and inspiring work that is helping change the way we tell stories. Read along to see how of Brown's latest work has not only changed him as an actor, but just as equally as a person.
RJ, you’ve been a fan of thecnnekt for a long time, but we’ve also been a major fan of yours. Can you share your journey with our community of how you got you where you are today, so they can become fans, too?
I’ll keep it brief so as not to bore too many people. Haha. I’m an actor and producer living in the greatest city in the world since 2012. I graduated from the University of Michigan for Musical theater and moved straight to New York. Since then, I’ve performed on all the major TV networks, in addition to being seen on The Carrie Diaries, 13 Reasons Why, and Girls. After years in the industry, I’ve started becoming interested in Producing and Directing and have produced a couple off-broadway shows, Press Play and The Woodsman, and have recently started a production company a couple years ago named, Floor 1 Productions.
You are an actor, producer and director. What are some of the challenges and rewards of crossing over into each of these roles?
For me, the rewards outweigh the challenges. Watching a production move from an idea to a full scale production gives me joy. Knowing that you did whatever you could do to help make this idea a reality gives me the same amount of satisfaction as performing in it.
But challenges do arise and each one unique. I recently starred in a short film I directed, and one big challenge was not being able to set my focus on one part of my craft. I had to find the balance of performing and also providing the directorial vision. Each challenge informs me on how to get to my long awaited reward.
Your hard work landed you an awesome role. What does being involved in such an emotional, controversial yet extremely important show like 13 Reasons Why mean to you? Has it changed you as both an actor and a person?
It has changed me as a person and an actor! I’ve been fortunate enough to be apart of shows that are pretty well known by the general public, but never anything like this. I’ve learned that this show’s topic affects more people than you may realize, and have learned how to talk about what to me is only a “job,” but means so much more to others.
This show reminded me why I was attracted to acting in the first place—for the greater purpose of touching others.
What about all of the backlash received from fans regarding the story line? How have you overcome this and continue to show up for the series?
My character isn’t necessarily attached to the “controversy” of the show, so I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to avoid any “backlash.” But after talking to so many other actors on the show, it’s been a masterclass on how to separate the person from the actor. As actors, we often have to forgo our own opinions for the greater good of the project and this show is a prime example.
You met some pretty rad folks in the industry who are near and dear to our hearts. Now- you’re in post production of a short together. Can you give us a little sneak peak of what’s to come from work?
Aahhh. Good ole Courtney and Mark. I know them well. They wrote and directed a sci-fi noir futuristic short that looks like a million dollars that they masterfully fit into a three day shoot and gave me the privilege to star in. Other than that, believe me, I’m waiting patiently for any updates. Haha
Lastly, what can we expect next from YOU, personally and professionally, RJ?
Personally, I just moved into a new apartment in Prospect Heights with one of thecnnekt and I’s favorite people, Ms. Renee Mittelstaedt. Right near Prospect Park, very excited for that.
Professionally, Floor 1 just finished shooting Todrick Hall’s new music video ‘Wig’, we’re editing my directorial debut ‘The Haunting’, and are in pre-production for our next short ‘Canners’. Keep a look out for that. Season 3 is now streaming and we’re filming season 4 as we speak. So besides that, not sure what else the future has for me, but I promise to keep going.
Continue to get to know RJ by following him on Instagram @rjbrownjr