By Shania Wilson, Features Writer
Mr. J.B. Brown, drama teacher, agreed to meet up to be the central focus of a ten-minute interview which turned into a 25-minute interview engaging in his directing and acting career. He sat and reflected on his past drama productions, while contemplating the “good ole days.”
Brown first started pondering upon when he first recognized his appreciation of drama. When he was young he realized he found himself fascinated with the production of not only dramas but all things that had to do with drama.
“I felt that I could do what the people on TV was doing,” Brown said. “I felt I was capable.”
He went on to say after his high school experiences in dramas and plays, he realized that was his calling.
Brown said he had many struggles trying to get where he is today and to become successful. That inspired him to take what he knows in the art of acting and become a drama teacher to teach young children with dreams he had as a teenager, teaching them the foundational steps of becoming successful.
“I really do miss the good ole days when I first started,” Brown said. “I felt like a superstar in front of all those lights.”
While he is trying to contact his close friend Ms. Elizabeth Bryant, one of his acting partners, I asked him “What happens if someone forgets their lines?”
“Well, on the stage there are hidden scripts that are convenient for each character to use,” Brown said.
He also said sometimes he tells his students to improvise, which is to think of what you were meant to say but say it in a way that is similar, so it does not throw anyone off of their game.
Bryant joined us over the phone. She told us she had been acting for more than ten years. Bryant told us her experiences in the drama field, admitting to us her trial and error.
“In my opinion the drama field is the most hateful field to be in,” Bryant said.
She went on to explain being an actor is nothing but criticized after being pushed to your highest factor then broken down when seeing a review.
“It’s hard to stand and perform in front of a crowd to know that two out of ten people don’t like what might have been the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished in your life,” Bryant said.
My last question to Brown was, “What are some difficulties or frustrations that you have to face?”
“Well, one main difficulty or frustration that I have to deal with is the people who are in my classes that don’t want to be because then they end up just fooling around disturbing the rest that really do want to pursue a drama career,” Brown said. “Then there are students that want to be in my class that can’t because there is no room because my class is occupied by the student who don’t want to be in my class which is unfortunate.”
Senior Kenyan Williams, one of Brown’s students, commented in agreement.
“One main difficulty is all the distractions from others around me who do not want to participate or who clearly just does not want to be there,” he said.
You can see Mr. J. B. Brown in many different places such as a plays, off-stage, backstage, directing, or even producing a plays here at Keenan. Don’t forget if you do hear about him directing a play at Keenan to attend. Be ready to sit back and relax and observe while the very talented students do what they came to do.