Here are a few recent clips from projects over the past year. I am ever grateful to God for open doors and opportunities to work with some of the best in the biz.
It was a distinct privilege to work with Crazy Legs Productions, once again, in another Discovery ID show. August 30 is set to air the episode of “Swamp Murders” featuring some of the industry’s finest on set, as we depict the true story of Mary Stetson. May her memory be honored. Our hearts direct thoughts and prayers for comfort and healing for her family and loved ones.
One technique I have used throughout the years on stage or screen has been the “inner monologue.” In the development of characters, I find that this is such a vital component to the process. I think all actors use this to a degree but may call it different names, depending upon how it was taught or learned. For me, my acting maestro Sandra Ellenburg-Dorsey taught from a foundation that “it’s about life, not lines” and instructs students to approach the craft from this point.
This is where the inner monologue has great power in shaping the actor’s choices in the moment. I find that it must be a laser focused stream of thought that invokes the needs of the character or some parallel emotional stimuli; so much so that the inner monologue will sometimes bleed into the dialogue of the script. In fact, it should be on the very tip of your tongue. This brings the actor into the moment of the scene and breathes life into the urgency of the character’s needs. I would invite you to try verbalizing this in between takes or during rehearsal. After all, it really is the basis of improvisation in character. Give it a shot and get ready to shoot your best take yet.
I find that it must be a laser focused stream of thought that invokes the needs of the character or some parallel emotional stimuli, so much so that the inner monologue will sometimes bleed into the dialogue of the script. In fact, it should be on the very tip of your tongue.
I have had instances where I was preparing for a role and developing my inner monologue only to discover “life-beats” and emotional catalysts that I asked the director if I could try out as we shot. In some cases, the add from my IM was a welcomed part of the on-screen creation, while in other instances it was appreciated but not implemented. None-the-less, it was still something I could use in my character development and internalizing of the character’s depth.
That’s just scratching the surface. Like I’ve said before, “There’s so much more to it,” but that’s a good thought to leave with you that are looking for help in building a foundation for a character. Thanks for checking in! Blessings!
Those three words are used to close out a film/TV project and officially call it finished. Our last scenes for “Mission Improbable” were filmed yesterday and it was a joy to sleep in my own bed after rolling back into Atlanta. I awoke from a coma-like sleep, this morning, feeling refreshed and grateful to be back with my family.
The past ten days have been a whirlwind of emotion, setup, breakdown, artistic prepping, multitasking and more. The results have been more than rewarding and I think we have something “in the can” (a term referring to days gone by, where film canisters were used to store footage) that is going to make an impact on some level. I am so grateful for the camaraderie and spirit of each of my teammates on the cast and crew. Everyone was committed to “bringing it” every day.
The close of a project is always a bittersweet experience. I liken it to the feeling of when one finishes a really good book. There’s always that desire to have one more page to turn and linger a bit longer….
The close of a project is always a bittersweet experience. I liken it to the feeling of when one finishes a really good book. There’s always that desire to have one more page to turn and linger a bit longer to be a part of the energy and excitement that happens on set. It is truly a magical experience and the relationships that have been made are the ultimate payoff. This is one of the most rewarding experiences of bringing together like minded people. It’s like a mini creative convention focused on doing something that has never been done before. It’s like a community painting where everyone has their own paintbrush and colors to add to the canvas collectively.
Now we move on to the editing process. This is just as important – perhaps even more so – as the filming itself. Marrying all the scenes in a cohesive fashion is an art that is crucial to telling the story. Pray for this process. It is no easy task.
I truly believe that there is a creative surge committed to bringing more “family friendly” productions to the screen.
In closing, I share this thought that is burning in my heart: I truly believe that there is a creative surge committed to bringing more “family friendly” productions to the screen. I’m not saying they’re all going to be “The Andy Griffith Show,” but I think the creative community is going to have to rethink the way things are scripted to a degree. More on that later…
Now, to make my lovely daughter breakfast.
Thanks for checking in! Blessings!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with Donald James Parker’s movie, “Mission Improbable.” This marks my second project with this fine fellow, in this journey back into the biz. To say that I am thrilled to be in the mix is an understatement.
Along for the ride are several talented people that are directed by Matthew Perdie, Darren Dixon and Jessica Levai, respectively. These three with the amazing help of Melissa Pinkston and Adra Vashti Cooper, are steering the ship with all hands on deck. It is a breakneck pace at which we are filming. Even though the set is rippling with exitement, exhaustion is an undertone to everyone that have been for a couple of days. Very emotionally challenging work has been the norm for the past few days, as we shot some major scenes for the film.
The need to flex the acting muscles were in demand and the training I received at Dorsey Studios for the Performing Arts still works. I hope to share this with students and pass along the knowledge of creating character choices. Very intentional tasks create specific choices and this keeps each take fresh. There’s more to it than that, but the task is the backbone of the emotional foundation; the drive and intent of that moment on stage or screen.
The work of the actor is to “bring it” and make every take real; to find the moments that are happening in that character’s life and synch them with your own heartbeat. This can be learned. This can be taught.
“Bring it Every Take and people will take notice.”
Collin Alexander Brown
I reflect upon the opportunities that have come along and I am grateful to God for the open doors. While I was moving through the details in my mind, I jotted down a thought:
“Know your passion, keep your focus, have a solid perspective, do not compromise your boundaries, pray for wisdom and work hard. This will lead to the right doors and give you courage to close or walk past the wrong ones.”
The journey through this “re-entry” into the entertainment business has been one of learning, discipline, relearning – repeat. Things I have learned along the way have been invaluable in so many ways. The first thought… or “misthought” was, “Wow! The industry is going to be SOOOOOO GLAD I have returned to the screen.” Vain, I know, but sadly true. It could not have been any more opposite that was the case.
The last two years have been an exploration in networking, studying, volunteering, praying and busting my rump to find the right doors to knock upon. I hope to expound on that at a later opportunity.
There are a handful of projects that I am very honored to be a part. The first of which is a period piece, by Bed Head Media, where I play a plantation owner. The depth of brutality and the atrocities we have committed in history confound my understanding. This role was a painful and dark place to go. I cry when I see playback of this scene, which sets up a prestory to a deeper storyline. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with this group and look forward to sharing more in the near future.
Additionally, I am thrilled to be a part of friend, Donald James Parker’s project, “Mission Improbable.” Another tortured character trying to find freedom in all the wrong places. We are currently shooting scenes in Tennessee and I hope to wrap this project by the end of the week. I am excited to see the end results of Director Matthew Perdie and Darren Dixon.
Some amazing moments being captured. Follow the hashtag #MissionImprobable to connect with more info behind the scenes and stay up to date with progress. I leave you with some images from the project and look forward to checking in soon.
I thank God for the opportunities presented to me over the last year. Here is a compilation of some of the projects I was privileged to be involved. Thank you for watching!