In a world full of instant celebrity status whether through social media, reality television, and auto tunes…..The beauty of finding a jewel that authentically sparkles in middle of everything that appears fake in this millennial generation was such a treasure.
When I first had the pleasure of meeting actress Adrianna Brown, she was where she belonged, on stage in front of an auditorium full of people. Her name at the time was not Adrianna…she transformed into the role of Sarah in the play “Ragtime.” House lights down….. Illuminating spot light….and her character Sarah shined so bright, center stage. My descriptive words can never really explain the moment when you are captivated by person in the depth of their love, talent and passion. Adrianna’s genuine sweet spirit pulled me into her character so much that I was intrigued to meet her, and introduce her to the world. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Adrianna this time last month to get into the mind, intelligence, emotions and thoughts behind this young, smart, and beautiful talented Wilmington, DE based actress who was preparing for her graduation from Mount Pleasant High school on June 6th 2015.
A conversation with local Actress Adrianna Brown
Adrianna can you share with us a little about yourself?
My name is Adrianna Brown and I am 17 years old. I was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. I grew up in the Newark and Wilmington area of Delaware. I attended school in Newark Delaware for 6 years then relocated to Wilmington for the IB program at Talley Middle School and Mt. Pleasant High School.
That’s Amazing, can you share with us what the IB program is in Delaware?
It is short for the International Baccalaureate program, it’s considered a world school. It is similar to the Advanced Placed classes, but when you are learning your education on a world level. When you take your test during your junior and senior year in high school they send them to other countries to become graded, and the students will receive feedback. It truly is a world connected program.
Were you selected for this program?
My mother and I applied for this program because we didn’t want to continue with the school district. I had to apply and go through an interview and application process.
How did you started in acting and how long have you been an actress in Wilmington, DE?
My first play, I was 8 years old and in 3rd grade. The production was called The Shoemakers and The Elves. It was a small little play that my 3rd grade class performed. I was the shoemakers’ wife in the play. I thought it was so much fun just to be on stage! After this play, I performed in musicals in middle school and in high school. I also joined the local theater groups. I have been acting for 8 years and have been a part of 8 performances.
What was your most memorable and favorite character?
My most memorable role was playing Sarah in the production Ragtime. This was my most recent and first lead acting role.
Was Sarah the most memorable character because it was your first lead role?
It was my most memorable role because I was doing something different. Most of my roles have been musicals. I’m usually a character that is happy, singing with others. Sarah on the other hand was sad, helpless, and a women that just needed a push to move forward because she did not know where she was in her life.
Do you have a Specific role you prefer over others?
Definitely musical roles. Singing, dancing and acting is more enjoyable for me. I love showing the story in a different way than what the audience is expecting.
How do you connect to the characters you have to play?
I do research. I take their characteristics and I add this knowledge to the role during the show. I also will watch videos or speak to others who had the chance to act in the same role. During the play Ragtime, I connected with Sarah by seeing her pain. Sarah was a lost mother that was very young. I reached inwardly to my own emotions of being raised without my father. Sarah was dealing the pain of not being comfortable for the future of her child. Sarah in the play was realizing she was going to be raising her African-American child without his father. Her story pulled out my emotions of my own childhood. This made me think of my aunts, and mothers who helped raise me. These women were all single parents, and I wanted to portray the pain that I witnessed. Pulling out these painful emotions to connect to Sarah was not easy for me; however I was absolutely able to connect.
Where do you go as an actress to tap into your emotions?
As actors and actresses we have a tendency to tap into place where we honestly hide our emotions. The emotions and feelings come out on stage. People may think we are just acting, but we’re not. These emotions come from a place where actors keep hidden, and don’t show. Many times those emotions only comes out on stage. Now, some actors/actresses have tricks. Honestly, a lot of actors/actresses bring emotion out from a place of pain or excitement.
Who is Adrianna Brown’s everyday role model?
I really don’t have a role model, however I do get inspired by my friends. We build each other up and praise each other on our accomplishments. I think that is really important. My friends and I are all trying to make it as local actors and actresses. So I would say my circle of supportive friends.
Do you have a favorite actress and why?
Yes, my favorite actress is Tracee Ellis Ross because she doesn’t hide who she really is when she is in her role. It feels good to see someone who looks like me and making it big as an actress.
Is there any sense of competition with your friends that are actors?
I don’t think we have any major competition yet. When we get older perhaps. Now we just support and encourage each other to go for roles outside of our comfort zone.
Do you all share the same acting coach and drama leagues in the area?
We all work with the same director at our school. Some of my friends work with outside drama leagues and some of the directors are different. It’s a big melting pot, we all have worked with each other.
Do you ever act with the Drama League in Middletown DE?
No, I am usually just with the Wilmington Drama League or the local schools.
As an actress, what would you say is your best quality?
I’m open minded. Many actors want to stay on the same role or track. They don’t want to receive help from other people to help them grow. The quality of being open minded allowed me to tap into another area in my acting life.
I’m going to attend Delaware State University in the fall. My major is going to be Elementary Education with a minor in Theater. I always had a passion for teaching children. I am going to find a way to combine both.
So tell us, what can we expect to see in the second act staring Adriana Brown?
I see myself growing and learning as an actress. I would like to be in theater for some time and accomplish one extended run in a major Broadway show. Then, I see myself later transition to a drama teacher. Eventually relocating back to Delaware to teach theater to local kids here in the community.
Miss Adriana Brown graduated June 6, 2016. Member of Tri-M Music Honor Society, She received scholarships from Delaware State University, and awards of excellence in Music.