I have just spent the last 2 months of my life in Syracuse, NY work-shopping and performing the world premier of Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II. The best way to describe my experience is; I LOVE MY JOB!!!
Everything happens for a reason and I mean EVERYTHING. I booked the show just in time to get out of my apartment and immediately began saving $2,000 a month. I stayed in a hotel with my dog in a small town and away from the hustle and bustle of NYC(closer to my Stone Mountain roots). I got quality and quiet me time. I was surrounded by brilliant artists and can say I spent my time in Upstate learning from monsters in the game. Learning about professionalism, acting by example and by conversation, the show side, the business side and most importantly, the Brandon Way.
My audition for this project was the first time in my life that I felt I finally shared who I was in the room. And my joy, passion and uniqueness was seen by Broadway producers, an amazing director, a bold playwright and poet, and 2 powerful and daring theater stages and artistic directors. Isn’t it nice when the way you feel on the inside, is how people see you and show that same love back to you? And I got to share who I am as a craftsman and human in the rehearsal process.
As I learned from others, I also learned that they were learning from me. I learned that I am an expert in ME. That’s who they hired and that’s what they want. So I was completely empowered to bring my full authentic self to the role and I must say it is paying off.
I feel like we left our imprint on Syracuse. Outside of sold out performances of audiences that looked like every kind of person, I was blessed to also fulfill my passion of connecting with people in other ways. I spoke with over 600 students during our run. From lunches with middle-schoolers to acting class with Syracuse University’s upperclassmen acting students. Connecting with the youth has always been important to me and it will continue to be as I move forward with this project and more.
NEXT STOP – Baltimore Center Stage from early October to mid November. Come see the show if you are close. The work is out here snatching hearts. Link below.
Steel sharpens steel…IF you know what you are made of.
My biggest rival came to Penn State and gave me a run for my money. At first I didn’t like it or him because I felt threatened. And after he arrived, I decided that my discontent for him would only hurt me whilst he would continue to grow and probably book more than me. And wouldn’t you know, he beat me out for every role we went up for in grad school.
I graduated, moved to New York and started auditioning like crazy. I finally began to hear my own voice when I was crafting characters and no longer wasting energy on things I couldn’t control; like my competition’s individual path and success. Recently, Eric and I were up for yet another role…but this time, in the Big Apple. We were the final two actors selected by the brilliant, Broadway writer, Dominique Morisseau and world-renowned director Steve H. Broadnax III. I felt better than I ever had. The audition was mine. I was connected to the work. I was comfortable in the room and enjoyed playing with in-the-moment direction. I could feel that this role was mine. And y’all…I have some thrilling news!!!
From today through August 4th, At People’s Light Theatre in Malvern, Pennsylvania, the World Premier of Mud Row by Tony Award Nominee, Dominique Morisseau will be showing and the role of Tyriek will be played by none other than Eric Brian Robinson Jr.
I am so proud of this man. He works so hard and loves what he does. A family and Godly man and the second best basketball player that I know. (I am first of course.)
I am also very proud of myself. I am mentally and spiritually so different from who I was when I started grad school and even from last year. I grew up believing that there is only room for one of us at the top and that thinking promotes hate for others and ultimately, self-doubt. The more work I do on my craft and the deeper I dig into me, the more room I find in the world. And that is Love. For him, for me, for you and all of us. No more hate. No more fear. Just love. One Love. And that makes the world go round. At least mine.
Congrats King Eric and thanks for continuing to sharpening me.
Here we are people. 2018 was so tremendous that we can’t imagine it getting better in 2019. But a little birdie tells me that life only goes one direction; forward. I took a month long break from NYC to spend time with my family and it filled me up to the point of being ready for this whole year. Recently, I have felt so locked into the universe and I get to witness, every day, how beautiful life is. It is so well-balanced, full and clear that I see everything that I could ever want and it is up to me to go and get it.
Today, that mentality wakes me up and gives me the drive to get the best out of every day, regardless of the outside circumstances. Everyone is trying to make it, just like me, and as I close my eyes every night, I am reminded that I ACTUALLY DID MAKE IT. And I dive asleep and prepare for the great dreams that are to come before I get to try it all again.
This is a year of independence for me and at the same time, it is a year of learning how to love people more and accept love. These lessons that I’m learning in my personal life are making me a better actor, creator and business person as well; funny how life is cyclical. I am so excited for not only this year, but this morning and every little moment that awaits me. I have found my love for life and that keeps me limitless.
Let’s see what happens next…
Welp…the holidays are upon us and regardless of what you celebrate, t’is the season to come see me in A Christmas Carol in Harlem. This is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic so that you young kids can relate. Rehearsals have begun and I am so excited to be learning from my cast and creatives. If you’re in NY for this short 14-show run, come check it out. If you are coming in from out of town, get at me so I can find you a place to stay…maybe.
Details are below.
As we change another season of this 2018 year, I thought it would be nice to look back at a big piece of the puzzle that got me to where I am right now. This was the last performance that I had with my Class of ’17 Penn State actors and a key into the New York rooms that I get to work in now. Click the link below and enjoy.
P.S. One of the scenes is from a show that I am creating as you watch it.
Brandon Gregory’s Penn State Showcase ’17
(Clears Throat) I have some news for the crew…I am no longer bi-coastal( but still bi-racial, don’t worry). I am now a full-time New Yorker. You can find me in Queens if you are ever in the city.
I have decided that the next step requires me to re-focus my energy toward a lifestyle that aids in obtaining my ultimate goals in life. Being bi-coastal puts a strain on many aspects of my life and right now I need to have all of my energy in one place. That place will be on the East coast from here on out and I am excited to see where this new lifestyle change will take me.
2018 has been a tough one but I have learned so much about myself and feel stronger than ever now. All of my relationships are developing in ways I would have never imagined and its only getting better. Lets finish out the year strong. I am sure that Master P would agree; There are No Limits.
What it do y’all? Checking in from the great city of angels. Last year ended on a high note: right in time for me to take a major break. I received my Masters degree. I showcased not only my acting but also my writing in front of New York City talent agents, managers, and casting directors. It was an out of this world experience to hear the public enjoying my thoughts and words. I met with a few of them afterwards and I enjoyed getting to know them and picking their brains.
Then I headed back to Pennsylvania as the snow began to take over the big apple. I packed up a trailer the next day (as my classmates walked across the stage) and headed down to South Carolina to spend time with my family before I drove across the country. I floated between a few different cities for a couple of weeks to see friends and when my partner, Pam, arrived on the east coast, I scooped her and we began our travels on New Years Day.
We took our time and saw some of her friends in Dallas, experienced new cultures as we stopped in both New Mexico and Arizona and googling the whole way to make sure that we understood a little bit of what the history was of each unique place that we were traveling through. 5 days later, we pulled up to our garage in California, exhausted and happy to unpack. For 22 days, I drove through 16 states and rarely slept in the same bed twice. I am grateful for being able to rest in a bed at all, but the constant change is draining.
As I spend this week building my closet and organizing my new home in Cali, I have bitter sweet feelings about next week. “Why” you ask? Because, the response was so great in NY, that I will be flying back there to explore all of my options there. This is a huge change in plans for me but I do believe this is the best move. I do not know what this means for my future but I am trying not to look too far ahead and just focus on what is happening right now. So as of now, LA is still on hold. On to the next…whatever that may be.
As I count down my final month here in State College, PA, I find myself doing nothing but preparing to be in the world again. It is very easy to be away from all your friends and family and forget how to function in the “real” world. But I look forward to the transition.
I am solidifying my own acting process so that I can start testing it in January. I just cut my locs off and took new headshots. (Pictures soon to come.)Getting the business side of my craft together to hit the ground running. I am also paying rent in 2 cities right now (not fun either) as I have already signed my new lease in the next place that I am living. (Details soon to come.) Be patient. Sheesh.
All in all. I am excited and gearing up to finish this spectacular step in my life. I have met so many people, some of which I will miss dearly and some of which I am glad to leave, but I can say that I have learned a little bit more about myself from all of them and for that, I am forever grateful.
We have our Showcase in NYC on December 11th, 2017 which will be open to the public. So if you are in town that week, take a look at our website and come check us out.
Penn State Showcase
P.S. I don’t even like baseball that much. Not really sure why I used a baseball reference in the title but it felt good in the moment.
For the past month, I have been scraping the bottoms of my pots, dresser drawers and also the inner workings of me to figure out this character of Jason that I am playing in my last show at Penn State University. 2 1/2 years ago I stumbled upon this place in hopes of learning what it means to carry a story. I have failed a lot. And in that failure that I wasn’t happy with initially, I find that it is only serving me in this show. I have finally done the work and lifted the weights required to carry a story and now, I am excited to show it to the world. or really just small ass State College. For now.
But getting to this point, I only realize that the work is never done, the weights must continue to be lifted and I now get to add more weight and switch it up by working different muscles. Come see the play that opens this Friday by clicking the link below or just stay tuned for the updates as I finish this part of my journey.
Just finished my 2nd academic year at Penn State on my journey to deeper crafting and self discovery. It’s going well but it’s ugly. And the more I discover myself, the more comfortable I am with my ugly side. The images that I used to force upon myself aren’t always true. I am not always a tall good-looking, well-put-together, athletic, honest, sincere person like I would like to be. Sometimes it gets ugly. Sometimes I’m not the best dressed, not as open and honest as I could be, I walk with my head down, I have thoughts that would never be acceptable to others. This is not wrong. It is human and I believe I have neglected that portion of my life because of my effort to be so perfect all the time. This desire to be perfect may have pushed me to incredible heights, but it also forced me to never deal with or understand the rest of me. As I have begun to dig into that side of myself, I have found more blood in my acting.
Adding the blood to the technique that I am learning, I am developing my process more and more and am very excited to get back into the game and test my skills. I am in the process of preparing myself for exit and re-entry. I am keeping where I will be moving under wraps for now just to keep the suspense high but don’t worry, I will reveal at the right time.
In less than 6 hours, I will take my second trip to Africa and my 1st to South Africa to put on a play at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The play has taken everything out of me as the process has been short and scary, but I have found my determination to understand character has driven me to explore new depths of my acting. Learning about being open and collaborating and speaking up and doing the work is only paying off in ways that don’t make sense to me all the time, but I try to take a break from the work to recognize progress for my own motivation. Taking all of that, and going to show off my craft, my truth and definitely looking to find out about a part of me that isn’t in too many of my books that I grew up reading. Updates soon…Enjoy the summer.