Allyson Lee Brown
Interviewed by: Alyssa Weisberg, CSA
1) Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
Oh, of course! You come across so many casting directors who see something in you and believe in your talent, but there are few who will really see beyond that. They see the anointing and the passion that you possess to bring that talent forward. Alyssa Weisberg is that Casting Director in my life. I remember being in my callback for Guilty Party and just feeling the electric energy flow in that Zoom room. Alyssa made me feel welcomed and we all just had FUN. I felt so much ease. And it wasn’t because I was so convinced that I had booked the role, it was because of the space that was created for me to thrive and I knew that Alyssa and the EPs were rooting for me—and that makes all the difference.
2) What work are you most proud of?
Besides my work in Guilty Party, I am most proud of my one woman show, SBW 365: The Myth and the Mule. It is a reflection on the “Strong Black Woman” stereotype and what it truly means to be a Black woman in this world. I wrote and performed the first version of the piece during my second year of grad school at the University of Washington. Over the course of the quarantine, I had this feeling that it was time to start writing again. Trust me, I tried to avoid that voice in my head, but God wouldn’t let me miss the chance to write what was on my heart. After seeing so many of my Black and Brown sisters and brothers being slaughtered, forgotten and used as hashtags without justice, I went back home to New Orleans, sat in my Mommy’s room and over the course of three days, I birthed one of my most cherished pieces. It was performed at Sound Theatre Company’s Making Waves Fall Festival in November 2021!
3) What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
Honestly, I know that this is my life’s purpose—to minister to people through my art. Growing up, I didn’t see girls who looked like me on tv. Sounds cliché right? But as a chubby, chocolate girl from New Orleans, it was true. When I finally did see people like Natalie Desselle, Queen Latifah, Countess Vaughn and Raven-Symone, I said, “that’s it! That’s what I want to do!” I want to be a mirror for someone so that they know it’s possible for them. I come from a very supportive and artistic family, but it’s really my Mommy who nurtured my little talkative spirit. Headshots, auditions, putting me through school, being my occasional reader, flying any and everywhere to see my shows, listening to every draft of my solo show, praying with me, crying with me and still encouraging me to press towards the mark when I face moments of rejection or doubt—she has been my constant.
4) What was your first IMDBPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
My first IMDbPro credit was Guilty Party on Paramount+. Yo!! I was soooo hype when I got that credit because I knew the journey to get there. I was, and still am rooted in gratitude. I said to myself, “this is the first of many.” I truly believe that. You never forget your first one. It’s such a good feeling to know that I can log on to Paramount+ and watch work that I’m so proud of. I was also reminded of how amazing the experience was working on that project. Shout out to my Guilty Party fam!
5) How has IMDBPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
IMDbPro gives you the scoop, honey! I love that it’s a one-stop shop for casting directors and filmmakers alike to check out my production photos, my amazing reel that was done by my friends over at Breakthrough Reels and check out other great things I’ve been up to!
6) Any funny casting room stories?
Okay, so boom! I was so excited when I found out that the Director of my Guilty Party episode was Stacey Muhammad, who is also a Black woman from New Orleans! Like, wow! That was so divine to me. So, I get into the Zoom callback room and do my scenes and we chit chat a little after. I tell Stacey that I’m also from New Orleans and within seconds, we dropped into our own New Orleans lingo. Everyone in their Zoom boxes looked both confused and excited lol. She just felt like home. We all had to laugh because it happened so quickly. And as stated before, the ease and warmth that was present in the Zoom room made the connection palpable.
7) Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting:
Hmm. I love working with the youth. That’s another one of my passions. It’s my goal to always provide the youth with access to the arts. So many kids and teens are searching for outlets to express themselves and they have so much to say and give. I want to give them the resources, the artists and the creative space to do that freely. I’ve got some projects in the works to be able to continue to make art accessible to those who are often left in the margins and to bring those voices to the forefront.
View on IMDbPro
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