Brionne Davis on How To Become An Actor: It’s Time To Tell YOUR Story
The Importance of Finding Purpose & Giving Back
Embrace of the Serpent has garnered over twenty awards since the film’s release in 2015, including a 2016 Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.
The Columbian adventure drama has rocketed to the top of both critics and audiences “must see” lists with its mind-bending visuals and life-altering portrayal of the Amazon jungle, casting a much needed light on the ravages of colonialism and mankind’s modern efforts to destroy the planet.
In MME’s exclusive third interview with the film’s star Brionne Davis, the actor reveals how his cinematic journey into the jungle was borne from his own real-life experiences; and how intuition and instinct shaped his life’s purpose.
After chronicling his early career triumphs and personal setbacks, and taking viewers along his “hero’s journey” of the film’s production, Brionne gives one of his most riveting and powerful interviews, giving practical, insightful and thought-provoking advice on how to become an actor.
Brionne’s passion for acting embodies the spirit of the very film he stars in, calling for the bettering humanity by finding purpose and giving back.
Brionne Davis is just getting started as he pays it forward at Jodie Panek’s Acting UP Network located in Burbank, California. If you’re seeking out how to become an actor in Hollywood, this is the community to learn, network and become inspired.
Brionne’s signature method of interweaving the exploration of the heart, mind and soul, has led to many aspiring actors embracing their own artistic paths.
To watch Brionne in action, pick up your copy of Embrace of the Serpent by clicking here.
Click here for more information on Brionne Davis’ current classes at Acting UP Network in Burbank, California, which include:
- Ongoing scene study and character development Monday & Wednesday nights beginning May 4th 2016
- Private couching & career counseling (available at discount rates for Acting UP members)
FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW (Brionne Davis):
How can you possibly seek out a career that you’re empassioned by and be challenged and doubt…you have doubt…what, what am I doing? And then you’re in the middle of The Amazon jungle. The magic that happened to make that happen.
On-screen graphic: BRIONNE’S CINEMATIC JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE AMAZON CONNECTED WITH HIS OWN…THE FILM SHOWED THE ACTOR HOW EVERY LIFE EXPERIENCE HAD LED HIM TO DISCOVERING HIS PURPOSE.
The message of the film is everything I believe in.
Embrace of the Serpent Clip – The world is like this, huge. But you choose to see just this. Hear the song of your ancestors. This is the way you’re looking for.
All my hard work, everything that I was, everything was justified. I studied dance, vocal performance, acting, theater, film, improv…
On-screen graphic: GROWING UP, BRIONNE LEARNED CANOEING, CAMPING, CULTURE, MARTIAL ARTS, SURVIVAL SKILLS, WHITE WATER RAFTING…
So it really allowed me to merge my intuition, my instincts into having a greater understanding of who I was, not only in the world of entertainment, but in the world period. All of those things led me to The Colombian Amazon, which I thought was gonna be an incredible experience in it of itself and it was…but then it led to Cannes and then it led to all these awards internationally…
On-screen graphic: EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT HAS WON OVER 20 AWARDS.
And then it came to the states (laughs) and then it was nominated for an Oscar. But it’s because of all of those things: being on time, committing to people, building relationships, which I think is the biggest tool you have as an actor and doing your job. Showing up with options. Being flexible, being uh–maleable to the director’s vision.
Coming out to LA, don’t worry about getting in front of casting directors. Don’t worry about getting in front of managers and agents until you know who you are. Because either New York or LA will kick your butt if you don’t have a strong foundation in who you are.
I mean, it’s very difficult. One second you’re in the limelight, all of the attention is on you, people are asking you questions, and then you walk away and nobody knows who the hell you are. My high school theater teacher had said, “Never take things personally.” Every single day of my life her voice is whispered in my ear, because I start getting insecure, or I didn’t book the role and I was ‘perfect for it’. If you hold onto a singular attachment to — about your looks, about who you are… if you don’t develop multiple connects to those fascinating layers in yourself, then um, you’re gonna hold onto something that holds no value.
How did I go about making connections? I had a director; I did a play when I first moved to LA and she said, “It’s gonna take you 5 years to develop friendships and relationships that you can count on that are going to be people you can trust. But at some point — those people that are inside the industry — are gonna start writing roles for you.” And uh, sure enough, 5 years came and roles were being written for me.
On-screen graphic: BRIONNE IS NOW HELPING OTHER ACTORS FIND THEIR WAY.
Acting UP Network — I teach here…I have an incredible group of students. It’s really my way of giving back. What really birthed my desire to do it was seeing these actors who would come out here to LA and, and not know who Sam Shepard is, Gibson is, Tennessee Williams is, Stephen Adly Guirgis, you know, all these incredible writers. They have no idea how to develop a character. They don’t know what the craft is. It takes an incredible amount of work to walk up to your mark and say a line. Incredible amount of time. And to do it truthfully and honestly.
Jodie Panek runs the Acting UP Network here in Burbank, California. She’s in this for the actor. She’s got one of the biggest hearts of anybody I’ve ever met. She provides that safety net for people that are coming out to LA, who don’t know what to do. My class in particular provides a safety environment for people to take risks, to fail, and to um–be in a safe place surrounded by other people who are going through the same thing.
Every single person that’s an artist has a story, and it is up to you to create that story. Stop waiting for people to tell you that it’s okay or give you permission. I give you permission right now… tell your story! There are challenges, you know, there are — people wanna put you in a box. Many people tried to stop me, many people told me I couldn’t do it. Many people didn’t wanna give me an opportunity. I just kept doing it. If your story is based in humanity, then no matter what walk of life, you’re gonna be able to relate to it. But if you’re doing it for the money, if you’re doing it for fame, get the fuck out. Because it’s not going to make you happy and you’re just in the way. And I think that that’s my mission… I think that’s all of our mission to be of service.
This film and those experiences that I’ve had, I have an obligation to it, because the universe has shown me that this is what I’m supposed to do. We wanna hold onto, “I gotta book that audition, I gotta — I gotta book that show.” It’s about building relationships, it’s about the journey, it’s about the experience. Because you never know where the world is going to take you…