Dylan Brown is an actor, writer, and producer currently based in New York City. She is a native of Atlanta, a left-handed aquarius, and has been known to dance a mean Charleston.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
I was born in Atlanta to a rock n' roll father and a ballerina mother. I grew up dancing, singing, acting, and learning every musical instrument I could get my hands on. Later on, I lived in Massachusetts and Philadelphia before finally making it to New York City to complete my BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In between shows and films, I spend a lot of time travelling for work and for pleasure. Most recently, I've accumulated several months in Vietnam and Indonesia modeling for Lululemon's Lab Collection (a job that was a happy accident). Currently, I am performing Off-Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's Now I Ask You and then will produce several films I have written. I am a conservatory trained artist and a self-taught business woman. I live in Brooklyn with my fiance, Ross.
2. What motivates you?
We are on this Earth for such a short time and anything is possible. Think about it: you can write your own narrative. You are not confined to anything. What will your story be? I'm teaching myself that it's OK to dream as big as possible. Give yourself permission. Once I did that, the sky opened up. I try and look at the world and the future with childlike wonder. The dreams you had when you were a little kid are attainable dreams. With hard work, I can and will achieve anything I set my mind to.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
My grandfather. He has achieved so much is his life from founding a successful company to being a fire chief to having a family. Always generous and friendly to everyone he meets, I always knew him to be the life of the party and the man about town. He is currently battling Parkinson's disease and is still the kindest and bravest person I know. I aspire to carry all of those qualities with me and live my best life, just as he has.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
In my notebooks I keep two lists: a "bucket list" of personal goals and a list of professional, career-based goals. I check in with my long-term goals every so often and with my shorter range goals on a more frequent basis. I'll give you one from each; In the next five years I would like to make my Broadway debut and visit every continent (I only have Asia and Antarctica left!) On a larger scale, I would like to win an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony - an achievement few have accomplished) and eventually open an international theater wing in Amsterdam or Berlin.
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Exhibit generosity of spirit. Be generous to others with your time and care. It's too easy in this day and age to be purely transactional in our interactions. I find in our country, and New York especially, we have places to go, people to see, and we want things done promptly so we can move on to the next. Live in this moment. What does this person need from me? Listen to and honor the human connection you experience. It costs nothing from you to be kind.
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
As a storyteller, I feel I have a responsibility to tell the stories that need to be told. In college, the first piece of theater I produced was Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis which deals heavily with depression. That show was so close to my heart- a "passion piece." After our performance, a girl came up to me with tears in her eyes thanking me for showcasing a topic that many avoid talking about. I received a catharsis from telling this story and others received one from listening. It was the "riskiest" content I had ever produced but it served a purpose. A lot of the pieces I have written deal with mental health, grief, women's issues, and breaking stigma surrounding them. I want my audience to know that they are not alone.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
This is the moment where I suddenly forget everything I have done in my life and wonder if I have ever done anything worthy of "cool" status... I prioritize travel and adventure (and you should too!). I've bungee jumped off a cliff in Australia, run through the hills of Montmartre at midnight, and have yet to learn how to safely cross the street in Hanoi. But I think one of the coolest things in my life is not what an outsider would think of as "cool" in a social media status light. I wrote my first play in college and a couple years later my best friend dared me to enter it into a contest. I laughed at her, entered it, and immediately put it out of my mind. Six months later, I received an email saying I won and had the opportunity to produce a full-scale production. I officially tagged "writer" onto my professional title and haven't stopped writing since. That day is one I think back to and say, "This is so cool!" in my head.