Community//

Actor Brian Drolet: Let’s start a movement to banish bad tippers, and people who use the expression “at the end of the day” too often. (Let’s also start some other important movements)

Wow. What a question. If I could start a movement it would be one that’s goal was to try to get people to come together regardless of certain differences. I personally am not a fan of labels. Politically they want to separate by Blue or Red, then with our races and colors of skin, then […]


Wow. What a question. If I could start a movement it would be one that’s goal was to try to get people to come together regardless of certain differences. I personally am not a fan of labels. Politically they want to separate by Blue or Red, then with our races and colors of skin, then with gender, religion, etc etc, country of origin, you could go on and on…but I’d love a movement that doesn’t separate and label based on any of that. It’s just all about love and all the things we have in common, it’d just be about being a human, and having love in your heart for all humans. In my movement we would admit that we don’t know the truth, but, we are all seeking it together and learning from each other, we have the utmost respect and admiration for all, and we just want this experience of life on Earth to be the best experience it could be for everybody…all we seek is peace and a way to make Earth the best it could be. Also there’d be great wifi connections everywhere. And free coffee on every street corner. My movement would also banish bad tippers, and people who use the expression “at the end of the day” too often.


I had the pleasure to interview Brian Drolet, Actor and Co-Director of Be Like Trees


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

-Thank you for having me! And absolutely… I always loved art and creativity, I was always drawing comics and cartoons…my initial dream was to be an animator for Disney and live in Disney World, seemed like a great plan at ten years old, but, I remember it was when I was about fourteen years old and the movie Ace Ventura Pet Detective came out that I realized I wanted to make funny films. The thing is…my mother was diagnosed with a disease called Scleroderma when I was about ten or eleven years old and the doctors gave her about 3 to 5 years to live once diagnosed. A total dagger into our hearts and so growing up in a house with a sick Mom, I remember how watching a funny movie that brought the entire family together making us all laugh and escape the pain was an amazing thing and what it did for us, and it made me want to use my sense of humor and creativity to make funny movies, and I clearly remember watching that movie and imitating Jim Carrey and thinking, this is what I will do with my life…make funny movies. I was also a huge fan of Adam Sandler and his movies, my whole family was…I believe laughter truly is the best medicine. I loved art and movies felt like the ultimate art project.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Most interesting? Hmmm, that’s a great question. I’m wondering myself now, what would I say is the most “interesting”…. Aside from the superficial like unexpectedly being at a party with some fill-in-the-blank-celebrity, or that time I was at a diner and in the booth to my right was Tom Hanks, I’d say something more “interesting” would be, hmmm… Okay….if we are specifically looking for the most “interesting” story I think I have one. So…when I first graduated college at around age 23, I bought a book titled “Breaking Into Acting For Dummies,” and I read it and used a lot of the information in it which I find hilarious thinking back. I even met one of my best friends and collaborators Jordan Eubanks in an audition room at MTV because he was wearing a prop and I mentioned to him in my book “Breaking Into Acting For Dummies” it says not to use props. He didn’t use the prop, and we both ended up getting cast on the show, a hidden camera prank show called Damage Control. I always joked that the book brought us together, got us our first acting job, and actually totally worked for us regarding “Breaking In…” in every way haha. So now fast forward a couple years. Jordan and myself we drove across country to Los Angeles to pursue our dreams and we both were of the mindset that we wanted to create our own movies and we started to conceive the idea on the road trip out to Hollywood for what would become the first independent film we would produce after moving to LA. It was called “2 Dudes And A Dream” and was about just that, two guys who move to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. We raised over one hundred thousands dollars amongst friends and had no clue what we were doing but were determined to live our dream and produce a movie. Well, we managed to pull the whole thing off, we were producing, acting, it was my first script that I had ever wrote, it even was distributed digitally by Warner Brothers after we finished it, and had actors like Simon Rex, Andy Milonakis and Jay Mewes in it, it was all surreal and a dream come true….but here’s the “interesting” part….one day on set, which that day happened to be in the house I was living in, the head of the make-up department noticed on the floor in my room the book “Breaking Into Acting For Dummies,” she said “is that yours?” I said “yes.” She told me her father was the author of that book. The girl we hired to do makeup on our dream project was the daughter of the man who wrote the very book we felt got the whole magical journey going. Coincidence? Maybe. But I will say this. Never underestimate the power of a good book, you just might learn something rather….interesting.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

-When I first started pursuing an acting career I made a tape (on VHS to date myself) of me doing different characters and impersonations, it was totally amateurish and I just walked around Manhattan to different agencies saying I was an actor and could I show them my tape because I was seeking representation. Most people looked at me funny since I was just showing up, and I was at Abrahams Artists and one agent there actually agreed to meet with me. Well, I was all excited and thought my pro-activeness was being rewarded. In actuality the guy just wanted to tell me how unprofessional my tape was and he told me that not only was it bad that he could see the “play” symbol and “date” graphic from my video camera, but he could also see my dirty laundry in the background. Abrahams Artists did not represent me, and that guy felt like the principal in high school reprimanding me. Looking back I guess it’s pretty funny I had dirty laundry in my “professional acting resume” but the lesson I learned was two fold…one is, if you are shooting anything, be aware of your surroundings and make it professional looking, and two, the thing is, yes, my tape wasn’t perfect, but, since I got things going and was being pro-active, it turns out I got a call from a receptionist at a different talent agency I had dropped a tape off at. She told me she watched it and thought I was hilarious. She sent the tape to her friend over at MTV casting and boom…that’s how I got and booked my first audition ever, same audition mentioned in my answer above actually. So I also learned don’t beat yourself up too much if you think you’ve made a big “mistake”…

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m most excited about a film I just finished making called Be Like Trees. We shot the entire movie using just an iPhone. No crew, no lighting, no make-up, etc. The whole thing was a creative challenge to see what we could pull off with simply the phone, and using ourselves and our friends as the characters in the story and the world as our set. The thinking, was that, with just an iPhone no one would know we were filming a feature film out in public. We had the actors wear wireless mics and no one really notices or cares about someone filming anything with their phone. So it was really exciting to me to see what we could accomplish with this approach and I’m happy to say I’m overjoyed by the outcome. This was also my first time with a directing role on a movie. In the past I have written the scripts and produced as well as acted but directing is something I’ve been wanting to do and so Chris Livingston and I co-directed and I feel both of our sensibilities really combined well to tell this story. I also love editing and feel it is so important especially with comedy, the comedic timing of an edit is essential and I had a blast editing the movie as well…they say the edit is the final re-write and the writer in me loved getting that opportunity haha. I’m also so excited about this project because it is so personal and pays tribute to my late mother Diane Drolet. Also, getting to work with friends like Chris and Jordan Eubanks, it is extra special when you get to work with friends and create something you are all passionate about.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

-I stood next to Jon Favreau, my favorite filmmaker, at a food truck once, and I was totally star struck and said nothing. I was completely silent. But in my mind I had an entire conversation with him, we even quoted “Swingers” and talked about how it’s one of the best movies of all time, and then he also told me he is really excited to see my film Be Like Trees, he telepathically told me all of that. But as for people I’ve actually interacted with, I’ve been lucky to have worked with some real legends. On one film alone, Dumbbells, I worked with Carl Reiner, Jay Mohr, Tom Arnold, Jaleel White, and Fabio. Car Reiner is comedy royalty I was completely intimidated, he was awesome, his improv had me dying…Jay Mohr, what I loved about that experience was my father was on the set that day, a rare thing since he lives in Florida, and I remember him and Jay Mohr were chatting it up and I could tell my Dad felt really cool on a movie set talking to an actor he really liked and found funny, it was a dream come true for a son…I felt like I was doing something right in my life and making Dad proud…I cherish that experience…Tom Arnold and Jaleel White were both really cool and super nice, as was Fabio, who I gotta tell you loves to chit chat, and you can blink and realize you’ve been chatting about exotic animals and the economy with Fabio for seventeen hours, no joke, you get hypnotized by not only his hair, but great conversation!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

-If you’re not “burning out” ever you’re probably not working hard enough I’d say. So if you are burning out, congrats, you are working hard, but, to avoid that from stopping you on your mission, it sounds so obvious but is often forgotten, by myself included, but I’d say you must place significant importance on getting your rest. I’ve learned that no matter how hard I am determined to work and succeed, I simply must get some sleep — even if not every night — I’m aware if I’ve had a couple of bad nights of sleep in a row and I then try to make up for it with planned rest — I also try to consciously enjoy down time overall like a simple walk through my neighborhood, otherwise, you will absolutely burn out to your detriment, instead, burn out to your advantage, then rest and re-charge. Everything in moderation I find is the best policy. In the past I would say “Okay, I’m never going out or partying I’m gonna only work work work” but then, you work for a ton of days in a row and start to get delirious and claustrophobic, which also stunts creativity and productivity, in my opinion, then you eventually go out and rage or act out because you have all this built up energy. I feel you have to balance a strong work ethic, with an equally strong appreciation for life, and that includes relaxing, exercising, hobbies, etc…whether it’s fun things that include meeting up with friends to sing karaoke or going to the movies, or time for yourself like a jog on the beach, reading a book, or a hobby like painting, but, anything that is a way for you to relax, unwind, think about things, enjoy life, etc, is something that is just as important as any work related thing and all of this balance is a great way to ensure you reach your maximum potential rather than stalling out of the gate.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Wow. What a question. If I could start a movement it would be one that’s goal was to try to get people to come together regardless of certain differences. I personally am not a fan of labels. Politically they want to separate by Blue or Red, then with our races and colors of skin, then with gender, religion, etc etc, country of origin, you could go on and on…but I’d love a movement that doesn’t separate and label based on any of that. It’s just all about love and all the things we have in common, it’d just be about being a human, and having love in your heart for all humans. In my movement we would admit that we don’t know the truth, but, we are all seeking it together and learning from each other, we have the utmost respect and admiration for all, and we just want this experience of life on Earth to be the best experience it could be for everybody…all we seek is peace and a way to make Earth the best it could be. Also there’d be great wifi connections everywhere. And free coffee on every street corner. My movement would also banish bad tippers, and people who use the expression “at the end of the day” too often.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

-1. Be all over Youtube, Vine, and Instagram when they first launch.

…I started in the pre-Internet era, I come from the old school mentality that as an actor you wouldn’t wan’t to expose who you really are so your audience can enjoy the characters you play in movies. So when social media was at first a thing, I was hesitant to jump on it because I was conflicted as an actor pursuing a TV & Film career on whether it was something I should dabble with. Well I can laugh now thinking about that logic, because now you can make a full on career making millions of dollars solely by creating and releasing content on social media. So I wish a fairy or genie would have whispered in my ear saying to pounce on it all immediately before the canvas became so saturated…so always have your eyes wide open for advancements in technology and how it can help.

-2. Interview at least three to five directors for the job.

…If you are producing something, do not, just go with a director who seems ‘meant to be’ and ‘right time right place,’ nor should you go with the first of two directors you’ve met with…you need to meet with at least 3 to 5 directors and hear their pitches on why they should direct because your entire project and the whole teams hard work will be useless if you hire the wrong director. So for this one position especially, be vigilant in finding the right captain for the ship.

-3. Tone is everything, study and know tone.

…I learned this the hard way. By getting it wrong in my own projects in the beginning. Tone can be an elusive thing, but, whether you are producing it, acting in it, directing it or writing it, you must understand the tone of the project. Is it a broad comedy? If so, how broad? What can you compare this project to? I find the best way to police the tone is to be clear on what film, tone-wise, you’d compare it to, and that helps you bring into focus the current project you’re making and how to best execute. Odds are if you at the very least nail the tone, you’re already a ton of steps ahead regarding how the final product will turn out, especially with a comedy.

-4. Treat your career like a business.

…Creating art, auditioning for a role, making a song, all these things are you making yourself vulnerable, and everyone is a critic these days and sometimes artists get so focused on just the art and their emotions and peoples reactions as well that it’s easy to forget to treat what you do as a business, this is assuming of course you’ve put in all the work artistically and you are now really good at your medium of choice, now what? Now you try to think like a business person and you start marketing yourself and your talents, whether it’s ads on social media, or a showcase you put on at a local theater, you start doing more than just taking an acting class, or making a short film and putting it on youtube, you need to market the things you do, and attempt to make money if you can. So basically I’d say to cultivate your business acumen even if the creative field is your work life.

-5. Just because a character is getting his ass kicked, doesn’t mean he’s not smiling.

…Just because according to the script a character is getting disappointment after disappointment and “getting his ass kicked” it doesn’t mean he is sulking and being snarky to everyone. A more powerful choice is for you to not play the victim and it’s less obvious than to just be sad and down. When I was brand new as an actor I always wondered what they meant when they talked about an actors “choices”- what “choices?” He just says the words, right? Wrong. One of the things you learn as an actor is if a character has been through hell and back but is still smiling, or being cheery in spite of it, wow, I really like that guy, he has a great attitude…now he’s a great character I want to go on a journey with and I’m rooting for him, rather than some schlub pouting and complaining. It’s a smart “choice.” I learned this the hard way by making more obvious and less likable choices when I first starting acting. The more experience you get thought usually the more you make wise or interesting and sometimes hilarious choices…so whenever you dissect a scene or dialogue, always try something the completely opposite way that you might have initially conceived, you’re sure to gain some insight one way or another.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

-Aside from Bruce Lee’s “Be Like Water” or “To hell with circumstances I create opportunities” I’d probably have to go with Theodore Roosevelt’s famous ‘man in the arena’ quote, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The first two quotes are because you must be fluid, ever evolving, and malleable, while also having concrete force in your enthusiasm and drive, because as the third quote dictates, when you try to do anything of value and put it out in the world for people to judge and critique, you open yourself up to immense scrutiny and sometimes total rejection and failure. But when you are in that arena, fighting for your life, at least you are going after what you want and I can totally relate to this quote, it totally motivates me to keep going despite whatever obstacle I may be facing on any given day.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

-Honestly, my father. He has always supported me in life and I wouldn’t be anywhere without him. He showed up to all my basketball games and little league baseball games as a child. He paid for me to go to good art schools and art camps and always supported my hobbies and passions. He helped me financially when I first moved away living on my own, he has always been there, supporting me and showing me love and I just can’t imagine a Dad ever being more awesome than how my father has been. When I first confronted him and my mother and told them I had a burning desire to head back up to NY (we were in South Florida at the time) to pursue a career in acting, my fathers first words were “Well what are you waiting for? Why are you still here?” And then, to my shock, he went into his bedroom then came back and handed me a shoe box, I’d been paying him rent since graduating college, and he was saving what I gave him each month, he gave it to me to help me on my move back up to NY…I’ll never forget that…I’m so grateful and thankful for my Dad, he is the absolute best, and let me also say, the ladies love him, guy is really smooth, and the head of hair on this guy? Forget about it!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

-I’d have to say Jon Favreau. I’d need to make up for my silent food truck encounter. He is someone who would be my dream to work with or have as a mentor. Rudy was a movie that helped define my drive and perseverance as an athlete and as a person, I absolutely love that film and it’s crazy that it’s also the movie where Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn met, because Swingers would then become another movie that was an enormous influence on my sensibilities as an actor, writer, and director. I also love every movie he has ever made including of course the fact that he essentially launched the Marvel Universe with Ironman. He is someone I would love to be a sponge around and in my dream world, I’d love to make a film with him involved in whatever capacity he could be, when he isn’t re-launching Disney franchise after Disney franchise. I’m also an enormous fan of Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, and Larry David…all legends.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

-You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @briandrolet I’m also on Facebook and you can check out my website with links to all things me at www.briandrolet.com.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“I’d like to start a mentorship movement that puts reverence in the wisdom of elders” With Photographer Amanda Scheer Demme

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

“What people are really craving these days is REAL connection; That’s why we started the Interactive Art Movement” With Tam Gryn Head Curator at RAW POP UP

by Akemi Sue Fisher

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.