Brian Jordan Jr.: “Find a new way to love the craft every chance you get”

Find a new way to love the craft every chance you get. There are so many different spectrums to uncover. Don’t allow burnout to even get near — continue learning new things and trying new things. Continue training! As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brian […]

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Find a new way to love the craft every chance you get. There are so many different spectrums to uncover. Don’t allow burnout to even get near — continue learning new things and trying new things. Continue training!


As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brian Jordan Jr.

Brian Jordan Jr. is an actor and classically trained singer-dancer who has many Off-Broadway, regional, and touring credits. He trained at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Currently, he is starring as Maurice Webb on Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” on BET.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born and reared in between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. I grew up in a large family with 2 sisters, 2 brothers, and 2 stepbrothers. My parental village included my grandmother and aunt and of course my mother. The lessons I learned from these women — and the many impactful teachers, coaches and community leaders in my life — helped to shape my path to artistry. I’ve always dreamed of being in a position that would enable me to bring joy to many people. I initially thought that I would be an athlete. In my family, sports are serious business — so the encouragement to play football was always there, however, my true destiny was to help people smile by utilizing my creative talents.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was a freshman in college and there was a young lady that I was very smitten with (in a college freshman kind of way). She was very serious about theater and I didn’t know much about it all. She asked me to come and be her reader for an audition and I said sure — because I can read! Well, I read so well that the director asked me to be in the show! I was nervous but I eventually did it and the rest is HIStory!

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I love to tell this story. I’ve spent a lot of my career working in the professional theater. I can’t even count the amount of shows and tours and workshops I’ve done but there have been a lot, and I am blessed. There is one, however, that I’ll never forget. My favorite type of work to do is new and I was cast as lead of a new musical! Being able to originate a role theatrically and to help to carve out what it will be is amazing! This particular role was something I felt I was perfect for mainly because it was the starring role — lol (it doesn’t matter that the songs were out of my range). Well, three weeks into the process I was recast. It was embarrassing and I was devastated, but; it taught me the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned thus far in this craft; and that lesson is: “Never allow your ego to be bigger than the art.” I learned that the art was better presented through a different body and that the ART was most important.

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 was just starting out, I auditioned for what I thought was a play. I’d prepared a monologue and I went on down to the audition for the chance to be seen by the legendary, Debbie Allen. It was my turn, so I marched up to the holding room where everyone else inside was stretching and preparing and they were all thin… I ignored it! My group was called to the stage and I was the only one not in dance attire — so a small lady with curly hair and a hat and a huge voice says “Hey, Big Daddy! What are you doing here?” My response was defensive because I felt like she was trying to embarrass me. I said, “Well I’m here to audition for a play, maybe I’m in the wrong place… I’m looking for Debbie Allen.” Everyone snickered and after moments of her just staring at me she replied, “Well go outside that door and look for her — and when you find her; tell her Debbie Allen sent you!” I was MORTIFIED!

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

I actually have my first single for my new music project coming very soon! I’m super excited about that. Of course, “SISTAS” Season Three premieres June 9th. I am also constantly writing and creating content.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

I always say, “Never count yourself out!” Leave that to the other people. You need YOU too bad to not be there for yourself. Understanding and believing that you are deserving of whatever you desire is the key to attaining success (whatever that Is for you) and most importantly, attaining happiness.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

This is a simple and obvious answer: The world is diverse so entertainment should be diverse too. It is actually mind-boggling that we are even still talking about this and still fighting for the only thing that makes sense in 2021. EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE SEEN!

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. Go to therapy.
  2. Every role isn’t yours… some are.
  3. You are enough.
  4. When you start to believe in yourself is when you’ll start to fly.
  5. Stop giving up every day! It’s unhealthy.

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

Find a new way to love the craft every chance you get. There are so many different spectrums to uncover. Don’t allow burnout to even get near — continue learning new things and trying new things. Continue training!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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.

Giving black men and women more tools to develop film and television that portray all the different beautiful types of black stories that we are all waiting to see.

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?

I can share many stories but there was a choir teacher at my high school who forced me to sing and poured confidence into me as a performer. I was resistant to it at the time but now I know that she is certainly a large part of who I am today. Her name is Dr. Loneka Battiste.

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

“Life is the best game ever played, because If you keep running — you’ll always win.” — Brian Jordan, Jr.

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 just see this, especially if we tag them.

Jenifer Lewis, because who else? JENIFER LEWIS. That’s the answer.

How can our readers follow you online

Twitter: @brianjordanjr

Instagram: @brianjordanjr

www.brianjordanjr.com

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