Owensboro artist explores a variety of facets the performing arts have to offer | Characteristics
For Owensboro resident Kevin Brown, the performing arts is just one of the things he does simply for fun.
Originally born in Mississippi and arriving in Owensboro after his father’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force, the 25-year-old Frantz Building Services video director recalls his exposure to the scene was due to having seeing his older brother Aaron, also known locally as Erich Stranger, in the spotlight, which really piqued Brown’s interest.
“He did a lot of shows all through high school,” Brown said. “He played; he has staged; he did all kinds of stuff and he just made it look really fun. So by the time I was old enough to start auditioning for church plays and stuff, I was absolutely in love with the process.
Brown continued to be enthralled with the performance after watching the Oscar-nominated film “Fiddler on the Roof” for the first time.
“It was just seeing that you didn’t have to be that tall, 6ft 4in, perfectly skinny and handsome to be an actor to have fun with that – it completely changed my perspective,” he said. Brown said. “…The second song (from the movie) is called ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ and it’s just this guy in his barn, all by himself and he’s just singing about all these things he would do if he was rich. And, to me, that was a really cool moment to see in the movies because I had never seen an actor who didn’t look like Henry Cavill or this big, handsome man… and he was going just a good time…”.
Although Brown was homeschooled and didn’t have the opportunity to try out local high school productions, he found his luck at age 16 when the Bellevue Baptist Church held auditions for a play. Christmas, an experience he described as “terrifying.
“…I had never auditioned for anything before. I had no idea how it worked or what it would be like,” Brown said. that I literally couldn’t read what was on the page.”
Luckily, Brown got the gig and eventually started branching out.
At 18, Brown was persuaded by friends to audition for Back Alley Musicals’ production of “The Addams Family,” where he landed the role of the Lurch family’s butler while only on stage. for “10 minutes of my life” and didn’t have a great deal of experience.
Fast forward eight months later, Brown found himself auditioning and landing his first performance tour with Student Life Camp – allowing Brown to share his talents with the Commonwealth, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana , Tennessee and Texas.
Brown was brought back the following year for a second summer tour before continuing with a tour with GENERATE Camp by YM360 in 2018.
Brown has continued to make a name for herself by being featured in the Owensboro Museum of Science and History’s ‘Voices of Elmwood’ for the past three years, in addition to playing Fred in ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Theater Workshop. of Owensboro (TWO) in 2017 and most recently seen as Gluttony in “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” with TWO.
But Brown found it equally important to learn more about what audiences don’t see.
“I realized pretty quickly once I started auditioning for shows that there wouldn’t be a role for me on every show. … But with that, I wanted to get involved because I’m just fell in love with the community,” Brown said. “So I started finding new ways to get involved.”
Brown wanted to learn more about the process of creating a show and asked to become an assistant director for the production of Back Alley Musicals’ “Nunsense,” before taking on the role of stage manager three weeks before opening night.
It taught Brown to appreciate the whole art form, from the directors, the people who direct the lights and sound, to the set design help.
“It really got me interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects because what the audience sees is what the actors do, and that’s maybe 10% of the process of putting together a show,” said Brown said. “I love theater because it’s a collaborative art — it takes so many people to bring a story like this to life….
“It is important as an actor to recognize these positions and understand why they are important. … No position in theater is more important than another.
And his background has served him well for his true passion for photography and videography.
Brown opened his media production company Kevin Brown Media in 2021, where his work has been featured with Bluegrass Community Theater, Daviess County Public Library, Kentucky Thespians, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro Transit System, and RiverPark Center.
He is also the video director of Encore! Board of directors of musicals.
Brown is focused on helping to produce quality portraits and live action shots to show what the city has to offer.
“At the end of the day, I want to showcase Owensboro’s talent and I want to show people how good my friends are,” Brown said. “It’s really phenomenal because for a small town in western Kentucky, you wouldn’t think Owensboro would have such a thriving and amazing talent pool of theater people, but we really do.”
Whatever capacity he occupies in the performing arts, Brown’s mission remains the same.
“At the end of the day, it’s about telling a story (and) a story that matters and bringing a little joy into people’s lives,” Brown said. “My job is to help people get away from it all for an hour or two and stop thinking about the world and how harsh it is. Sit down and have fun for a few minutes.