Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, southern educate is embedded in the roots of Sam Brooks. Grew up with a tribe met through divine intervention and their intention was to live. Amid a city of musicians their mission was to create organized noise. Instruments no longer toys just boys that enjoyed making music. From late night jams, to bands, to free-styling over beats while riding the streets with a constant goal to excrete creativity. Eventually Sam had to hit the road to be bestowed a college degree. Kinesiology major he made a major one-eighty and graduated with bachelors in health and science education.
Once home from college, Sam Brooks took a look at his life one night and decided something wasn’t right. Clock twisting till the light shines no longer nighttime with all his might he manifested a change. Born to entertain Sam had to obtain the confidence to change from what he arranged: The life of a Physical Therapist. As his own therapist, Sam redirected his narrative and began the life of an artist. A desire to transpire with visions to inspire a fire sparked within him.
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Actor Sam Brooks
NY Elite: Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings.
Sam Brooks: I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I attended college at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where I majored in Kinesiology. I did my four years, graduated cum lade with a bachelors in health and science education, and went home with plans to become a Physical Therapist. However, once I graduated I still asked myself “is this what I want to do the rest of my life?” And my rational was if I’m still asking myself that question then maybe I need to try something else for a while.
I have always had a deep eternal love for the arts and a passion to inspire. So I thought what not a better way to do just that than to dive into the realms of acting and filmmaking? I knew I would need an agent so I joined the Avenue Agency, which lead me to the 4th Wall Acting Studio, which lead me to an enlightening moment. I remember sitting in my first ever acting class at the 4th Wall: I’m grinning ear to ear watching these phenomenal actors and actresses kill their scenes and I’m saying to myself, “Yea…This is exactly where I need to be.” In all honesty, I couldn’t be happier with where I am in my career and life right now.
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Sam Brooks: My current projects include two web series (Indie and Strange Company) that are based out of Nashville. Both are hysterical and brilliant and I’m very fortunate to be apart of them. In addition to that, I am playing a supporting lead in the feature “Summer of 67”, which just began production! I am also a lead in a feature titled Cold Steel, which is currently in preproduction.
NY Elite: What do you love about the character that you play in your current film?
Sam Brooks: In “Summer of 67,” I am playing a hippie named Van who woos the lead. I love the fact that it is a period piece and I get to research the hippie lifestyle during the late 1960s. It is very interesting to learn how they lived, how they think, their philosophies about life, their visions for a better world, and their standings on spirituality. Another thing I love is when the director and I come together and break down the character. I bounce my ideas off the director and vise versa until we conceptualize this beautifully sculpted character, which then it is my job to bring to life.
NY Elite: How do you connect to this character?
Sam Brooks: The movie takes place during the Vietnam War, and Van is an anti-war hippie protesting his views on peace, love, and unity. He is fighting for something that he truly believes in. The way I see it is everyone at some point in their lives will fight for what they believe in, so I can connect to Van on that level. Multiple times in my life I’ve stood my ground and fought for what I believed in. Not to mention that I am fairly laid back and not afraid to go outside, get engulf by nature, and do a little soul searching.
NY Elite: Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
Sam Brooks: In this one scene I get to sing this song to a whole field of swaying hippies:
“Rollin’ down the road / like a seed that is sowed / With a big boatload of destruction… Well, beware young man / when your Old Uncle Sam / Sends you to Vietnam by induction. In a foxhole alone / Engraving your tombstone / Just waitin’ like a rollin’ stone.”
NY Elite: How is this production bringing something new to this story?
Sam Brooks: It’s an exceptionally well-written fictional story that portrays the realism of life back in 1967. The story takes the audience through a variety of emotions while using real events to help tell the story and push it forward.
NY Elite: What’s it like working with this director? (mention dir name)
Sam Brooks: Director, Sharon Campbell Wilharm, is amazing to work with! She has such a clear vision for this production. If I ever have any questions or I want to discuss ideas for my character, she is always quick to respond and more than willing to discuss and give feedback.
NY Elite: What’s going to surprise people about this show/movie?
Sam Brooks: The commitment to detail, the color schemes, the volume of accuracy captured portraying what it was like to live back in 1967, the use of real life events to propel the story, and the fact that something of this caliber is being produced out of Tennessee is pretty amazing.
NY Elite: Besides yourself, which actor/actress in this production is going to blow people away?
Sam Brooks: Two of the leads, Rachel Schrey and Bethany Renae, are very talented actresses and I’m looking forward to working with them. Overall, I know that everyone casted is a talented individual and will captivate the audience.
NY Elite: What has been your favorite film/theatre play you have been part of?
Sam Brooks: My favorite performance thus far was in high school during my senior year. My theater teacher Brad Brown decided to create a Roman comedy that would be set up as theatre-in-the-round. Most everyone involved contributed to writing the script and there was so much room to improv as long as it served the story. During one scene I had to play the harmonica and sing the blues because my wife just left me. One of the nights I remember playing “Love Me Do” by the Beatles, but changing the lyrics to “love, love me shrew,” which got a great response out of the audience. The whole process of that project from beginning to end was an experience that I will never forget.
NY Elite: Where else have you played leading role?
Sam Brooks: I played the lead role on an episode for a TV show titled “Your Worst Nightmare” that airs on the Investigation Discovery channel. That was the first role I ever booked. We shot for four days in Atlanta and each day I would make it my goal to absorb as much information as possible. After that production I became addicted to everything about acting and filmmaking.
NY Elite: What other types of movies would you be interested in filming?
Sam Brooks: At this point in my career, I am always looking for projects that will supply me with the opportunities to learn and be surround by talent that will keep me on my toes and challenge me to raise the bar. I want to be in movies that allow the audience to get lost in the character’s journey and escape their realities for a while. I want the audience to feel that they have received something of value that they can reflect on.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite films/plays you have been in?
- The Roman Project (Theater) Written & Directed by Brad Brown
- Your Worst Nightmare (Episodic) Investigation Discover
- Improv Performance (Harold) at the Bearded Iris Brewery One word suggestion… “Pickle Ball”
NY Elite: What hidden talents do you have?
Sam Brooks: I write a lot of poetry. I usually don’t share it with too many people. Just recently I posted a few on Instagram.
NY Elite: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Sam Brooks: At a very pivotal time in my life, Hayden Holliman who is one of my best friends, introduced me to a book titled The Greatest Salesman in the World written by OG Mandino. In that book there is a sentence that states “Each nay I hear will bring me closer to the sound of yea.” When I audition and do not book the gig I just recite that sentence to myself and know that I am one stepper closer to the yes I’ve been waiting for. Another philosophy that has helped me stay sane in this ambiguous business is trying to have the mindset of “I never lose. Either I learn or I win.” In this industry failing is inevitable, but it’s the ones who can fail and get back up again that make it to become working actors.
NY Elite: What can we expect from you in 2017?
Sam Brooks: A few co-workers and I have been shooting our own material because none of us want to sit around waiting for the phone to ring. We have five sketch comedies finished that are ready to be released out into the world and plenty more ready to film. Our goal is to release at least seven sketch comedies and two shorts before 2018. Also I will have at least two features under my belt by the time 2017 is over.
NY Elite: Before we let you go, could you tell us a little about your upcoming feature Cold Steel?
Sam Brooks: Cold Steel is a dark comedy that is described as if Wayne’s World were to be mixed with Kill Bill. This movie is an emotional roller coaster that any human being can relate to. The two main characters Russtone (played by Garrett Bogar) and Barry (played by myself) are kung fu fanatic rednecks that get caught up in life, which takes them to places they never wanted nor planned to be in. The director and writer Nick Floyd and I have worked together before on his web series “Control” that is on Fanfest.com.
Nick is a very talented writer and director and I can’t wait to work with him again. The script was intentionally written to allow a lot of room for improv, which gives my long time friend and very talented actor Garrett Bogar and I the green light to feed off one another and let our imaginations soar. This film is certainly going to be a journey filled with laughter, action, and heartbreak.