Taking Flight Towards the Sun
Brittany Inge exudes confidence and style- two skills that helped her land the role of Crystal Garrett in the BET series Boomerang.
Inge’s talent has been crafted over time and with experience. She is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. An honors graduate from Spelman, Brittany began studying and, eventually, working as a professional actor. She performed in productions at several of Atlanta’s premiere theater houses before transitioning into television and film.
Her work on stage is credited with growing and honing her skills as an actress. This is where Inge met Dime Davis and our follow-up interview with this strong performer begins.
During our Live Cast, you discussed the impact of theater on your craft. You also discussed how Dime Davis was a true inspiration to your work. What is the benefit of doing theater for an aspiring actor and what are the TOP THREE lessons you learned from Dime?
Theater is literally the actor’s medium. In television, the writer is King and in film, the director is King. Theater is the one medium where actors have the most agency to let their creativity and curiosity soar. Theater is also the only medium where you continue to evolve and discover new things inside the material after you’ve learned it AND usually after you’ve already performed it several times. It is the only medium that I believe is truly reflective of the actor’s journey, in that it is fueled by constant discovery and the ability to be fully present in mind, body and spirit. I don’t believe there is a medium that helps you grow more as an actor and overall artist than theater because it requires you to bring your FULL SELF to the experience.
And as far as the top 3 lessons I learned from Dime… well, for one thing, she was a theater kid too. It shows up in her directing style and how she applies herself to the craft of directing. For that reason, she and I tended to speak the same language on set. I would say the biggest lessons I learned from her were 1) knowing and believing in what you’re capable of is not arrogant, it’s necessary 2) acting and directing should always be a collaborative effort, regardless of the medium and 3) remain flexible.
Knowing and believing in what you’re capable of is not arrogant, it’s necessary – Brittany Inge
Your theater experiences included roles in “Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3” at Actor’s Express, “Blackberry Daze” at Horizon Theatre as well as “Holler if Ya Hear Me” and “First Noel”. Which role did you find most challenging and which role did you find most rewarding?
Most Challenging: “The First Noel”– for a number of reasons. I was playing a mother (which I am not yet) and I was playing a mother whose child had died at a young age. Very difficult subject matter. I also lost my voice for a few performances of that show (it was a musical) and I was challenged to be very creative in my song delivery and artistic expression during that time. That show experience taught me that I really had the goods. I stopped questioning so many things about my talent and work ethic after that show closed.
Most Rewarding: “Father Comes Home from the Wars: Parts 1, 2 & 3″… because I was playing a very strong, intelligent and passionate woman who happened to be enslaved. It was an honor to pay homage to my ancestors who were brought to this country against their will and to be able to portray the character of “Penny” with dignity, beauty and resilience– despite her circumstances.
How has living in New York impacted your opportunities to extend your work as an actress?
New York was a great move for my career growth. Transitioning to the New York market allowed me to sign with a bigger agency and expand the range of opportunities that come my way. The Atlanta market is where I got my start and what is considered a secondary market or what I like to call: “a building market”. It allowed me to build a resumé that would hold up once I transitioned to a bigger market, like NYC.
What is a great first step for someone wanting to pursue acting as a career?
TRAIN. Find a class with an instructor you can trust and whose teaching style you connect with and train, train, train! The first step is always acting class. Not only will you be strengthening your artistic muscle, you’ll also be strengthening your network and expanding your professional relationships as you connect with your fellow classmates.
What do you say to someone who has tried to get work as an actor but has not made any real progress?
The first thing I would say is: only you can define “progress” for you. The majority of an actor’s success is dependent on consistency and persistence. Talent is important too but those first 2 traits make up the majority of the “success stories” you read about. My advice would be to keep going. Keep training. Know your “why”. Make sure you’re pursuing acting for the right reasons… and celebrate EVERY win! Again, you define progress and success for you.
New beginnings hold so much promise! Reject the fear and embrace the shift! – Brittany Inge
You play the character of Crystal on BET’s Boomerang. She is a new divorcee and learning how to navigate the reality of her life not being what she planned. How did you prepare for this role and what advice would you give to someone who is dealing with this actual reality?
I prepared for the role of Crystal Garrett by spending time and connecting with my castmates. Establishing a rapport with them off-screen was really important in helping to bring the friendships to life on-screen. In that vein, I also spent a lot of time talking with RJ Walker (who plays David Wright, my ex-husband) and Dime Davis (director) about what David and Crystal’s life may have been leading up to their divorce. I also tapped into my own journey and understanding of what it looks like to think you want one thing for your life and have that desire shift… as someone who started out pursuing music and shifted to acting after college. My advice to someone dealing with this actual reality is embrace the new season. New beginnings hold so much promise! Reject the fear and embrace the shift!
Crystal is having to learn how to navigate her career, her friendships and dating on Boomerang. How does that relate to your life? How do you find balance?
Outside of being newly divorced, I relate to Crystal in just about every way. Her journey with learning balance/boundaries and learning how to prioritize her own needs is a lesson I also had to conquer in my twenties. I find balance by remembering WHY I’m doing what I’m doing at any given moment… whether it’s dealing with friendships, career challenges/victories or personal relationships. The “why” always keeps me centered and grounded.
You attended Spelman College. How did Spelman advance your career and should others aspiring for a career in the entertainment industry consider an undergraduate education from Spelman?
Spelman blessed me with a network that connected me to the Atlanta artistic community at large. This was helpful post-grad when I began auditioning and eventually working within the Atlanta professional theater scene. As a liberal arts college, Spelman is not an institution that puts a ton of emphasis on the performing arts, but the musical training I received there did enhance my artistic journey.
When reflecting on your personal journey. What is one life lesson that you can share with our audience?
I say this often… and it applies to every field/industry that I can think of– Knowing the business will get you in the room, knowing the craft will keep you there. It’s simple… but requires a commitment to learning that not everyone is willing to sign up for. Set yourself apart by always being willing to go the extra mile.
The Abortion, The Divorce, and the Complete Breakdown