Hometown: Canton, Ga.
Think of: A young Courtney B. Vance
What caught our eye: His fiery yet nuanced portrayal of Julian, an aspiring hip-hop artist whose outward confidence masks inner doubt, in Idris Goodwin’s “How We Got On,’’ at Company One.
Lightbulb moment: “In eighth grade I was doing ‘Oliver Twist’ at my middle school. At the time, I was getting into trouble a lot. I was the Artful Dodger [in the play]. That was the first moment I realized I had something to offer the world. That was the first moment I realized that I didn’t have to get in trouble to get people’s attention.’’
Biggest thrill: “The biggest thrill for me was when I performed at the unveiling of the Martin Luther King monument in Washington, D.C. I got to perform a monologue [drawn from] a speech of his, talking about education, and how we as African-Americans especially should use it to our benefit. I met Cuba Gooding Jr., who was a big hero of mine growing up. Having him see something that I did, and come up to me and want to talk to me, was a completely awe-striking moment. It was like ‘Wow, this is not supposed to happen.’ ”
Biggest surprise: “I don’t mean to get dark, but the most eye-opening thing was my mother passing away a couple of months ago. That was my first time experiencing death. That was the first time I had lost somebody really close to me. It made me step back and reevaluate things.’’
Inspired by: “My family. I draw great inspiration from my father, my mother. Just self-sacrificing people. I feel like they’re my real-life version of superheroes. They sacrificed so much so that I could pursue what I wanted to pursue.’’
Aspires to: “I just want to be an actor. I love this idea of putting on different faces each day, and providing people an escape. I want to be in movies, and I want to give back to people, to remind people what it’s like to live.’’
For good luck: “I have this cross pendant that my grandmother and grandfather gave to me pretty soon before they passed. And I have this gold ring with a few diamonds in it that my grandfather used to wear when he worked for the Valvoline oil company. If I’m in a show that allows me to, I always wear my mother’s earrings, these little diamond studs.’’
What people should know: “I’m an extremely sensitive, heartfelt person. Family means the most to me. And I’m extremely loyal.’’
Coming soon: Brown will portray the shepherd Silvius in Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.’’
Don Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com