Kevin Brown, a senior at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine, is in vocal jazz and has an interest in theater.
How did you get interested in vocal jazz?
Originally, I really wanted to go into theater my freshman year, but Mr. Neland was like "No, no, no, you should go to chorus" and I was like "Alright." So, I went to chorus and the first few years I wasn't really interested in eclectic, which is like JV vocal jazz and then junior year I tried out for vocal jazz and Mr. Lacasce said "Yeah, you're definitely in. You're definitely one of the best basses we have." Alright, cool. So, kind of been on the road since.
Have you always had interest in singing?
Yeah, my mother was a choir director for the church we went to in Massachusetts before we lived here, so often times I'd stay after and sing with her, hang around and get some pieces under my belt.
You have done some theater, too?
Yes, I've always been interested in theater. Again, my mother and my brother, Ryan, have both been interested in theater and influenced me most of my life. Ryan right now lives in Baltimore, Md. and he's actually directing plays. For his job, he works at an intern hospital and he walks in and acts like a patient sometimes. He'll walk in, "Oh, I think I have a heart problem and I don't really know why." And they have to wonder what he is going to do. That sort of thing. I get a lot of influence from him.
Have you been in any productions?
Well, I've only been in like three because it has mostly been school productions that I've been able to go to because they are pretty local. Even then I wasn't really interested. A lot of theirs are like these comedy musicals things and I've always been interested in drama and really acting not just: deliver line, punchline, walk off stage.
Have there been any roles you really enjoyed playing or that you really want to play?
Last year when we did the one acts for the May term I got to play this character who wasn't really connected to his parents because he was adopted and they didn't really feel like telling him until pretty much half way through his life. The character really stuck out and I enjoyed it because he started out as this really shelled in boy and then he grew up to be this rough and tough guy, but deep down he was still this boy. I really liked that part. As for a part I've really wanted, I don't know. My father always told me "There's no such thing as big parts, but big actors" and same thing for small. I've always worked with what I got. Granted, guard number three isn't a great role.
What do you hope to do when you get out of high school?
I've been mostly looking into botany and ecology. Oddly enough, I don't really want to go into theater much, but if it comes to be I might do the school plays or that kind of thing, again, what I've actually been doing lately. I've been looking at the College of the Atlantic and mostly coastal ecological kind of places for studies.
In terms of the vocal jazz, has there been any standout performance you really enjoyed participating in?
Yeah, last year we did the Berklee Jazz, which has, I think, over 200 schools. We luckily came out on top against all the other schools across the entire New England performance. At the end, I just remember singing and things weren't really on time and we weren't really singing that great, but it just felt so good to be in front of all these other schools and be like, "Yeah, Fryeburg Academy, we're singing in front of you guys." I just remember looking behind me and seeing our drummer, Jon Dana, jamming out on these 50 Toms and he didn't know what to do like a little boy in a candy shop. It was really great. It was really nice performance. That was last year when we won at Berklee. That was a great performance definitely.
Have you had any interest in participating in community theater with M&D or Arts in Motion?
Nah, there just hasn't been enough time in anything I've done. I don't even have a car, so it is kind of hard for me. If my dad was home a lot more, but often time he has been working a lot, so it would've been middle of the day, right after school, I'd have to find a ride and then a ride back. It is a great idea, I'd really love to be a part of it, but it is just too out of the way.
Do you have any final thoughts on what you want to do or why you like to perform?
I just perform because it is really nice to perform. I like being different from who I am. Can I be this character? Can I be that character? Can I act sane for once or can I act insane. Yeah, that's about it.