Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Lily Brooks O’Briant has grown up with a passion for acting from a very young age. Even before the actress discovered acting, she explains how she was always a performer. I loved getting up in front of people and making them smile. She points out how when she booked onto Matilda the Musical [National Tour], she had to learn to swtich from in-person learning to home-schooling very quickly. We caught up with the young actress following her huge success as Mandy on “The Big Show Show”.
THE BIG SHOW SHOW
Lily’s character Mandy, is the middle child in the Wight Family. Described as a determined, smart, super optimistic, quirky, a little anxious, VERY driven and too adult for her tween everyday world. Lily explains how Mandy wants to change the world and make a positive difference, however does not know how to do it just yet. A life that is planned in 5 year increments. From the first episode where her character is having a full-on identity crisis. Only because her character’s older half-sister, Lola, is moving in with the family for the first time. What unfolds is the realization that Mandy is not the oldest daughter in the family. Lily highlights how her character’s biggest challenge is that she is trying to do it all and be constantly perfect in everything that she does. The key element being that her character wants to save the world and make it a better place in the process but realizing that she can’t do that without her family’s support.
Any profession comes with its challenges – but actors face scrutiny every time they audition. Do you ever get nervous, and how do you overcome these nerves?- I absolutely get nervous. No matter how many times you do something, if you love it and you are passionate about it, you are going to get nervous. When I was on Matilda, I had rehearsed for the show for over 3 months and I was still nervous every night. But my biggest advice is to remember that your nerves are only in your head, so turn your nerves into excitement or happiness instead of thinking of nerves as a bad thing.
GETTING INTO CHARACTER
Lily’s favourite way to get into character is to read her script out loud 2-3 times. Making a note to change the way she reads it everytime. The actress also enjoys reading the script with her scene partner before filming it. The rationale behind this is prior to beginning the live shows, the entire cast would sit in the Hair and Make-up room and read through the ENTIRE script in a “Speed run”. For Lily, this was a great way for the cast to connect to their characters before they started filming.
Lily points out the main challenge with being an acrress is all of the rejection that she goes through when auditionsing. Having to teach herself very early on that even though she is being told “No” so often, it doesn’t mean that she is not talented or that she is not good enough. Only the honest truth that the role was not for her. This being said, she finds she able to move on very quickly by looking at the reason
behind why she perseveres!
“Acting has and always will be my passion. When I go to work in the mornings, it never feels like I am working. I always feel like I am just doing something that I love with people that support me and make me feel happy.”
Opening up, Lilly points to moments where she has lost motivation due to rejection in the Acting industry. Highlighting how her friends and family have been instrumental in helping her get back to where she wants to be. A point she makes is the importance in remembering that you are amazing and talented and don’t ever let anyone or anything make you think otherwise!
The young actress’ dream job is to work on a marvel movie/show one day. In addition to taking on a dramatic movie or TV show where she can challenge herself dramatically as an actor. Her proudest achievement to date has been being cast as a series regular on a Netflix show. “If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would be a series regular on a Netflix show, I would not have believed you. I am so grateful for the experience and the lifelong friends that “The Big Show Show ” has given me”.
For Lily, finding something you are passionate about that brings you joy is vital to finding success in your life. To work hard to learn more about that passion to improve your skills every day. To keeping working at it and not give up. Stay positive and believe in yourself! #watchthisspace