“Hey, my name is Nadia Brown and I play Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! I made my Broadway debut, turned 25 and threw a kick-ass party at Hold Fast Kitchen and Spirits all in one week! Fun fact about me: I probably love Britney Spears more than anyone you currently know. :)”
IG: @naughtya_or_nice | Twitter: @naughtya_ | www.nadiadenisebrown.com
Q: Can we start from the beginning… What’s been your journey to Broadway?
A: I began dancing at The Maria Priadka School of Dance at 6 years old, and began dancing competitively at the age of 10. I did not begin acting until I was a junior in high school, and was pleasantly surprised when I got into the BFA Acting program at Marymount Manhattan College. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Gold Key in Acting (the highest achievement for an Acting student at MMC) . After graduation, I began working professionally at regional theatres in New Jersey earning EMC points, I studied at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and I earned my Equity card at The National Black Theatre in Harlem. I am still unrepresented (currently looking), and have always believed in self-submitting. In October 2018 I submitted myself through Actor’s Access for Rose Granger-Weasley and five rounds of callbacks later…booked Broadway.
Q: How have health and fitness been a part of your journey as a performer?
A: My career as a performer has always been heavily focused on strength and endurance. Obviously as a competitive dancer, but interestingly as an actor, health and fitness have been integral to my evolution. I learned how to act by exhausting myself before a scene by running from 3rd avenue to the East River and back.I was taught to memorize lines in a plank. I developed my characters through physical shapes. I began to take Viewpoints and Suzuki classes, and through engaging in more ensemble-based work, I learned that in order to serve my fellow actors, I needed to be strong enough to serve them. Through challenging myself physically I became a less selfish actor, and a more generous one. I took pride in my strength, and allowed that to filter into other areas of my life as well (those subway steps are much easier when you go to the gym a few times a week!). I have become a stronger person, not just actor, and I find that I can serve my community better when I am stronger: physically, mentally and emotionally. Balance between mind and body is essential.
Q: Top 3 tips for maintaining energy for your show.
- Eat a good breakfast!! Seriously!! With actual nutritional value, i.e protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats! There’s no way I can make it through a 10 ½ hour two-show day without it! And neither should you!!
- Warm-up. Body and Voice. And Mind. Say your affirmations, play some good music, and don’t forget to laugh with your castmates 🙂
- I obviously love food so there’s another tip devoted to it: continue to snack on food throughout the day that has nutritional value. Whole fruits and nuts, drink plenty of water, and if you have the midday slumps–try green tea instead of coffee. Green tea is full of antioxidants, helps my voice, and is a natural detox as well!
Q: Any other holistic practices to stay #BalancedOnBroadway?
A: I love aromatherapy!! It’s awesome my character’s name is Rose, because then I can buy anything with rose as an ingredient and it feels totally justified. I use rose oil mixed with jojoba on my inner wrists for a boost of confidence, but I also love Lavender scent to calm, or Eucalyptus to invigorate!!
Q: Top 5 products, companies or brands that are shaping your lifestyle right now.
- Coconut oil. I dare you to tell me this doesn’t work for everything! Skin, hair, body, and makeup removal: it does it all!
- Camile Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk to keep those curls POPPIN!
- For my ladies: The Honey Pot is a feminine care line that is completely vegan, organic, and cruelty free.
- Having a by CHLOE. moment as well! Their sweet potato cashew-cheese mac and cheese with shitake bacon is SO good. I went and ate this exact meal after this shoot LOL.
- Equinox. I’m obsessed with being a member here after working there for 2+ years as a front desk employee. Three words: Chilled Eucalyptus Towels.
Q: You mentioned balancing the mind and body connection as a performer? How have you been able to do that? Any tools that have been helpful to you?
A: Training with my trainer and seeing my therapist weekly have been the tools I needed to bolster myself as a performer. My trainer teaches me how to work on my body and my therapist teaches me how to work on my mind. When I workout on my own, or show up to work and read my affirmations in my dressing room mirror, I am stronger than I would be if I was completely on my own. I have a small team of people who are helping me to achieve overall wellness. They care about my success but also give me the confidence to advance on my own. My therapy sessions are just as important (and expensive lol) as my training sessions, and I treat the expense as a necessity for my own self-care and growth.
Q: In regards to lifestyle changes, what was the biggest shift you experienced after you started working on Broadway?
A: Self-prioritization. You have to learn to say when. When it’s better for you to get a good night’s rest than to go out with friends. When it’s better for you to wake up that extra hour early to take that yoga class rather than hit snooze again. When you begin to discipline yourself outside of the rehearsal room, you become more disciplined inside it, and carry that with you on stage.
Q: We have a phrase at FFB: Broadway State of Mind. What does it mean to be mindful on Broadway?
A: My Broadway State of Mind is choosing happiness: I have the mindfulness to control my thoughts, mood and emotions and manifest my dreams. My Broadway State of Mind is bliss!
Q: Fill in the blanks…
A: The best part of working on Broadway is…. seeing the fans who you have been on this incredible journey with at the stage door.
The most challenging part of working on Broadway is… not putting too much pressure on yourself all the time 🙂 working on that daily!!
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: The magic of storytelling. From its simplest form to a major Broadway stage, we all have the desire to share stories. I love that we humans keep doing that… also HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Believe in yourself. Don’t forget how idealistic you were as a child. Never give that idealism up. Shoot for the stars because that’s way more fun than settling!! Set your sights on Broadway, but don’t end it there. The learning doesn’t stop once you make it to Broadway. Never stop evolving.
Q: BROADWAY INSPIRES ME TO BE_ CONFIDENT.
A: I learn confidence from my character, Rose in different ways every night. I become more and more confident each time I step out on stage. As I mature as a woman, I am becoming more confident in who I am as a human being, and Broadway is my main teacher!!
Photos & Interview by Jane Jourdan.