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Arvin Brown

Directors

Arvin Brown is both a prolific and significant Hollywood/New York television director as well as a Tony-Award nominated theater director.

Questions

  1. If I’m a fairly green actor who maybe has a few lines on one of your episodes and the day is running long and I’m only going to be working maybe an hour or two…do you think it is better for me to “stay in my trailer” and sort not be seen…or is watching you work, and the stars work ok or am I seen as nosey?
  2. As a way of teaching young actors around the world to be professionals have you ever dealt with absolutely NOT liking a Series Regular actor you had to work with often, and if so, how do you handle it?
  3. In your long TV directing career have you ever encountered a situation with either Series Regulars or a guest cast member who created large emotional or physical discord on the set in an unexpected moment…and if so, how do you handle that?
  4. Putting aside money, where does the enthusiasm and interest for “doing the work” come from at your age, and did you ever truly consider hanging it up?
  5. What would you say, from the level of being involved in casting to the actual daily expectations is the biggest difference for you in Directing a top Network show, such as NCIS versus a top-rated cable show, such as The Closer?
  6. If a guest cast actor seeks you out on the set after checking to come say “Hi…I’m so and so and I’m playing blah blah today.” Would you be speechless, be thinking “oh lord” or is that just fine with you?
  7. With such a long award-winning career as a Theatre director, as well as all of the television you’ve directed can you help the acting community understand as well the very difference between the pure art of Theatre and how you “find art” in Television perhaps both as an actor or director?
  8. Unless I know your face and name and accidentally run into you in the grocery store or on the beach, how in the hell Arvin is an actor going to actually ever manage to get your attention enough to think of them when you’re prepping an episode?
  9. I know your seniority in the business may affect this answer so I’ll ask it like this. Over the years, as purely the Director on an episode of Drama television, how has it changed in the way you’re spoken to and by WHOM if / when there is a problem with an actor, the schedule or the footage?
  10. Even in episodic cable or Network television we have evolved into some scripts since the mid-late 90’s that do involve nudity and/or close to it. I like to remind actors that what we SEE on screen isn’t really what was required to shoot it. How do you handle shooting intimate, physical contact and nudity in television directing from crew, to the frame itself.

About the Guru

Arvin Brown (IMDB) is both a prolific and significant Hollywood/New York television director as well as a Tony-Award nominated theater director. Mr. Brown has directed the likes of Al Pacino in American Buffalo and Meryl Streep in A Memory of Two Mondays / 27 Wagons Full of Cotton on stage. His high-end television includes serving as Executive Producer/Director with Jada Pinkett Smith on Hawthorne. His recent television work includes Lie To Me, Private Practice, Rizzoli & Iles, and Leverage. Additionally Arvin has directed multiple episodes of The Closer, NCIS, The Practice, Ally McBeal, the highly acclaimed pilot Kevin Hill and it’s season finale starring Taye Diggs and many others. He also lent his talents to the world of long-form movies and has directed twelve stars including Mel Gibson, Kevin Spacey, and Benecio Del Toro in a film reading of Declaration of Independence executive produced by Norman Lear and Rob Reiner. Other high-end television films include Open House starring Christine Lahti and Daniel Baldwin, The Gin Game starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. As a theater director, Arvin has been associated with Long Wharf Theatre since its inception and served as the Artistic Director for many years. Mr. Brown has won the Vernon Rice Award and the Variety Critics Poll for his work Off-Broadway. He has received the Connecticut Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation “Mister Abbot Award,” named for George Abbot. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Theatre Institute since 1976. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Bristol, England, and has studied at the Yale School of Drama.