Actor. Comedian. Host. The short list of Brandon Broady’s many talents. The Maryland native has taken Los Angeles by storm by being on the pulse of pop culture with sketches and parodies that have garnered millions of views. He discusses how overcoming a major setback prepared him for even bigger career opportunities.
As a class clown in elementary and high school, Brandon Broady was always walking in his purpose to be an entertainer. The Silver Spring, Maryland native initially thought acting in plays wasn’t the cool thing for popular athletes to do but after persuasion from his teachers and friends, he finally auditioned for a play and his natural talent blew everyone away. Broady says, “One of my classmates told me I should be a comedian, she said I was a good actor and basically I should work in entertainment. I kind of started to take that seriously and acknowledge that maybe its something that I’m good at.”
In college, at Towson University in Baltimore, MD, Broady double majored in Acting and Film. The summer of his freshman year in college he and three friends did their first amateur night at a comedy club in Virginia. He says, “We took it so seriously. We met up everyday to rehearse a three minute set.” The success of that night led Broady to begin doing more open mics and event hosting.
The summer of his sophomore year, he applied for an internship with WPGC 95.5FM in DC, he was told he was too young. He reapplied in his junior year and got the internship though he didn’t have any previous radio experience. Broady was able to turn the internship into a part time job and the summer following his college graduation, he became an on-air radio personality for WPGC, one of the youngest in the market.
In 2010, as Broady began to hit his stride in DC between radio, comedy and event hosting, change in management at WPGC made the upcoming talent less of a station priority. On the tough decision he had to make he comments, “I didn’t know whether to stay and continue to try to prove myself or leave. I didn’t want to be bitter and burn bridges. I wanted to further my career so I moved to Los Angeles May 2010. I still fly back and forth between L.A. and D.C. for work.”
Los Angeles is an extremely competitive market for aspiring entertainers. How did Broady manage to build relationships in L.A. and have consistent work here? He says, “I’ve always been great at networking which is a very important skill to have. Being talented is one thing but the opportunities come from networking. When I first moved, I knew I wanted to do sketches so I started doing parodies like Waka Flaka’s “Hard In The Paint”. My spoof was “Hard When I Paint” which made World Star Hip-Hop the day after I released it. I was doing sketches for fun but it was also building my resume and getting me a lot of connections.” He continues, “Before I would shoot the sketches, I would go to open mics and ask the comedians if they could play certain roles. They were excited to be acknowledged. I started building a network of comedians that respected me because I was the one that could shoot and edit. People started asking me to edit their reel and asked me to be in my sketches.”
Broady then answered a casting call for hosts for hotnewhiphop.com. He created a show called, “What’s My Name” where he would give people lyrics and they would have to guess the song. After his third year of building his buzz in LA, Broady received a call from a casting director at FUSE Network. He recounts, “They were looking for a new host for a show on Fuse TV called “Fuse News”. After a screen test in November 2013, and a call back in December, I found out I was going to be the new host in March 2014. It included a six-figure contract and I got an agent. I had a going away party. I had to get back to the east coast before April 7.”
He continues, “I moved my stuff back to DC and two days later, Jennifer Lopez bought the network and it put the show on hold for several weeks. I was in DC stagnant, frustrated; no one had any answers for me. I had told everyone that I had this big time job hosting, now I’m on hold. I felt like a bum at my parents house.” FUSE eventually axed the show leaving Broady without a job for several months. He shares what helped him to over come his initial disappointment was by remembering that he had gotten the opportunity because he was a hard worker; anything less was besides himself. He used the hiatus to co-write a screenplay with one of his friends from college.
Soon after, Broady received a call from the Fuse News casting director who was now casting for BET. After auditioning for several different projects, he became the go-to host for the network as a Field Correspondent for films, the BET Experience and co-hosted several different episodes of the renowned music video series, 106 & Park. When asked, how did he know he was supposed to continue chasing his entertainment aspirations following the setback with Fuse, Broady commented, “Through prayer, I learned to take any moment of adversity and negativity as a sign from GOD that it’s only temporary and it’s happening for a reason–for me to learn a greater lesson. At that time I didn’t know Fuse was a trial for me. At first, I was just pissed that I didn’t get the job after I told everyone it was going to happen. But that made me focus on finishing a screenplay for a feature film. It also got me in front of people that work for BET which is a bigger company and they’ve continued to recognize my talents.”
He continues with this powerful statement, “The only way I can fail is if I allow myself to do so. We live in a day and age where you can control your destiny. Through social media and video upload sites, you don’t have to wait for anyone to give you an opportunity. You have the power to create content and let the world see your abilities.” Broady, whose sketches are often featured on Russell Simmons’ online music network, All Def Digital, gives this advice on how to build viewership if you don’t have an online following. “You have to have a great idea, no one can deny a great idea. The way the virality of videos works is if someone loves it, they have to let someone else know.”
Reflecting on his career, Broady was asked if there’s anything he would have done differently to which he responded, “I would have been more consistent with releasing parodies and sketches. I also would have made them shorter. People just want to watch six-second Vine videos. I also wouldn’t have put as much thought into the videos because people care more about the consistency as opposed to the quality. Quality is important but consistency maintains your fan base.”
In 2015, the entertainer plans to do a college tour, release a comedy album of songs, parodies and standup routines. He’s also working towards developing his own television show.
To learn more about Brandon Broady visit: BrandonBroady.com, follow him on Instagram and Twitter:@BroadyTheJoker