The new Netflix show, On My Block, explores a coming-of-age perspective through the eyes of four teenage friends. The half-hour comedy series was co-created by Awkward creator Lauren Lungerich.
Brett Gray, who portrays the character Jamal, discussed his role with The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.
Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper: How did you begin your acting career?
Brett Gray: I remember going to school and having enjoyable experiences with plays. I told my mom one day, I wanted to be an actor and she took me right to school.
LAS: What was the most enjoyable experience playing Jamal?
Gray: I think the best part was also the not so best part. This is mostly due to Jamal’s crazy story line. Like I got eggs thrown at me, I got to talk to gnomes, and even smacked Emilio Rivera from Sons of Anarchy. It was all a fun experience. I experienced things that most coming-of-age teenagers never will, like eating forty egg sandwiches.
LAS: Wait, over forty egg sandwiches?
Gray: Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it was more like seven or eight. That still is a lot of sandwiches and egg salad!
LAS: What was your experience working with the cast of On My Block?
Gray: It was all an amazing experience. I really didn’t know what to expect. This was my first series regular. I was sort of overwhelmed, but we all became a family. From the crew to the office management, we all hung out together. It wasn’t really a job. It was a bunch of people coming together creatively that happened to have fun. We owe that to Lauren Lungerich. She was such a stickler for everyone being a family.
When Gray is not acting, he is making music. He explained the intersection between being an actor and creating music.
LAS: Can you discuss your role as a musician?
GRAY: Music is a different endeavor. You are alone in the creative process rather than a team. I write my own music, so a lot of weight falls on me. I’m learning to trust myself more because of my music. My album is like a story. It’s an actor’s album. The experience I have as an actor translates to my song writing. Just as I would read a character, I use that same perspective in writing music. It is all a fluid motion.
LAS: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in the entertainment industry?
Gray: Do your research. I think a lot of misinformation is present when it comes to the entertainment industry. It’s also very expensive. Be easy on yourself. You should work on your craft and find an opportunity to better yourself.
On My Block was released on March 16th. Head over to Netflix to watch this comedic yet drama filled series.