From GSU to the BIG Screen Part one: Noel Braham
Noel Braham walked the campus of Georgia State University perfectly styled and together. He led our Alphas throughout the courtyard blowing the infamous Alpha whistle. Mr. Braham even had the girls checking for his big smile and down-to- earth attitude, but we never knew what he was destined to do until now. It’s been said, When you think good things, you will do good things, and good things will happen to you and it seems to be happening for young Noel Braham. Pardon My Audacity had a chance to sit down and have the best chat with him. This is only part one.
Jas: Tell the readers a little bit about who you are and what you are doing.
NB: Well, I’m originally from Miami, Florida, I grew up there for the first eight years of my life. My mother wanted my brother and I to take advantage of the HOPE scholarship so we moved to Atlanta because it (HOPE scholarship) had just been implemented. When the time came for me to go to college I had to decide to attend either Georgia State or UGA, however, prior to applying to college I was heavily involved in the arts. I can remember seeing the movie “Good Burger” as a child and saying to my mother, “you know mom I can do that!” I knew that I wanted to act without a doubt and soon after I began acting classes at Kennesaw State University. From there, I moved on to act in community college theater, followed by classes at the Alliance Theater, which I loved!
NB continues: Next, I was admitted to Georgia State University and I joined my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, shout out to the bruhs (laughs) you know I hold it down for 1906! (laughs) At this point I stepped back from the acting scene because I knew I had to focus on school in addition to my fraternity, and that’s exactly what I did. Subsequently, I got involved in this phenomenal program, named the Emma Bowen Foundation. The program places minorities into media outlet companies and gives students the opportunity to work with a company for four years. In my case I worked with Comcast. Upon senior year the program sends the student to New York to attend a career fair. Here I had the chance to sit down with representatives from NBC, and soon after received a call to come in for an interview. The interview went amazingly well! Literally as I left Georgia State University I went right up to New York. I was accepted into the Page Associate program, a grand opportunity, yet six months in I said to myself, “I’m not sure if this is for me.” I knew it wasn’t for me so I went to my boss and thanked her for the opportunity then I left. When I left I told myself that I was going to become an actor. I moved back to Atlanta with that mindset and all I did ,literally, was submit, submit, and submit.
Jas: (chuckles) I don’t think it’s fair my journey wasn’t that easy.
NB: There are a lot of gaps in the story (laughs). There have been plenty of times where I got several “No’s” in addition to no responses. But when things did happen they happened full out.
Jas: Yeah, you made it happen.
NB: Yeah that’s it, that’s it, that’s it!
Jas: When you were just a college student, did you ever figure you would be rising to the top as fast as you are?
NB: Well, I don’t feel as if I’m rising really quickly to be honest with you. I think that what has taken place so far is a result of my work ethic and the effort I put forward. Did I think I would be in this position?…No. But am I surprised about the events that have taken place? No. I’m neither, just from the stand point that I’ve sacrificed a lot. It’s not going that fast for me, I’m still in my warm up phase.
Jas: What was your first commercial and how excited were you to be in it?
NB: My first commercial was with McDonald’s and it was pretty phenomenal how it happened. I think it was God’s purpose and the universes plan because since that opportunity, the things that have taken place in my life have been quite amazing. It stemmed from a role I submitted for, of which I had no clear idea of what it was. At the time I had just gotten back from New York; a friend of mine emailed me and said, “Hey, the Atlanta Football Classic is looking for talent to appear at the classic.” So as you can see, it was kind of ambiguous as for what the actual role was, but like I said I had been submitting myself to everything. Next thing I know out of the blue a lady calls me and says “Can you come in today? We received your submission and we would like for you to come in for an audition.” Again, I still don’t know what I’m going to be auditioning for, but as a starving artist I’m trying to go for it. So I said, “Sure, no problem at all.”
NB continues: I drive to the place and as I’m sitting in the office I look around. As I’m looking up on the wall I see Grammy award winners. I see artists such as Bow Wow, Da Brat, and 3LW. There were also Grammys and an MTV moon man. At this point I’m saying to myself, “Where in the world am I?” A woman comes to hand me a script to look at and says, “You’ll be reading this for Bart Phillips.” I’m looking at the name and realizing he has worked with all these different people, and he’s essentially the executive producer for the Soul Train Awards. So I’m thinking holy crap!! I began analyzing the script and it was then that I noticed the top of it said “McDonald’s for the Classic.” I was asked to come in and I killed it! The second I finished he said, “I love you. You’re booked. In two days we’ll be shooting.” I didn’t know where it was coming from so it was extremely exciting and a major morale booster.
The rest of the article will be published tomorrow! Hope you’re looking forward for more from Noel Braham.
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