“Amanda Brewer (third from the right) currently works as an assistant on the “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me” show starring Jamie Foxx (third from the left.)
LANSING, MI — Amanda Brewer has always loved the big screen. As a child, she went on a trip to Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The older family members went to enjoy themselves at the casino and Amanda and her cousins went to the game room and arcade.
Brewer said, “While my cousins hustled on the arcade games, I managed to find a movie theater they had within the arcade. I spent hours watching all sorts of movies from “The Sandlot” to “Uncle Buck”. This was clearly in the 90’s. But in those moments, I realized my love and passion for film and television.”
Brewer attended Eastern Michigan University and the experience as a theatre student is what shaped her as an adult in the industry. Higher education was a gratifying experience for her and exposed her to different genres of the film and television industry.
Brewer said, “I had an amazing time in college. It’s where I learned about the greats; Sidney Poitier, August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, and so many others! Theatre in college also gave me my first shot as lead actress in Alice Childress’s play, “Wedding Band.”
Initially, Brewer wanted to move to Los Angeles, California but after talking with one of her sisters who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, she encouraged her move there. She thought it would be easier and more affordable to break into the industry that way. In 2017, Brewer packed up her Jeep and moved to Atlanta.
Brewer said, “My sister was right about the affordable part, but I struggled with getting into the television and film world in Atlanta. I tried and tried to get connected with Tyler Perry Studios but didn’t get far so I decided to move back to Michigan, save money, and make the move to Los Angeles.
The Move Across Country
Brewer spent a few months working odd jobs and finally broke into the industry. She currently works as a director and set assistant for both CBS, “The Neighborhood” show starring Cedric The Entertainer and Netflix and the “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me” show starring Jamie Foxx. She enjoys her job and the takeaway has been both educational and entertaining.
Brewer laughed and said, “I’ve discovered writers and producers love Lacroix sparkling water and gum! Both of the shows I work on have a soft spot for people from the Midwest.
Also getting a call personally from the producer and director of the show I’m currently on to come back to work made me very happy. That lets me know that they love my work ethic and Midwestern attitude!”
Brewer said that there has been many memorable experiences but that being able to get in front of those who can make her dreams a reality has been the most important. She had the chance to pitch a project of her own to the Vice President of Netflix, which is still in the works. Having the opportunity to work on forming a friendship has been a high point of her career.
Brewer said that in the next five years she sees herself shooting her second major film, as well as, running a production company of her own. She is also passionate about helping other young and hungry creatives of color like herself bring their dreams and passions of creating art to life.
Without the help of others, Brewer said that it would have been very difficult to succeed in the film and television industry.
“It was honestly several people including my older sister who is a well known wardrobe designer in the film and television world in Los Angeles. One of the amazing directors for “The Neighborhood,” Ron Mosley and the AD team, and last but not least Cedric the Entertainer and his production company, Bird and Bear Entertainment. They’ve been such a blessing and have taken me in as family,” said Brewer.
As with most people in the world, the pandemic has exponentially impacted Brewer’s life and work. She has to be tested for the virus to go to work and that adds additional stress but she is taking it all in stride.
Brewer said, “I know I’m not alone when I say this, but the pandemic really serves as a wake up call to do better. It pushed me to hustle even harder and to have the confidence to know that I am worthy of everything I set my mind to do. Right now and and in the future that is going to be getting my shows picked up by a major network.”
For those interested in the film and television industry Brewer said to start networking now. She said to create a profile on LinkedIN and connect with producers, directors, writers, actors and researching agents, managers, producers, etc. on IMDB.
She added, “Also stay ready. The key to this is doing research and knowing exactly what you want to do within the industry. If you want to direct- do research on your favorite directors, study the The Directors Guild of America (DGA) which is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad.”
Brewer said the more you know, the more you will be prepared. She said to study the policies of the DGA and start directing short films to show even if it’s shot on an iPhone. When that time comes and a producer is looking for the next Steven Spielberg, you’re more than ready to take that mission on.
Brewer enthusiastically said, “If there’s anyone who is really interested in breaking into the crazy world of television and film, I am more than willing to help in any way that I can!”