So yesterday I had the awesome opportunity to interview an actor from one of my favorite shows, 30 rock! Kevin Brown aka Dot Com! So here it is!
( i started by introducing myself and telling him a little about my lovely cyber corner of the internet )
Me: So, are there any type of blogs that you follow?
Dot Com: No
me: Im guessing you don’t have the time?
Dot Com: Well its not so much that. Im just now getting into some of the..I guess there called social media. Im a late comer. So now that Im becoming more aware of them I will begin to migrate to them, Im just a late comer. When all of my friends were playing video games on the play station 3 and the xbox, I was still happy playing them on the original play station. I just that guy, Im late for the party
Me: What age did you start acting at?
Dot Com: I don’t know remember my age, but what I’ve learned early in acting is that our chronological age doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is the age range you can play so um the funny thing about me is that whenever I get new representation they always ask for new headshot’s but the thing about me is I have looked the same age and the same way for the last 15 years so my age almost doesn’t matter, you’ll look at me and Ive always looked between mid to late 30′s early 40′s. Thats how I’ve looked for the last 15 years so thats how it was when I started
Me: I read in your bio that you started ” The Uptown Comedy Club”, I haven’t seen it but its a sketch comedy show… similar to maybe an SNL?
Dot Com: yeah well the TV show was a sketch show but it was an actual club in Harlem for years before and after the TV shows in Harlem for 10 years then on tv for 2 seasons but yes even though it climaxed the club it was just a small piece of it, it was an actual working club in Harlem where a lot of todays best Urban comics started at.
Me: Does it still exist now ?
Dot Com: No, uh… we closed in maybe 2001-2002 we never recovered from 9/11 even though the club was uptown in harlem we had a lot of tourist come support the venue but after people stopped traveling to NY for a while after the 9/11 thing happened it really impacted my business. You know about 60% of my business was tourist coming in so we never survived that and had to let it go
Me: Does your brother still act?
Dot Com: No, he doesn’t act. He’s my manager so he’s actively involved in my career.
Me: Is that the only brother?
Dot Com: Yes, I have one older brother and one younger sister.
Me: does your sister act?
Dot Com: No, she is a film major and she’s great at writing scripts and things like that, she’s part of my team though she’s great at helping out with ideas
Me: I read that you have managed and coached comedians such as Tracy Morgan …. I would have never thought of comedy being something you could teach, how does that happen really?
Dot Com: yeah thats a common misconception because I was never the funny guy, you know when you talk to people like Tracy Morgan… there are always comedians who have the story like Martin Lawerence who have the story of you know him being funny in school, every great comedian has that story, they were disruptive in school and the teacher says if your good now Ill give you 5 min at the end of class so a lot of the greats have that story who were always the funny guy and the life of the story. I don’t have that story. I was never the funny guy I was never the life of the party, I was never the funniest guy, I was never the funniest guy in the building, I was never the funniest guy in the conversations, you know I really had to go to the fundamentals of comedy to learn how to be funny. But yes, it can absolutely be taught. Its absolutely a skill, and it has rules ,and it has formulas , it has techniques and it can absolutely be taught.
Me: So that is what you taught to those actors?
Dot Com: Yeah, as a matter of I did some research, I read some books on comedy and stuff but basically when an audience, when a comedian, performs infront of an audience, the audience is talking to the comedian. So if the the audience boo’s you thats them telling you they don’t like what your saying, and in turn, instead of getting mad at the audience like a lot of comics do, what your supposed to do is listen and when they clap for you a little bit that means, ok theres something there but it needs more work and then when they clap for you a lot that means ok you hit the nail on the head, and then when they scream or fall out their chairs that means you got it, so all of those little non verbal communications the audience does. The audience is basically teaching you how to do comedy. And I learned that early on and I learned that I guess from my instincts but the idea is if you ever say things that make people scream, the idea is to string a whole bunch of that together. And it can happen throughout the day, if I say something to you in this interview and you just find it hi-la- rious, you know what im gonna do? the next interview im in im gonna say it again. people are gonna be like “oh he’s so funny he heee he’s brilliant ” and ill go ” yes I am “
So About 30 rock…
Me: Did you have any say in your name for the show, Dot com?
Dot Com: Well I have a say, but that was before 30 rock. Iwas going by the name Dot Com for years before 30 rock. it was way before, when I first started doing comedy, mind you this was 15 years ago come april, I was going by…In Urban comedy we all have… we all give ourselves these fancy stage names, these fly stage names to be known by and I was going by Big Kev, but what I started noticing that was from Kevin being a very common name every promoter, every DJ, everybody that was doing a birthday party whose name was Kevin started putting on their fliers that their name was Big Kev. ” Big Kev is doing a picnic, Big Kev is doing a book drive, DJ big Kev is doing a ya no concert,” so I needed to distinguish myself from all these other guys so maybe about 13 years ago I started calling myself Big Kev Dot Com I just added the dot com to distinguish myself from those guys, so I was using that name for you know the next 3 or 4 years.. and the last time I had seen Tracy Morgan I was going by the name Big Kev Dot Com. So I hadn’t seen Tracy for about 8 years, and when we had both showed up to shoot the Pilot for 30 rock he didn’t know that I just happened to be coincidentally one of the guys picked to be part of his entourage but I didn’t have a character name because I was just supposed to be part of the posse you know one of the big guys that hung with Tracy we were just called his posse so when we were shooting the pilot and he found out I was there, we had our happy reunion, and then he turned and introduced me to Tina Fey, so he turned and said ” Tina this is my man Dot Com, Dot Com, this is Tina” and that was how I met Tina for the first time, we were already shooting the Pilot. So um after the show got picked up and we were shooting a couple episodes of 30 rock they said “Dot Com the writers really like what your doing on the show and there going to start writing you in” and I said ” with lines and more money?” and they were like ” yes with lines, and more money” and I was like great where do I sign! and when I saw my first script that I was written into with dialogue it just said Dot Com, yeah so they didn’t ask me my opinion they might of said ‘no we cant name him by his real name’ but it actually was what they called me and Grizz is was what they called him before the show.
Me: So when you think about your time on the show, is there any one episode that stands out in your mind?
Dot Com: Yeah absolutely, the one episode that stands out in my mind is the Midnight Train to Georgia episode. Where Gladys Knight was on the show, and uh kenneth was leaving the show and we all broke out into song and dance. We sang a version of Midnight Train to Georgia that was a lot of fun and that was very exciting, I loved that episode.
Me: So in the one episode “Audition Day” you got an audition for a part on the show, TGS, do you think Dot Com could have been a good addition to the TGS show?
Dot Com: I think Dot Com could have been a great addition to the show, I think he could run, I think he could be a great addition to running the studio, running the network, producing the show, uhm I think Dot Com has a great recruiting of ideas and what I like as they develop the character is that somehow Dot Com ends up in a situation where somebody passes his ideas along to someone else. I remember the episode where Tracy Jordans wife thought he needed new writers and she said ” Grizz, Dot Com come up with some new ideas” and finally Dot Com has a chance to share his ideas, then there was another where dot com develops a show called “Lets stay together” and that turned into a pilot and I just love that Dot Com is able to get the opportunity to present his creativity.
Me: I thought that would have been funny, especially because of Tracy and his jealousy issues…
Dot Com: Yeah you know Dot Com is one of those characters… Ithink he can interact well. As he evolves… they show that Dot Com can interact well with all of the cast of the show but for the most part of it his range is limited to his interaction with Tracy and Grizz but I think those moments when he does interact with Alec Baldwin, or Jack Donaghy and Liz Lemon that works out pretty well too. OH and another episode that I really enjoyed was when Liz Lemon was trying to get the apartment next door and she has the neighbor, and she says I want Dot Com to pretend he’s my boyfriend, astronaut …. I cant remember his name ..
Dot Com: Yes, Mike Dexter, and then I come banging on the door and im talking all loud trying to intimidate this guy, I thought that was moment was Hi-lar-ious I remember reading the script for the first time and I just thought that was the funniest thing I had seen. I thought that was sooo funny. I didn’t just think that was funny because I was apart of it I just thought that moment was hil-arrrrr-ious.
Me: It was, also, Dot Coms character is kind of a big teddy bear
Dot Com: Yes yes it definitely was
Me: So the new season is starting soon… is there anything you can tell me about it ?
Dot Com: Unfortunately I am part of Tracy Morgan’s posse… and I say unfortunately because you know I hang around with tracy and I start to pick up Tracy’s bad habits. So Tracy, and Im talking about Tracy Morgan now, Tracy Morgan doesn’t read scripts. OK, he doesn’t read scripts until were shooting. I mean he’ll read it at the table reads and he’ll never look at it again until were filming then he picks it up and starts to read it. The point is I picked up that bad habit where I don’t read scripts anymore. I just show up, they put papers in front of my and I just read it right there, I don’t remember scripts. I just come and go ‘Tell me what you want me to do and ill do it” so unfortunately Im not up to speed on the new season. Actually, when you do these award shows, they ask the actors to submit a list of episodes to be considered for the award shows so I got a email asking me what episodes from last season can be submitted for the award show and I couldn’t even answer the question. I couldn’t do anything because I have no memory. I just said I don’t know, I don’t remember what happened last season
me: I guess ill just have to be patient
Dot Com: haha yeah, I cant help you, Im gonna be finding things out the same time as you.
Me: If there was any career you could have been other then and actor or a comedian what would it have been?
Dot Com: hum… any career other then an actor or comedian…..well you know what, I came up in the martial arts and when I came up there was no real way to make money being a martial artist other then teaching, or doing security both things I did. But they have this MMA thing now, this MMA fighting its so huge right now, I wish the MMA had existed when I was coming up in martial arts because I would have loved to do that. And I secretly had a dream to be a stripper I always wanted to be a stripper, I thought that would have been sexy And I always wanted to be a forest ranger.
Me: Besides the martial arts, do you have any other hobbies?
Dot Com: uhmmmmm…. lemme see, you know what I do stand up comedy professionally, and I do acting professionally but those are really hobbies for me. Like those are things that I loveeeee doing that I would do for free. If I wasn’t getting paid to do comedy if I wasn’t getting paid to act I would still do it. So I consider those hobbies that im just so blessed to get paid to do but those are absolutely hobbies. well you know what, I just started a new hobby, Bickram Yoga, Bickramyoga is different, it takes place in a room that is 109 degrees.
Me: your obviously a really giant man, but Grizz is even bigger… So how big are you?
Dot Com: Im only 6 foot 5.
Me:… thats still really big. Do you get asked that question a lot?
Dot Com: Yes, I get asked that question quite a bit. The bizarre part is that because of Grizz I have to say ONLY.
Me: How big is he ?
Dot Com: He’s close to 7 feet. 6’11..7 feet.. something like that
Me: so the last question is..can you tell me about Dot Com for President?
Dot Com: Dot Com for president, absolutely. You know the thing about Dot Com in the fictional Dot Com and the real life Dot Com, the both of them are very bright, they are both very rational and have excellent leadership qualities, and as I watch some of these corn balls who come up and try to claim that they want to be our president of the United States… I get the same feeling when I started doing comedy, I blame comedians for allowing me to do stand up comedy, its comedians fault because I was a business man prior to doing stand up comedy. I was producing tv shows… running a comedy club and things like that and there honestly should have been no way that I should have been able to do comedy, but I would watch stand up comedians do their job and they were so awful at it. I said to myself id be sitting at home thinking ‘Oh there awful, I can do better then them” and thats how I felt when I decided to do comedy id go oh my goodness this guy is awful I could do a better job at that, and get paid for it” and thats what I did. and thats what I feel when I watch these so called political clowns try to be president of the US, are you serious? I watch these clowns, and im calling them clowns – im not kidding, and I say look at these clowns ! I could do better then that! and thats my motivation and I watch these guys…You could take the brightest guy in the world, because I really think Barak Obama is one of the brightest guys, but you could take the brightest guys in the world and the situation .. .were in such a bad state that he can’t even fix the problem because were so corrupt… and were in such a deep hole. You know he can only run for so many terms, you know he only gets 2 terms, OK, I say we give him his two terms, he kills Bin Laden, he kills Gaddhafi … all these things happen on his watch. He’s and American hero, give him whatever he wants. but I watch these clowns come and try to run our country and Im like wouldn’t it be great if a guy like Dot Com just a regular guy a regular good guy, if you saw his name on the ballot wouldn’t you vote for that guy? wouldn’t you? you’d have to! you’d have to see what this Dot Com guy would say. And I believe Im up for the challenge and I believe I can out debate most of these guys that our out there debating. I believer I can out maneuver these guys. Its gonna sound like a survivor ad, I can outwit, outthink, outmaneuver any of these guys… The thing I see them saying, see them doing…… So yes to make a long story short, yeah Dot Com is capable of being the president of the United States but I’l accept president of the internet, I’ll accept president of twitter. By the way my twitter is @dotcom30rock. so you know I’d accept some of those smaller offices, president of twitter, president of the internet you know just to prepare myself for president of the United States
Me: So if elected president, whats one thing you would change?
Dot Com: hum well I have a comical side and I have a serious answer… The serious answer is that you know were at war right now, were spending millions of dollars on war and other things but were really at war with ourselves. There are people in charge that just run everything they have all the nations money and they spend it in the worst ways while there are people right here who need it, who don’t have food, water, shelter, clothes, education. I would find a way to help those people out here
Me: And the comical answer?
Dot Com: Well you know how in a relationship theres a side of the bed you have? You don’t talk about it, you don’t decide. It just happens the first time you go to bed together and then thats your side. Well I would pass a law that says when you wake up in the morning you cant say anything until you get up and wash that mess out of your mouth. No morning talking.
Me: hah, Do you have a campaign manager?
Dot Com: Well I have 2 ideas, both from 30 rock actually, uh Tracy and Jack Donaghy. But im not sure about Jack, I think he’s running for Mayor so maybe well team up….
Me: Well if they fall through let me know, ill be your campaign manager…
Dot Com: hah I will I will
It was so much fun talking to him, he was such a nice pleasant guy. I cant wait for the new season of 30 rock to start!