The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Actress Spotlight: Keep Your Eye on Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown at the Cappies Award after winning best lead female actor.

Meet Natalie Brown: student, actress, and film and theater enthusiast.

As a junior in high school, many of junior Natalie Brown’s peers are trying to decide what to do with their future. What college are they going to? What should they major in for college? What’s their passion? For Brown, however, it’s a different story. She’s always known her passion is acting. “I can’t remember a time where I didn’t want to be an actor. It was right away. Ever since I could remember I always thought ‘I’m gonna be famous’ and I’m gonna be an actor. I always knew. Little me was like, ‘I’m doing this,’” said Brown.

Brown’s passions and love for drama developed at a young age through film and community theater. As a child, Brown was influenced by her film and theater-loving father. “Every weekend, my dad and I would go to the Countryside movie theater and would watch movies all weekend spanning various different genres. On those weekends we would also see community theater and high school theater. I always loved the feeling of running up to the front row,” said Brown. Despite her father loving theater, Brown is the only member of her extended family pursuing the arts. “My dad loves film and theater and my mom does photography. For the most part my family isn’t into musicals or music. They’re more critical thinking, math and science people,” said Brown. In a family full of left brain individuals, Brown’s passions and expertise in theater is more right brained. 

When asked how Brown would describe herself, the word “chaotic” first came to mind. As someone pursuing theater, Brown admits the element of chaos goes hand and hand with drama. “I have so many things going on and as an actor you need the quality of chaos. Theater, especially high school theater is chaotic. You need the mindset and for the environment to be okay,” said Brown. 

Before joining the Potomac Falls drama department, Brown partook in many community and school theater productions. Her first performance was “The Music Man” for Sterling Playmakers when she was in elementary school. Even as a little girl, Brown took theater very seriously. “I was eight and I remember we didn’t know about the audition until the very last minute. I remember I got so upset because no one prepared me for it, even though I was only eight years old,” said Brown.

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Brown recounts this experience as extremely positive due to the various age groups working together as a crew. This experience showed her the difference between watching a show and being a part of one. “The Music Man” served as the catalyst for many more productions. “It was so fun being a part of it because it wasn’t just high school kids. It was adults, teenagers, and kids. It was so fun to actually be a part of the show rather than just watching it,” said Brown.

Theater has been apart of Brown’s life since childhood. Film and theater have inspired her to become an actress but also inspire her “to take notice of different perspectives because I feel like without film and theater I wouldn’t be able to know what’s going on besides my world. It’s inspired me to be empathetic towards others, especially others where I may not have their certain perspective,” said Brown.

Brown’s favorite movie and stage play support this idea. Although Brown’s favorite movie speaks to her personally, her favorite stage play does not. As an actress Brown’s favorite movie is “La La Land.” “Even though it’s a musical, it has such relatable story lines. Especially the character played by Emma Stone, Mia. She’s a realistic point of view for actors trying to get jobs in LA. It shows how heartbreaking acting can be, almost humbling,” said Brown. On the other hand, a story that reaches for an audience’s empathy is “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” This stage play captures very human emotion while telling a simple story with deep characters. “My favorite stage play is ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ It’s about a bunch of guys in a psych ward during the time where psych wards were really bad. It tells the story of how they rebel against a mean nurse. I really enjoy it because it’s so funny and serious. It makes you cry and laugh. Every production I see of it, it’s always great acting. It’s such a basic concept but it has such deep characters anyone can connect with,” said Brown.

Although Brown enjoys being apart of all sorts of theater productions, nothing competes with the Potomac Falls drama department. Brown has been apart of every single production since she was a freshman. This list includes: “Clue,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Puffs,” “Miracle Worker,” “The Music Man,” “The Crucible,” and will be apart of “Curtains” this spring. When asked to describe the department in one word Brown chose “welcoming.” I’ve been a part of a lot of theater companies outside of school. Adult community theater, high school community theater, and nothing can compete with the department at Potomac Falls,” said Brown.

The drama department at Potomac Falls works to include everyone. “I feel like the department is always setting you up for success. No matter where you’re coming from, what age, what grade, what experience you have,” said Brown. Brown believes the drama department sets students up for their goals and fosters a strong environment. Since Brown wants to become an actress, she believes the department is even more helpful, “Since I want to do this professionally, I always get support from Ms. [Corrine] Fox and Ms. [Kristin] Bird. It’s prepared me for the fact that I’ll get a lot more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’s’ but to keep going. If I really want to do this, I need to dream big and never stop,” said Brown.

Brown even cites one of Potomac Falls’ productions as her favorite production she’s ever been a part of. When Brown was a sophomore she played Anne Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker.” Brown remembers this experience as challenging but satisfying. “It was so fun because it challenged me in so many ways. I had to learn the alphabet in sign language, change my mindset because it was a whole different time period, and play a different character than I’m used to playing. Normally I’m the comedic character, obnoxious one, or villain,” said Brown. After this performance, the cast went to the Cappies gala where Brown won best lead actor in a female role. 

Natalie Brown is a 17 year old junior in high school. After her senior year, Brown will have to figure out several things for herself. Where is she going to college? What will she major in? Is theater a possible career? Where will she be in ten years from now? Brown may not have all the answers, but she does have dreams and goals for the future. As for college, Brown sees herself as a city girl, “I really want to go to college in New York or LA. Mostly schools like NYU or UCLA. More of the heavy art schools in big cities,” said Brown.

Another goal she’s set for herself are her two dream roles. Brown gravitates towards highly creative and eccentric women. “Recently, It’s been Joe March in ‘Little Women The Musical’ and Donna from ‘Mamma Mia.’ They’re such interesting characters and there’s so much going on inside of them. Especially Joe March, I connect to her a lot. They’d be great characters to explore” said Brown. Most importantly for Brown, she wants her future self to be happy and fulfilled. Whether that be through theater as a career or not. Brown wants her future self to be “happy with whatever she’s doing. Of course I want her to be involved with acting. Whatever way I get into that. If I decide not to do it professionally or if I do,” said Brown.