The Get Down’s Skylan Brooks on juggling TV, movies & homework

“The Get Down” is one of the year’s biggest shows. Created by visionary Baz Lurhmann, the story of the birth of hip hop took Netflix by storm. One of the show’s young stars, Skylan Brooks, talks to BLEEP about his journey with the show so far and what he’s learned from Baz.

When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?

To be honest, I never really wanted to be an actor.  It was something that I was really gifted with, and my parents helped develop it and try new things. I actually didn’t want to do it at first, but it has grown on me. I’ve learned to enjoy it, and it’s great to meet new people and learn from the experiences I’ve had over the journey.

How has The Get Down challenged you as an actor?

Well this was different, first off, because my character wasn’t actually a concrete part of the story. So I had to make Ra-Ra up from scratch as a template for ideas, and later due to the massive time delays to finish part 2, I would get 5 pages of my script as soon as i would arrive on set. It was tough.

That’s tough. What else surprised you about the process of the show?

The amount of time it took to create it and finish it.  Also, the creative touches that came together to bring it to life, so that young and older audiences can relate.

What did you learn from working with Baz?

That creating something worthwhile is a process. Through finding spaces to relive a moment, you can find a piece of you within it.


How did you grow as a person from the process of making the show?

I was able to do things, that otherwise I was afraid to do in public. Also, I had to learn 3 page monologues in like 30 minutes, and be ready at any moment for a call. With dedication and staying true to the character and myself, I can do anything.

You’re going to school, you’re on a hit TV show, you’re in movies – how are you juggling it all?

It’s extremely difficult because everything affects the other, making it tougher on me. I’m learning scripts at midnight and having a final for Algebra 2 that same week. If you don’t have high tolerance or hate inconvenience, than this might not be the best option.

What’s next?

I don’t know, but there are things coming. Definitely working on music for now and school.  But otherwise, finishing The Get Down and chilling.

Interview by Ryan Brinson

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