Wednesday, June 16

Woodland High graduate making mark in entertainment industry during pandemic


By MARIE NESMITH

Despite the lingering pandemic, Brett Benowitz is continuing to make an impression in the entertainment industry. The 32-year-old actor/musician is keeping busy, landing a role in the film, “Alabama Rose,” and recording songs in his home studio in California.

“It has been difficult to find work as an entertainer during the pandemic,” he said. “Before we declared a national emergency in March, I was getting lots of auditions and callbacks through my agent and through self-submissions but then everything came to a screeching halt.

“For music, my bandmate and I had been building a set list of original music to perform at venues, we had started recruiting new band members, we were in and out of recording studios working on a new single, and had just started talking to venues about future gigs when again everything came to a screeching halt.”

Now residing in Santa Monica, Benowitz previously lived in Bartow County and is a 2007 graduate of Woodland High School.

According to www.brettbenowitz.net, “After graduating from The University of Georgia in 2011 with a BA in Theatre and Film studies, he moved to New York City to take his career to the next level.

After a few months of auditioning in NY, Brett booked his first role as Master Jefferson in ‘Born Blue’ directed by Anthony Rapp (‘Rent,’ ‘Star Trek Discovery’). He then went on to book numerous off Broadway shows, regional shows and was eventually cast as the lead vocalist in the first national tour of ‘Rockin Road to Dublin’ where he recorded on the original cast album.”

Recently, Benowitz filmed “Alabama Rose,” which he described as a “suspense thriller about a young woman whose husband passes away and how she deals with the loss while there’s a murderer on the loose who’s after her.”

“I really liked the scenes that I did for the audition and felt really good about it when I sent it in,” Benowitz said, referring to the audition he shot from home. “A couple weeks later, the director texted me and asked me if I were available for a FaceTime callback that day.

“I was and when we got on the call he offered me the role because he really liked my audition and I 100% fit his vision for the character I was auditioning for. The character’s name is Michael and he’s a happy-go-lucky Southern man who loves cracking jokes and having a good time. He seemed like a fun guy to dive into, and I knew exactly how to play him and [it] showed in my audition.”

Referring to the experience as an “absolute blast,” Benowitz filmed “Alabama Rose” over three weeks in November in Gulf Shores. He shared the film, which is directed by Markiss McFadden, should be released within the next year and is “expected to go right to video.”

“The cast and crew were wonderful to work with and it didn’t hurt that we were staying right on the sand and I could see the beautiful ocean every morning when I woke up,” Benowitz said. “I made some great friends and it didn’t even feel like there was a pandemic going on unless we were going to restaurants or public places to shoot. Alabama is also very lax about wearing masks.

“I was so grateful to be working on a fun film that really showcased my range during a time when so many actors are trying to find work. It’s hard enough when there’s no pandemic! I was also extremely grateful that I could see my parents there while I wasn’t filming. It had been a whole year since I’d seen them.”

Along with “Alabama Rose,” Benowitz also has several projects in the works.

“For acting, despite major lockdowns in LA I’ve been getting some great auditions recently and managed to book a role on the TV show ‘Murder in the Heartland,’” Benowitz said. “I plan to continue auditioning and I feel like one of the many projects I’ve auditioned for recently will click.

“Also I’m hosting a YouTube gameshow called ‘Smoothie Madness’ that has a huge following and Adult Swim has been expressed interest in us. We plan on shooting season 4 ASAP in 2021.”

Looking ahead, he also is striving to be proactive in his musical endeavors.

“I’ve been recording new songs from my home studio and hope to put out a full length album, an acoustic album and some vinyl singles in the next six months,” Benowitz said. “Also I’ll be getting on Patreon to help boost my income from music and cultivate my fan base.”

“It’s been a tough year for entertainers but for that reason alone we are needed more than ever. That’s why it’s important to self-produce your content rather than wait for someone to give you an opportunity. That’s exactly my plan for 2021, to make the opportunity not wait for it.”





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