Barry Brewer is a walking, talking, source of energy and inspiration. He has used his passion for acting and comedy to propel himself in a variety of different directions in the entertainment world. We loved him during the Whole Crew Is Stupid Comedy Tour and we love his energy on Tyler Perry’s hit series, Bruh’s on the BET Network.

Brewer is a confident and adept entertainer. He began his career when he received a standing ovation at an impromptu performance at a packed-out Chicago church event. This event served as the catalyst that changed the trajectory of Brewer’s life. As a result, he shifted his focus to comedy, honed his craft, and began performing in comedy clubs throughout Chicago; eventually relocating to Los Angeles. His early success came from televised comedy competitions such as Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes, on TV One; alongside his peers, Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rel Howery on BET’s Coming to the Stage.

I had a chance to sit down and chop it up with the charismatic actor and he delved deep into his motivations and why he chose the path he’s on.

Let’s back track a little. Our first interaction was at the BET Awards. What was the most memorable part of the BET awards from your perspective?

That’s a great question. I gotta pick a good one. Just sitting there with my castmates and enjoying our first time there being invited. I remember just sitting there looking across seeing Mama Sandra who plays my mom on the show, Candice, and Monti who plays Tom, and I was just taking in the moment. It was a blessing to share this with dope people who also this is their first time. I was enjoying the journey to where I see myself going.

You are doing so much in Hollywood and beyond. What exactly started you on your journey with acting and comedy?

It kind of started simultaneously because I always thought being a stand-up comedian, I would naturally be an actor too. I always admired comedians like Martin Lawrence, Jamie Fox, Sinbad, Eddie Murphy, Richard, and people like that who I admired greatly. As a young kid I always loved to laugh. There was a guy, when I became a teenager that was saying I should try some stand up for our church concert. So, I tried stand up for the first time and got a standing ovation. When I performed that one time and got that response, I knew I wanted to do this forever.

You’re an actor, comedian, and you play instruments and sing! You’re a beast. Do you find that you gravitate more towards one than the other?

Great question. I wouldn’t say that I gravitate to one more than another because they are all very important to me. Because acting and comedy has become more of my job, I feel more creative. If I am doing one more, I find myself doing the other in my free time. They are all a part of me. It’s like your left hand and your right hand, they are both connected to me very strongly.

You’ve been doing some amazing tours these past few years…tell us more about that.  

Building my audience was essential to my success. Initially being a standup, your ultimate goal is to tour and have people come to see you. So, I initially starting touring and featuring for Sommore, the Queen of Comedy, which was such an honor. Then my counterpart had some friends that we did sketches with Big John Minx and we he had some great success with the sketch we did called, “The Whole Crew Is Stupid.” Because of the response of the sketch, I felt we should do a tour. Doing a tour where I was going from one city to the next for two months happened with “The Whole Crew Is Stupid” Tour. We did about twenty cities. We were in a Sprinter van, and it was just a great experience to connect with the fans and meeting the people in person who have been supporting me.

Do you have anything that you do specifically to prepare for hitting the stage?

I say a prayer before I prepare. “I thank God for the gift, and I pray that this gift works to the best of its capacity and these people laugh like they’ve never laughed before in Jesus’ name, Amen.” Then I go straight out there and dive in! When I was first starting out as a comic, not knowing how people would respond, I started to say that. Other than that, I have been doing it over twenty years. I still record myself when I am working on things. So, yeah, I just jump, punch the air like I’m boxing, and I go for it. 

You currently have two studio albums, Dive In and Conquer Goliath that you wrote, composed and produced. Talk to us a bit about that.

I am very proud of it as a creative. I never wanted to sing in front of people aside from church. But being a musician and a singer there are certain levels. I am a big fan of Tank and Brandy. I got to work with Tank in the studio. Back in 2006 I played for him and Jamie Fox for the Laffapalooza tour in Atlanta. Jamie heard me playing the piano and he asked me to play for him and Tank. He wasn’t who is today, and he’s the one who got me backstage with them. We eventually met up in the studio and he gave me a lot of advice on production. Everyone’s talent is different and when I saw how Childish Gambino’s Guava Island, I noticed he was a unique artist and that really inspired me. I knew I could be myself. I have my own style. I was inspired to do it my way. I bring a lot of inspiration through in my music. I have an album dropping in the Fall, so stay tuned.

Who are a few of your favorite musical artists?

My favorite songwriter of all time is Stevie Wonder. He is timeless. I love listening to Blast from LA. He was at the BET awards, and I met up with him and I was singing his praises. I enjoy him greatly. I like Chris Brown, he’s consistent in putting out great songs. I like Eric Bellinger, Lil’ Russell who comes out Vallejo, Travis Malloy, so many others. I find myself listening to a lot of new artists. I wish I could give them all a shoutout. I could just keep going.

I read that when you first auditioned for Tyler Perry’s Bruh’s, that reading in front of Perry was highly intimidating. Tell us a bit about that. 

My first audition was with Kim Coleman, then my second audition was with Mr. Perry. Mr. Perry was sitting down, and I was about seven feet away from him. Trying to stay in character and really lock in was a little distracting because he was right there! He’s Tyler Perry, so I knew it was a huge opportunity. I wanted to focus, but it was so intimidating with him sitting there in my eye line with me trying not to react to him reacting to my acting. It was a blessing though.

Let’s rewind a bit to your childhood.  Was there ever a time growing up where you thought you’d be doing what you’re doing now?

I didn’t think, I knew I wanted to be an NBA player. There was no doubt in my mind! That was what I wanted to do. That was my dream, and my son now has the same dream.

The ideal movie would star you and which two other actors and why?

Whoopi Goldberg and Shia LeBeouf. Those are two people I always have wanted to work with. Whoopi has a great career. I admire her personality, her art form, her journey, and her longevity. She has a huge ability to stay grounded in the midst of all her success. I have been a fan of Shia and would love to do an action movie with him.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?

That is a great question. I pray that what I’m about to say that people really hear what I’m saying. I am learning that despite where you are on your journey you have to know and believe that the things you want for yourself will happen. It’s not if it will happen, it’s when. Sustaining your momentum and doing everything in your power to get there is important. Know that it’s going to come to pass at some point. Sometimes encouraging yourself through the wait is important. Staying optimistic and doing everything in your power to help yourself get to your destination.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Having my movie studio successful enough where I can give people like my twenty-year old self opportunities to do what they were gifted to do.

Self-care has always been super important, but it came to a head over the last few years during the pandemic. What does Barry Brewer do to relax and give back to himself?

I get massages very consistently. It’s been a big part of my life and has been for years. I even take baths with bubbles, two bottles of water, a game on and I disconnect from my phone, or I play chess on my phone. I read books. There are two books that I like, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, and another called, “The In Zone.” I read the chapters that I’m feeling. I also watch motivational videos, so that’s what I do. I swear by my massages though!

So, everyone wants to know what you’re working on now?

I am filming Season 4 of The Bruh’s. I have a movie studio called OBE Studios in Chicago, so I am doing some projects there. I am also working on an album.

To learn more about Barry, visit his website and follow his socials.