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celebrity Interviews

Quinta Brunson on passion projects and creating new narratives

Quinta Brunson Photo: Courtesy of Quinta B.

All of us who have gotten lost in a BuzzFeed video trance know who Quinta Brunson is. She's an actress, a comedian, and an all-around boss. And although you might have seen the BuzzFeed videos she writes, produces and stars in recently, she's been in the game for a minute, even studying comedy at The Second City in Chicago at just 17 years old.

And she just sold two original series — Broke and Adopted — to YouTube and Verizon respectively (You can watch a sneak peak of Broke here.) It's safe to say we're beyond excited to see what else Brunson has in store for us.

Get to know Quinta further before she presents at AfroTech this November, and read our interview with her below:

Blavity: What were your career goals early in life? And how did you end up on your current path?

Quinta Brunson: I saw myself becoming an actress or an automotive engineer. I was very into cars in my teens. Later on, I just wanted to be an assistant at Pixar. I think all of these aspirations led me to where I am now. I wound up keeping the principles that made me interested in those jobs and becoming more fluid in their culmination.

B: What has it been like to be someone whose content is frequently viral? How do you deal with the feedback (constructive and nonconstructive) and attention that comes with that?

QB: The highs are really fun. I enjoy making something that uniquely goes viral without people really knowing about me or who I am. That's quite a rush. I like getting feedback of any kind because it just gives me something to think about. The attention is cool! I balance it so that it has its place and is not invasive of my personal space/creative process.

B: What have been your favorite videos or series to produce or star in? What about that project was the most satisfying for you?

QB: I have loved working on Broke. It was such a project of passion for me. It's great to see it grow. The entire crew and cast were fantastic. It has also been my first venture into the world of showrunning and executive production.

B: Where do you turn for inspiration in our current digital climate? What content creators inspire you with what they’re doing?

QB: Donald Glover has been a constant inspiration. Chance the Rapper inspires me as well. I am very inspired by innovators. I'd have to add Steve Jobs, Oprah, Spike Jonze and Wong Fu to the list. On top of that, my friends and peers are beyond inspirational. I'm very inspired by companies that are good at growing with the times as well — Facebook, Twitter, Netflix etc.

B: When you were first breaking into comedy, what was your experience like as a black woman? And what tips do you have for black women entering the field?

QB: You know, I had an endearing experience. Ignorantly optimistic, my unique perspective as a black woman actually made me very successful and wanted in the beginning of it all. I also had a good community of improvisers and comics that were around. My advice would be to trust in the uniqueness of it all and be open to growth — not scared of it. And brush off the weak shit.

B: What are your biggest motivators?

QB: I have a vision for what I want. I've had it forever. I don't know what my life would be without it, so I have to stay on the path.

B: What do you do to unwind? How do you make time for you?

QB: I go to universal studios. I go to Hawaii. I listen to music and paint or draw. Honestly, nights with friends and spirits are the best. I went camping recently and boy, did that charge my spirit up.

B: How did you carve out such a name for yourself in the saturated digital landscape? How did you find your niche and your audience?

QB: Answering with retrospect — I think it was timing, patience and the unique perspective.

  B: Congratulations on selling both ‘Broke’ and ‘Adopted!’ What excites you most about these endeavors?

QB: Thank you! I'm excited because these shows are an opportunity for me to play and learn in larger spaces with higher stakes. It's a challenge. Showrunning and writing are important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to creating new narratives. I'm really excited to do both on these shows.

B: What can we expect next from you?

QB: We'll all just have to wait and see!

B: Anything else we should know?

"Support young creators. We're the change you want to see!"


For more from Quinta Brunson and other game-changers, get your tickets to AfroTech! We'll see you there. 


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