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From England to NYC: It’s Amber Brookes

Amber Brookes Interview by Jen Bush

The American Theatre of Actors production of The Merry Wives of Windsor is being made merrier by having a bona fide Brit in the cast.  Amber Brookes is delighted to hone her craft in the city where the vibrancy of theater lives and breathes.  “My journey as an artist began in my tiny hometown of Derby, England and I am beyond excited to continue learning, growing, and creating in New York City. My goal as an artist is to embody the human experience and tell stories that people can relate to, to offer understanding in hard times, and to extend the joy of escapism whilst allowing people to consider looking at the world a little differently.”

 Ms. Brookes thinks that Shakespeare is beneficial for any actor.  “Actors should absolutely give Shakespeare a try, even once.  not only is the language beautiful but it’s generous, there’s so much room for exploration.” 

With prolific prose about love and quotes like, “This bud of love by summer’s ripening breath, may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.” and “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…”, Shakespeare knew a thing or two about the magic that summer holds.  That’s when we see a plethora of his plays being performed.  Ms. Brookes agrees.  “There’s a sense of romance in the air when the weather is warm and the days are long.” 

In the current climate, laughter is the best medicine and that’s what drew Ms. Brookes to this role.  “Times have been hard, globally, and comedy is a certain sweet relief.” 

From the classic to the contemporary, Ms. Brookes has a wide range of inspirations.  “I draw inspiration from great actresses across the decades, from Audrey Hepburn to Zendaya. I’m continually inspired by my fellow actors and colleagues in the city.”

Ms. Brookes creative process combines visual aspects with research. “It depends entirely on the project but in terms of getting into character I like to create visual aids for myself including mood boards, or photoshoots in character. I research the time period and the location. I create diary entries in character.” 

The pandemic was hard on everyone worldwide, but it was particularly difficult for Ms. Brookes on a personal level.  “The pandemic changed everything for me. It hit a few weeks before I was due to graduate from Acting school. It caused huge complications for me due to my immigration status, I haven’t been able to visit my home and see my family in three years. Everything is different. The way I view the world is entirely different. But change is necessary, and change is the only certainty we are offered in this life, what should be different is our attitude towards one another. Our compassion and understanding, our empathy. I think we need art now more than ever; we deserve a form of escapism especially in trying times.”

Next up Ms. Brookes will be going from Shakespeare to Shanley.  You can catch me live on stage portraying ‘Brenda’ in Four Dogs and a Bone directed by Art Bernal at ATA this August!  Ms. Brookes will be sharing her talents to the merriment of audiences all around.

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