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Rising New York City actress talks about how her after-school theater experience helped shape her professionally

Photo courtesy of Brittany Adebumola

Brittany Adebumola has known that acting was her thing from the time she was a kid.

Adebumola got bitten by the acting bug while she was nine years old. At the time she lived in Florida and started to do some showcases before ultimately moving back to Brooklyn when she was 14 and joining Opening Act, which provides after-school theater classes for high schoolers that don’t have theater programs in their schools.

It was during her time at Opening Act where she really got to truly be herself and not hide from her personality.

“I’ve always been told that I’m extra and have a big personality,” said Adebumola. “Normally people tell you to dial it back, but at Opening Act I was able to be my full self.”

It was during her time at Opening Act where Adebumola got to experiment with different types of acting while also learning how to collaborate with the other students.

“I was familiar with traditional acting but Opening Act focuses a lot on improv,” said Adebumola. “You learn how to be more empathetic because every student comes from a different walk of life. Being able to collaborate with them was really inspiring. It made me grow a lot in understanding people.”

Since her time at Opening Act, Adebumola has graduated from Syracuse University with her BFA in Acting, and landed a role on “Grand Army,” a Netflix show that is set to premiere in 2020. The show is centered around five Brooklyn teenagers who attend Grand Army High School and watches them figure out their identities.

While she was participating in Opening Act, Adebumola was also taking part in Katie Capiaello’s acting school. It was through her connection to Capiaello that she got the audition for “Grand Army” and ultimately landed a role. However, it was her experiences at Opening Act that helped her feel comfortable on set.

“This was my first time on a television or film set. On the first day, you almost can’t focus on acting because there’s so much to take in,” said Adebumola. “There’s a lot going on, but you have to get the story through. At Opening Act you learn to think on your feet and be collaborative, so it really helped me manage my nerves.”

Four other actors on “Grand Army” also participated in Opening Act, which made the experience that much more fun for Adebumola.

“It was great to get to go on this journey with them and move on to the professional world.” said Adebumola.

For Adebumola, Opening Act was more than just an after-school program – it helped her navigate the professional world of acting by building up skills that she couldn’t learn anywhere else.

“For myself and a lot of Opening Act students, it goes way beyond performing on a stage,” said Adebumola. “In my experience, Opening Act taught me a lot of professional practices that I didn’t learn in high school, like making a resume. It made me feel more confident in professional spaces, including in college interviews and auditions. The tools I learned are what I’m using now to create and maintain these relationships.”

For more information about Opening Act, visit www.openingact.org

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