Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, Every Woman Works job coach Nicole Smart, development director Andrea Sharp, CEO and founder Tillie O'Neal-Kyles and receptionist Sarah Campbell discuss the opening of the BEE Boutique.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, Every Woman Works job coach supervisor Jennifer Johnson, CEO and founder Tillie O'Neal-Kyles and development director Andrea Sharp look over a display in the BEE Boutique. The racks and displays for clothing and accessories were donated by Marshalls.
When asked what he finds most appealing about his craft, Shon Middlebrooks is quick to rattle off a succession of responses denoting his personal connection to it.
The 20-something Buckhead actor’s answer is informed by equal parts experience and introspection — a duality cultivated during the two decades he’s been plying his preferred artistic trade.
“I always say I don’t believe that you necessarily pick acting; I think acting picks you,” Middlebrooks said. “I think a lot of times your passions are predetermined and it chooses you when you just open yourself up and listen …”
Those in the know say Middlebrooks has the prerequisites — skill, looks and ambition — to continue on his upward trajectory.
Middlebrooks is counted among Victor Love’s star pupils at the latter’s Inman Park-based EVOLV acting studio.
Love, himself a veteran of stage and screen, invoked his protégé’s substance while forecasting the younger man’s future.
“Shon is clear about what it will take to be competitive as an actor and is fearless and driven,” said Love. “He has all the gifts necessary to become a name in this industry and the moral fiber to withstand the social pressures that come with the territory.
“He is also one of the hardest working people I know.”
Middlebrooks is quick to reciprocate the praise EVOLV’s way — particularly the studio’s espoused branch of acting technique.
“It’s a clear, cleaner version that is a little bit more accessible … it’s a lot more tangible,” he said. “It’s very practical.
“And, [EVOLV] is a great environment if you’re an artist — whose interest is in really doing the work. It’s not a competitive atmosphere … it’s not a place to waste time or get your ego massaged.”
While keeping a keen eye on TV and film opportunities, the sculpted thespian has racked up a slew of theatrical credits, including roles in “Six Degrees of Separation” and “What it Means to be American.” He also may be recognizable from from gigs in national commercials for the likes of ESPN and Visa.
For his part, Middlebrooks is content to strengthen his grasp on the artform he loves so unconditionally.
But, there is still plenty of room in his creative mindscape for that aforementioned ambition.
“Three to five years, Shon Middlebrooks is going to be in a movie that you will see, and, probably appearing on TV,” he said.”
“But, you will definitely see me in film.”
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