I recently had the opportunity to interview Noel Braham who is currently based in LA working as an actor and independent filmmaker. Originally from Miami Florida and raised in Atlanta Georgia, he started out acting at the precious age of eight years old. He went to college at Georgia State University and eventually migrated to the West Coast to pursue his true passion which is the art of cinema and film. Continue reading below for Noel’s male perspective about love, life, and success.
Nyia: Tell me a little about yourself and what you’ve accomplished this far?
Noel Braham: When I decided to move to LA, I was living in New York and working as a page associate for NBC and even though it was a great job in a major city it wasn’t fulfilling to me or my purpose so I took a leap of faith and went after what I really wanted to do. The funny thing is that for the entire first year I was sustaining myself from acting gigs I did when I was back home. The irony is that I never knew those checks were going to come but when you walk by faith, the rest is taken care of for you. I actually had planned on moving to the west coast with the person I was in a relationship with but it was one of those love/hate situations and it was taking me away from my ultimate destiny. I said to myself regardless of what’s taking place with the person I love, I need to make sure that I still stay focused and in order to make my dreams come true, I have to be committed to that first. So, I decided to leave and she didn’t even know it.
Thus far, I’ve accomplished being nominated for 7 awards at the LA Web Fest, one for best writing which isn’t to boast but it’s amazing to me because, at the time when my production partner told me about the idea for Side Chicks, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write it. To be honest, I never wrote anything so before I did, I tried to find other people to do it. Ultimately, they all ended up dropping out and my manager came back to me again and said don’t go to anyone else you need to do this. I realized that when it comes to the environment and where you are, the only way you will maximize your potential and purpose is if you’re in the right habitat for which you belong to. I knew I could act and produce but writing? No. I’m not a writer, but sure enough, once I was pushed to pick up the pen I was able to create my own content and put my creative edge into the world. Then before I knew it, I had several episodes to release. You can’t take a fish, throw it on land and expect it to swim. You also can’t take a lion, throw it in the ocean and expect it to survive. If you aren’t thriving in your current environment maybe it’s because you aren’t in the right habitat or surrounded by the right people.
My other nominations included: best comedic series, best actor and actress, best editing, and best supporting actor. We won 4 out of 7 nominations. Additionally, I’ll be traveling to Italy where I’ll be receiving an international honor. My accomplishments prove that if you take an opportunity to focus, concentrate, and invest in you then you can truly do anything. I think many people fail because they aren’t as disciplined and focused as they should be. Those who are able to tap into the supernatural power that God has given all of us are able to pull out the ability to conquer, no matter what industry they’re in.
Nyia: In both side chicks and Star Wars exile, you not only act in both but you direct and write too, how difficult is it to juggle all three and which do you enjoy most?
Noel Braham: I love acting! I think it’s my heart and passion but it is tough to juggle all three because you have to wear so many different hats, especially when you get into the production process. The most difficult part is figuring out how to find a balance but when you have a good team in place, you’ll be more effective. The key to my success has been working with people who are committed to the cause and projects.
Nyia: How do the romantic relationships differ in Star Wars Exile and Side Chicks?
Noel Braham: In Side chicks, the story focuses on a guy by the name of Chic and he’s madly in love with Gloria but she’s not really that much into him. So, it’s a relationship role reversal where he’s completely dedicated to her but she has multiple suitors. Throughout the course of the story, you see a power struggle that takes place between her and the many men she’s dating.
Whereas in Star Wars Exile, Makal wants to go out and fight for the resistance to help his friends but his woman, who is also his master and madly in love with him doesn’t want to do so. She basically stops training him because she wants to protect him.
The biggest contrast I believe is that Makal realizes what his woman Boemana was doing and decides to step away from it but Chic is oblivious to what Gloria is doing most of the time.
Nyia: In your TV series the side chick, the concept is about following a couple’s relationship where the roles are reversed and the love is repositioned, how do you feel about role reversal in relationships and repositioning love?
Noel Braham: In 2017, I think everyone should follow what works best for the situation they’re in. Just because things have been done a certain way in the past, doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be done that way now, which is why you see the stay at home dads and the working moms and that’s completely fine. What many relationships lack is respect and that’s what I believe is most important.
Nyia: Why did you think it was important to cover a topic such as “side chicks” and put a comedic twist on it?
Noel Braham: I believe it’s something that we really need to start thinking about as a society. We may joke about it because it’s human nature. Sometimes it’s organic and just sort of happens but it speaks of our selfishness and lack of consideration for both men and women. When you’re dating someone and they love you or have feelings for you, you’re responsible for that person in some regard! I want people to laugh and enjoy it but I also want everyone to think about their own lives and to hold themselves accountable.
Nyia: In the series, “ignorant love” is mentioned and hash tagged at the bottom of the screen, what is your definition of ignorant love?
Noel Braham: Being blinded to the truth. As beautiful as love is, there’s another face to it. We get into situations like Chic for example, who allows himself to be manipulated and controlled by everything that Gloria says. Not only due to her physical appearance but he was in love with the idea of being in love, as opposed to truly understanding her as a person. Ask yourself do you really love them and if so what is it that you love about them? It’s a reminder to just open your eyes because most of the time the answers are clear, we just decide to ignore the signs.
Nyia: Do you believe ignorance is bliss when it comes to love?
Noel Braham: Yes, but only for so long.
Nyia: You cover various topics regarding love such as trust, sex, sugar daddies, and karma. Is your inspiration from personal experiences or do you find inspiration in other ways?
Noel Braham: Some of it is personal, in terms of people I’ve met. The character Gloria in Side Chicks is based on someone real. She opened my eyes to what happens when a woman behaves in ways that a man typically would.
Nyia: What other topics would you like to cover in your future work?
Noel Braham: Police brutality, Black identity, and relationships in a household, but I’m also passionate about telling the African American story in a medium where you don’t see us much. I want to combine black history in the Science Fiction world.