By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about your education/training.
I was fortunate to have some great educational experiences both in high school and at the collegiate level. However, I received my most rigorous educational training at 19 years old when I trained overseas at The British American Drama Academy at Oxford University. It was life-changing and intense. We studied Meisner, Stanislavski, and various other techniques in method acting. And of course, we studied Shakespearean acting.
How did you get started acting?
I’ve been performing all my life. I had two main stages. The first was the athletic stage where I was front and center playing AAU and varsity basketball. The second stage was performing arts. My mother was a huge part of that, always encouraging my love for the arts and creativity. One summer, when I was 16, I decided to take the summer off from playing ball. So my mom enrolled me in a performing arts intensive at the University of the Arts of Philadelphia. That is where the acting bug bit me and I’ve been at it ever since.
What are some of your rituals before getting in front of the camera?
Prayer, meditation, exercise, proper nutrition, sleep.
Tell us about your latest film project.
Universal Pictures Undercover Brother 2, directed by Leslie Small starring Michael Jai White as Undercover Brother and myself as Lionel, Undercover Brother’s younger brother. Talented and amazing actors Affion Crockett, Gary Owens, Barry Boswick and Laila Odom, Brandon Hirsh, and Melanie Loren round out the cast. The film is a continuation of the 2002 hit Undercover Brother. Determined to prove himself as more than just Undercover Brother’s brother, my character Lionel, uses his own unique way to save the world. It’s simply a fun-filled, action-packed film with laughs and excitement!
What has your experience been like as a comedian?
Being a comedian is a challenging art form, especially if you enter the world of standup comedy with just you, a mic, and the audience. All eyes locked in on you and the atmosphere in the room tends to scream “You better be funny. Make me laugh”. And when you are able to do just that, “make them laugh” there is no greater reward than the sound of their laughter. I had that amazing experience as part of my early journey into entertainment. It’s part of my fabric as a comedian and has helped to shape me as an actor. Who knows, maybe I’ll hit that stage again later in life.
If you aren’t busy enough, what projects are you working on as a producer?
I have a few projects I am excited about. I just came off from producing and directing a music video for Grammy Award Winning Artist Will Downing. And I am working on a non-linear comedy I am writing and producing with actor Desman Osei really excited about that one.
How do you maintain your competitive edge in the entertainment industry?
The only person I compete with is myself. Every day is an opportunity to grow.
Where do you see your career in the next five years?
That’s really specific and interesting. I say that because I try to view the trajectory of my career as continually upwardly mobile instead of a designated set of goals within a particular time frame. Often we set our dreams at a certain age or year when we expect to attain a goal. And when we reach that age/time and it’s not what we expect we are faced with disappointment. Hell, I do it all the time. What I’m learning to do now is to take one day at a time, setting goals for myself every day. With prayer and hard work, I am looking forward to a full future in acting, directing and producing.
What advice would you give someone who seeks to work in the entertainment industry?
As cliché as it may sound, my advice is, don’t quit. We hear that all the time right “don’t quit” but it’s really that simple. To me, success, winning, failing is all a mindset. Confucius once said “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.” So make up your mind and say you can. Believing in self is both powerful and positively life-changing.
2019 was a big year for Vince Swann, staring in “Undercover Brother 2” in the lead role as Lionel, Undercover Brother’s brother. In 2017, after a series of small roles, Swann joined the ensemble cast of BET’s wildly popular sketch series “50 Central,” created by powerhouse Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson.
A true renaissance man in the making, Swann writes and directs all of his video content. His YouTube channel ‘Vince Swann TV’ has a strong digital audience: his Chris Brown documentary “This Is Me” has 2M views: and in “39 Impressions” Swann delivers hundreds of impersonations with over 20K views (and counting), featuring impersonations of 50 Cent, President Barack Obama, President Ronald Reagan, Denzel Washington, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Murphy to name a few. Swann has thousands of followers on his social media platforms.
Born February 16, 1993, in Germantown, MD, Vince Swann is a star on the rise, and a multifaceted talent consistently honing his skills as an actor, director, content creator, and musician. Swann attended North Carolina A&T State University, and the British American Drama Academy (BADA) at Oxford University, considered one of the best drama schools in London. It was at BADA, where Swann began to take comedy seriously, performing at a number of clubs across the USA, and developing his comedy chops with his uncanny impersonations.
Vince Swann looks forward to the road ahead, a road plentiful with projects that exhibit his full capabilities.
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