In 2006 I received a random message on facebook from Nyetta Meaux, a local actress and playwright, inviting me to audition for August Wilson’s Jitney. At that time I had never really seen a play; I also had no idea how significant August Wilson was and how great and rare of an opportunity it was and is to be a part of his amazing work. I quickly learned. I got cast as the character Philmore, but worked my way up to the character of Booster by performance time. Playing Booster was the moment I got bit by that acting bug. I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t.
Nyetta Meaux cast me in her original play, Love Can’t Be Real. Originally I was cast as one character, but I eventually worked my way to playing Elroy Reed, a performance that Herman Fuselier of The Daily Advertiser called “A potential show stealing performance.” After I played Elroy I knew acting, theatre; it was my future. I got cast in a production of The Exonerated by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Performing Arts Department in the role of David Keaton and wound up winning a Best Actor Award for my portrayal. I then changed my major to theatre and began my education in this art I was growing to love. While at ULL I held roles in the UL Lafayette productions of The Living, How I Learned to Drive, The Laramie Project, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood in addition to landing roles in Mississippi in the Face of Emmett Till, The Exile of Joe Gagliano, Multiplicity, and In His Grace at Cite des Art, and serving as Playwright and actor of Ragin on the Stage for UL Lafayette’s Orientation department, and in Coping and A Window In The Kitchen for Alpha Psi Omega’s 10 minute play event, Salute Your Shorts.
In 2009, my senior year, I took on the challenge of my own show, The Birthday Dinner. I was the playwright, the director, the producer, costume designer, set designer, I handled my marketing, and lost about ten pounds. Though it was the most challenging experience in my theatre life thus far, it’s been the most rewarding. I was honored by my theatre department with an Independence award and when I graduated, I graduated with the distinction of being the Outstanding Graduate of ULL’s Performing Arts department. I was even honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI for excellence in original playwriting; was flown to festival by the festival to hear a reading of my play at the festival.
All those experiences were a few years ago. Post grad and real world life has proven to be difficult, but a learning experience. I had to, and I still am finding myself all over again. So I am Brian Egland, an Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Playwright, Director, Producer, Photographer and I am still a DREAMER.