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Kyle Brennan and 'Undiscovered' Rise to Their American Dreams

Brennan, an Avon native, is going to be in the new Batman movie and is producing his own showed about up-and-coming New York artists.

Justin Bieber. Rebecca Black. Greyson Chance. Key of Awesome. Shoes.

These were all made famous by YouTube.

Avon native and actor Kyle Patrick Brennan and his Over Shots Productions team seek to tell the stories of up-and-comers like these who are "undiscovered" via a roundtable talk show by the same name. 

“I think the best thing about [Undiscovered] is that right now because of technology, anybody can be a filmmaker these days. Anybody can use their iPhone to make a movie and put it on YouTube,” Brennan said. “We live in a DIY state of mentality, a do it yourself mentality.”

Undiscovered is inspired by IFC’s Dinner for Five, in which Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man, Elf and Cowboys and Aliens, talks shop around the dinner table with four celebrities per episode.

“Our show focuses on the up-and-coming artists of New York,” Brennan said. “It revolves around a conversation between four guests and our host, who is also the creator, David Bly. It kind of depicts the highs and lows and struggles, but also the industry and the craft."

The old American Dream used to be the pursuit of happiness, having a job and providing for your family, Brennan said, but that mindset is changing.

“I feel the American Dream has been tainted,” Brennan said. "Undiscovered, the TV show, is about the American Dream. It’s about the new American Dream. The new American Dream is making it happen for yourself, whatever it may be.”

In the Undiscovered pilot, shot on Aug. 19, Bly interviews actors Joel Brady (Men in Black III and Boardwalk Empire) and Canedy Knowles (Enchanted and Mona Lisa Smile),” producer Bryce Norbitz and writer Kyle Warren. The interviews are unrehearsed and unscripted.

“We’re trying to inspire anyone who watches it to feel like they can accomplish anything because these guys are doing it, so can I,” Brennan said. “That’s such a cool feeling. … You have to find what inspires you.”

Brennan and his Over Shots associates — Bly, Andrew Ruth and Daniel Shepard — have been meeting with major networks, with IFC, AMC and Sundance as their target audiences, since the beginning of November to pitch the show for a full season. If all else fails, they will seek investors to back the show as a web series.

“Everyone we have in our show has the credentials and are about to pop,” Brennan said. “What our show is claiming, wouldn’t you like to go back and watch a show with Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp before they were famous and they were talking about it?”

If the interview subjects do make it big, Undiscovered would likely invite them to come back for a follow-up interview.

Brennan, like them, is still making a name for himself in the television and film world, going to many auditions, including Broadway shows, the role of co-pilot in the new ABC series, Pan Am and Ashley Judd’s son in ABC’s The Missing. Brennan said that for every 20 auditions you book, you typically get picked for one.

As he rises in his career, it is only appropriate that he landed a small role in The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s next Batman movie.

He couldn’t release details prior to the movie’s release due to a confidentiality agreement he signed. Imdb.com lists Brennan as a police officer in the cast that includes Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neesan, Joseph Gordan Levitt, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine to name a few. The film is scheduled for release on July 20, 2012.

“Christian Bale says that the reason he acts is he wants to go on an adventure,” Brennan said. “I’m the same way, but I do feel relatively selfish saying that I act just to experience, but it’s true. With acting, you can be anything you want to for a little while.”

To capture different characters, Brennan does "mat work" as an acting excercise, lying down to think about different events that triggered certain emotions, which he also documents in a journal.

“Any time I’m feeling a different emotion, I’ll take out my phone and write an emotion and what triggered it and put it into the book,” Brennan said.

Brennan said The Dark Knight Rises will probably be “the biggest production ever shot in New York City,”  but his smaller productions, like the Aug. 14 shoot of the Undiscovered pilot in his colleague’s apartment, are no less significant to him.

He remembers the day very well. Everything went wrong, he said. It was a rainy day and 100 degrees outside. The crew blew out a fuse and lost power five minutes before filming. They were able to recover it via extension chords running to outside power sources, but the air conditioner remained off. Even so, filming was completed that humid day.

Acting is no picnic, according to Brennan.

“You’re going to have to struggle at having that survivor job. Even Joel, who’s in Men in Black III and Boardwalk Empire, he still is a waiter," Brennan said. "I have other outlets, so I’m not desperate when I get an audition."

Brennan said that acting can be difficult during a tough economy and there is also the concern about insurance.

“You sweat, you worry. I had a friend move in with me for a little while where we shared my bedroom to cut the rent in half,” Brennan said. “You’ve got to keep a roof over your head. Sometimes you can’t go to an audition because you have to work.”

For a little while things slowed down, but right now things are blowing up for him in New York, he said.

Brennan recently had his first leading role in a feature film. He plays a ghost hunter in the independent horror film Six Degrees of Hell, which is in its post-production phase and may be out by Halloween of next year. Updates are provided on the film's Facebook page.

“It took me a long time to even be able to admit this, but I think I’m more of a leading man than a supporting, even though I really want to play supporting,” Brennan said. “I just don’t see myself like that. I see myself as the best friend. I see myself as the character who comes in just for a few scenes and you want to know more about them.”

He recast his sights on acting after leaving Springfield College, where he was studying exercise science and athletic training. That was after ankle and shoulder injuries derailed his path as a collegiate volleyball athlete. He moved back to Avon, where he grew up and went to high school. He took part-time acting classes at Central Connecticut State University for about a year.

“I always wanted to be an actor,” Brennan said. “It was always on the back-burner to sports. Unfortunately in Avon, if you’re good at sports, you play sports. When I was growing up, acting wasn’t very popular.”

Regardless, Avon was where his passion for acting started.

“I was home-schooled up through third grade, a little bit before third grade, and my early formative years were spent in the woods playing imaginary games,” Brennan said. “So that’s where my imagination and my love for acting came from.”

He moved to New York in 2005 to attend a two-year conservatory program at the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts.

Brennan said that “there were a lot of disappointments” after he graduated.

“I was young. I let it get to me and I stopped acting for a little bit,” Brennan said.

He became a personal trainer at Equinox for a year and a half to support himself.

He then worked at The Level Group, a real estate development company where he has been for over three years, but without acting there was a void. Now he pursues acting, screenwriting and producing television shows while still working there as a real estate broker.

“I’m not happy doing anything else,” Brennan said. “I have tried not to act, but I have to. It’s to prove to myself that I can make it. There’s this ambition and drive that I just have to do it. I don’t care how long it’s going to take. I don’t care how many lows I hit. I’m going to make it.”

Jules Lourensz December 13, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Star Motivator-Personal Trainer NYC, ''I motivate you''. John is a master adviser.Image consultant Date coach and Business consultant.Servicing the client:We are New York City best personal trainers, and Suitable to service clients in any state. http://motivationamust.com

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