PART 1: Surviving High School:
The Strong, Empowered, & Classy Project highlights the people that know how to surpass boundaries and live happily despite life’s major woes. In this episode, Kristen Hayman (@MsJaneThang) sits down with Deandrea Brown (@irena_now), a model, actress and all around artist; as she shares how Strength, Empowerment and Class has taken a role within her journey through life and career. In this two part episode we discuss a range of topics that include Bullying, Surviving High School, Tapping into the Inner Hustler, and Finding Independence in a New City.
PART 2: Finding Independence in a New City:
Created, Produced, & Hosted by Kristen Hayman
Jane Thang Productions, LLC
Read Deandrea Brown’s Blog Response Below:
Who are you?
My name is Deandrea Brown. I am Strong, Empowered, & Classy!
What do you do?
I am a daydreamer. Yesterday I was a dreamer and the day before that and the day before that. I turned my dreams into reality about 3 years ago here in Chicago. I’ve been modeling part-time as an independent model for roughly 3 years, going on 4. I’ve worked with other independent talents, internationally known talents, designers, book authors, popular photographers, and independent filmmakers. I’ve accomplished special projects and had portraits of myself displayed in art galleries. It’s been a pleasure to live through other peoples’ art. Actually it’s an honor to be looked at as a piece of art. I enjoy being apart of a master piece. I feel alive whenever I’m on set for a photo shoot, in other words…I am in touch with the lenses.
What are you passionate about?
I continue to expand my mind which leads me figuring out what my passion is, which is life, MY LIFE! Once my mind stretches by a new experience, there is no way that experience (is unfolding) or is going back to it’s original dimension.
Strength refers to the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor; mental power, force; moral power, firmness, courage; power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc. What makes you strong? Tell us how it strengthens you.
What makes me strong? Hmm. Being broke, lost, alone, being bullied in high school, oh and moving out of my parent’s house after a crucial fight with my dad. All the bad things that have happened to me has made me the strongest human being I’ve ever been so far in my life.
My family and I had rough moments throughout the years. Lights been cut off or gas cut off for months. When I was young there were times my parents couldn’t pay for my sister, brother and I’s field trips. There has been a few years where we were super late to own school supplies and I would go to school for a couple weeks with out certain school supplies. Being broke for a long time leads you to loneliness. I know it wasn’t my fault but it effected me.
I always felt like it’s so much easier to be alone. When I had some friends I always felt that they really didn’t want to be with me. It’s hard to explain. We were very good friends but I’d get a strong feeling that I’m unwanted. I’ve always had people come and go in my life. Now, without many friends besides my boyfriend, I don’t have to worry about being unwanted. Being alone also makes you stronger because you have to do everything by yourself. When I moved out my parents house after a brutal fight with my dad, I was on my own. I worked my ass off to support myself, I had no car, I walked everywhere. I did have two friends who were there for me at my lowest point. Although we don’t socialize much, I hope they know how much I appreciate them and respect them for lending me their hand.
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, educational, gender, or economic strength of individuals and communities. Where does your sense of empowerment derive from?
I understood the meaning of empowerment at the age of 17. I realized I needed to take charge of my own life. My parents couldn’t supply a living for me. Their time was up and it became my responsibility to take care of myself. Plan B was to discover this world and seek opportunities (My Dream) and try to come back and take care of my family.
Classy refers to being elegant, stylish; having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior; admirably skillful and graceful. How important is it to maintain a sense of class in your life or field?
I do what I want to do and I say what I want to say when I feel. Therefore, I will wear what I want to wear to the fullest of feeling comfortable. Wearing heels is considered comfortable; that’s all I have in my closet and high heel boots and one pair of flat black boots. When I wake up in the morning, I decide what to wear based off of what I need to accomplish that day. Like, if I need to sit down at my computer desk and email people and take care of submissions, I will dress up and put on make up to feel professional. If I’m going to my day job (Jimmy Johns) I’ll arrive in leather pants and 4 inch black knee boots because I woke up feeling confident about my business meeting I had the night before.
Life is truly a journey. Are you proud of where and who you are right now? Why?
Most definitely! You have no idea how proud I am of myself. No one can predict their future unless they go to a fortune teller. During high school days I lacked confidence, I was teased, I was depressed, I felt as if I was a no one, I thought no one liked me, felt hurt, always sad, so insecure, ate alone in the library, and I didn’t talk much. I was in a time frame then and now I am in a new time frame. I am now in an outside time frame with the real world. Years ago I was in an emotional state stuck in a cave.
Now, life is good. I’m walking on two feet. I’ve been in a healthy relationship for 4 years. I’ve accomplished a few goals like, walking in fashion shows, I appeared on TV screen for the first time in 2012, I had a 2nd leading role, and I’ve met amazing souls who are similar as I. My parents are so proud of me. They enjoy seeing me when I visit them back at home in Carmel, Indiana. I’m so thankful for my family and all the opportunities that have been given to me. I’m expecting more journeys and more traveling.
If you had the opportunity to speak for the masses, what would you say?
I would tell all people of all shapes, color, race, and age to have faith in yourself. When you feel like your world is about to end just know it’s a test. Don’t cave in, surround yourself with positive energy, in other words good company! Those people will help you acknowledge your strengths, gifts, talents, physical beauty, and attributes. Also, be kind, it brings good.
Thank you for visiting www.janethangproductions.com. Be on the look out for more sources of inspiration from the Strong, Empowered, & Classy Project each week! We are truly thankful for Deandrea Brown’s participation in sharing her inspiring perspective with us. Be sure to support to stay connected with her and her brand on the social media links listed above.
-Always Remember to Stay Inspired! – @MsJaneThang