We had the good fortune of connecting with Briana Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Ownership. Autonomy. Liberation. As an artist, I realized at a very early age if I wanted to have a sustainable career as an actress, I had to build my own table brick by brick. For me, the best way to do that was to produce my own work. So I started creating work that I wanted to see my friends and I apart of. By establishing my own production company, I knew I could have ownership over my career and be a part of controlling my own narrative. I wouldn’t have to wait for opportunities to reach me, I could create my own. I began learning not only about show business, but the business of show. From there, my company was born. B Mor Productions is an artist-driven American entertainment company founded by Briana Morris, dedicated to developing and producing unparalleled narratives through theatrical, independent, new media, music, television and film projects across all digital platforms. Born in 2015, the company lives by the motto, “Don’t be ordinary, BE MORE!”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an actress and content creator. What in the what does that mean? It’s just a fancy way of saying I know and stay on top of my… (insert sugar honey ice tea). From acting and writing to producing, I love to engage in every part of the creative process. What sets me apart from other artists is my background both in front and behind the camera. I am fortunate enough to work in both worlds, which have their own vernacular, language and process. I am most excited that I can equally use both experiences as I continue to navigate throughout Hollywood and the entertainment industry. It helps when I am transforming a story from script to screen. I believe this concept of creating will continue to move the industry forward. Before long, we will see more creatives popping up in the likeness of Issae Rae, Spike Lee and myself. It isn’t easy by a long shot, but with great power comes great responsibility. At one point, it seemed to be the road less traveled. I cannot count how many times I’ve been asked the question, well what do you do? I typically answer by saying I act, produce and write. This is usually followed by, so which one do you actually do? After the awkward silence, I respond by saying all three and I do them quite well if you ask me. And yes, I’m fully biased! The constant pressure of having to validate or prove your level of knowledge isn’t a new concept. However, for multi-hyphenate artists like myself, we have the added responsibility of validating our work over multiple disciplines. To overcome this, I draw to like minded individuals in my tribe. I overcome challenges by learning, growing and challenging myself to be a better artist today than yesterday. I also find the greatest way to overcome is by simply living life. Take time to live in every moment, check in with yourself constantly and surround yourself with people who will help you grow. If there is one lesson that I have learned thus far, it is to find balance. Save and take that vacation. Check that one experience off of your bucket list. Find moments for ME TIME and DOWN TIME, because you are not yourself when you’re burned out. Trust me, I’ve been guilty of this and it ain’t pretty. What I hope the world will take away from B Mor Productions’ motto is to be more than just good, be great; do more than just enough, do more; live more than just life, live for a lifestyle in each moment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s start off the trip by hitting up the Hollywood Reservoir or the Culver City Stairs, check out the sights at Universal City Overlook and take in the ambiance around the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We would also visit Universal Studio Hollywood, the Dolby Theater, the Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Staples Center, Leimert Park Farmers Market and the LA Fashion District, just to name more than a few. For some good eats, I would recommend my favorite eateries, like Veronica’s Kitchen, Diddy Riese Ice Cream Shop, Randy’s Donuts, Black Bottom Southern Kitchen in North Hollywood, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (on Manchester), In-n-Out, Silver Lake Ramen in Korea Town, The Pier House in Venice and El Criollo Cuban Bar & Grill. Of course, no trip would be complete without spending a beach day in Long Beach or doing a day trip to Malibu. Prior to the pandemic, I would also suggest checking out Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Show, doing an interactive studio tour at Universal or grabbing audience tickets to watch a taping of Family Feud or Jimmy Kimmel. I think the most fun places are places visited with people you love, creating experiences of a lifetime. So what are we waiting for? Let the trip begin!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
An artist would be nothing without their village and Howard University is mine! I’d like to shout out someone who is arguably the pulse of my alma mater, the Theatre Arts Department at Howard University. She is one of the greatest mentors in my life, Janet Johnson. Momma Janet is what we call her. She’s a real O.G. When you enter the Mecca your freshman year and stand on the steps of Fine Arts, you hear names like Debbie, Phylicia, Taraji, Wendy and Lynn thrown around like basketballs on a court. It can be daunting to say the least for a girl from the Southside of Chicago who has dreams of earning an E.G.O.T. The shoes of greatness are enormous and the stairs of success appear too high to climb, but Momma Janet was always there throughout my matriculation at the Mecca. She prayed for me, fed me and loved me through one of the most difficult times of my life. I can’t thank her and her partner-in-crime Ms. Deneal enough for welcoming me into their lives as an adopted daughter. I would quickly find out, both of them have been the backbone of many illustrious artists to come out of the real HU (U Know). I dedicate this shout out to them, because of their love, selflessness and guidance. Thank you for loving a little ole artist like me!
Facebook: Briana Morris, Producer-Actress
Youtube: Briana Morris
Photographer: Dani A. White @Danizwindow, Makeup: Ariel Amirah @MakeupbyArielAmirah