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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Comedian & Actress Cocoa Brown: Walking In Her Gift Day by Day

by Cyrus Webb

Anyone who has been following the career of comedian and actress Cocoa Brown would agree that she has been on one wild ride.

She's gone from being a part of the powerful film QUIET to laughing it up with actress Nia Long and others in the Tyler Perry produced movie Single Mom's Club to being one of our favorite characters on Perry's hit show on OWN's FOR BETTER OR WORSE. With every role she is walking in her gift and sharing a piece of herself along the way.

"It's been one of those situations that has proven to me when it's your time it's your time," she told me in what was our second conversation together. "The biggest thing you can do in this business or anything in life is be ready when it happens," and that is exactly what she has been: ready.

One of the keys to Cocoa's success has been not to limit herself along the way. She works hard to stay sharp so that when opportunities arise she is at her best. As the character Jennifer on FOR BETTER OR WORSE she has given us some great laughs, but she also has been part of the show's most powerful themes, namely how it dealt with the subject of HIV and AIDS.

"It is a conversation that so many of us have with ourselves," she says "I was really grateful that he (Tyler Perry) had the kind of faith in me to bring that storyline out." Cocoa went on to tell me that at the time she taped those scenes she was 8 months pregnant. "It was so powerful, because so many people were touched by that episode. Everywhere I went people are still talking about when Jennifer met Harold."

Outside of the fame, Cocoa says what you see is what you get. "People tell me all the time how humble I am, and it's not something that I do consciously. It's just who I am. It's a humbling experience that I get to live my dream everyday." She says that too often we put the brass ring on the bigger projects and the ones that bring lots of money recognition. "I'm just fortunate that I get to walk in my gift in some capacity. I love making people laugh and forget about their problems," but she says acting allows her to "step outside" of herself and tell someone else's story through another voice."

You couldn't tell it by watching her career, but Cocoa says she didn't plan on this path. She says 17 years ago a friend asked her to go to a comedy club and as she puts it: "My destiny fell in my lap." What a great reminder for all of us. When our calling is put before us it's up to us whether we answer and walk in it. "I was yearning for something different in my life," she told me. "Sometimes you have to sit back, let go and let God."

Cocoa credits her fans for sticking by her and rooting for her along the way. "I wouldn't have the power I have in this present moment if it wasn't for my fans," she says. "I owe them so much." She hopes that individuals will look at what she has done and realize that they can get through whatever situation they are going through, as long as they don't give up.

For updates about Cocoa visit her webiste www.cocoabrown4life.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cocoabrown22.

*Photos by C. Nathaniel Brown and Hennadiy Kvasov

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