Anita Nicole-Brown, actress and diabetic activist

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.”

Meet Anita Nicole Brown. She’s an aspiring Chicago-based actress who caught the acting bug late. Although cast in many independent films, Anita still considers herself aspiring because she feels that with acting (as with anything in life) one should always look to grow and learn more. And that is what she is doing.

Coming late into the field, Anita feels she has been blessed with many life experiences that have prepared her for each and every character she has and will be cast in.

Anita has played a range of characters including, an action fighter (Crisis Function and Crisis Function Awakening – still filming), a detective investigating corruption (Wages of Sin: Special Tactics – still filming), a jury member trying not to be swayed by her fellow jurors (12 Angry Women – still filming), a woman who discovers her boyfriend has been cheating on her (Pieces of David) and even a mother pushed to the edge (A Woman And A Gun)!

But Brown has yet to accomplish her goal: Showing the world that a Type One Diabetic (T1D) can and will accomplish anything they desire and change the perception of diabetics in this industry. After almost 17 years as a T1D, Brown has overcome so much with her diabetes especially regaining the ability to walk after fighting diabetic nerve damage in her legs and feet almost nine years ago.

And now, Brown wears her diabetes each and every day. Literally! She has an insulin pump and for some productions, the thought of having an actress with such a visible device for treatment has been a bit unnerving. But in the past few years, Brown has seen a change in which production companies are writing her character in as a diabetic who is strong and determined OR they allow the pump to be worn and shown without feeling the need to address it because it does not take away from Brown’s ability to deliver the character.

It is a slow change but it is one Brown is excited about accomplishing! Look out world, Anita Nicole Brown has much more to show you!

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Meet the inspiring Anita Nicole Brown.

What Did You Originally Want to be When You Grow Up? Originally, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I started off making clothes for my dolls and by the time I had finished high school and got to college, I already knew I would be a fashion designer. Got my BA degree and everything.

How Did You Get into Acting and Modeling? I believe after I finished college, I was trying to see how I could break into the fashion design industry. So I began with modeling and pageants. I did this because I liked being able to design my own look and style. With film (especially indie films) I knew having someone experience with design could come in handy. I knew I would be able to use my degree and still follow my passion of staying in the field of design. Later I began to fall in love with the whole concept of acting! That was when I realized that I two passions that I wanted to pursue: acting and fashion!

I don’t think I ever saw myself as a dancer but that was linked to my being diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. I lost the ability to walk in my senior year of high school. And regaining it took some time. My second semester in college I decided to take up swing dancing and it was another love add to my life!

Being a Type One Diabetic (T1D) Ambassador just happened. I noticed that I was not seeing anyone as vocal as I am about this disease in the field of acting, modeling or dancing so I said, why can’t I just show the world a different side of living with this disease!

Who Were Your Mentors? My mentor was and has always been my Mommie. She was always that push I needed! She never doubted what I was capable of and always believed in me and supported any crazy dream I may have had! She worked so hard to give me the education I received and was just a strong and wonderful woman. I can only hope that I have that strength that she had as I continue to pursue my dreams!

Name Your Biggest Achievement: I have won a few acting awards and dancing awards; I have even worn a crown; but I would have to say that my biggest achievement is making it to 21+ years as a Type One Diabetic!

Biggest Disappointment:  I am not sure if I have a big disappointment that I could have avoided. But I guess the saddest day/disappointment in my life thus far was the loss of my Mommie (in 2011) and my twin brother (in 2012).

Name Your Biggest Pet Peeves:  OMG!!! My biggest pet peeves are…….

  • People who don’t work hard
  • People who complain instead of finding the positive side of things
  • People who give up because something is hard
  • People who don’t believe in constant growth

I think that’s just a few of them!

Predictions for the Entertainment Industry over the Next Decade?: For Acting, Modeling & Dancing. I am not 100% sure. I am hoping that moving forward there will be more Type One Diabetics showing that we are just as skilled and talented as anyone else. As far as they Type One Diabetic community, I am hoping to see more people of color being represented and showcased by the medical supply companies we use each day to stay alive!

Name a Job You Had that Would Surprise People: To be honest, I do not believe there is a job that I have had that anyone would be surprised that I had. But MAYBE knowing that I used to be a bikini bartender might surprise a few people!

ALSO READ: REEL WOMEN: Catherine Bull, Spot Welders Editor

Who Plays You in Your Life Story? WOW! I am not even sure! I have never thought about that! As a the young me, I think Skai Jackson could pull off everything I went through from all the complications with Type One Diabetes and everything. An actress to play me today……maybe Issa Rae because I have this love for life in general and I feel like she just might be able to showcase that even with the complications of T1D!

What do You Wish You had More Time for? I guess I wish I had more time to do more! Maybe teach more, dance more, watch more films, act more….. I mean just have more time to do even more!

What Inspires You to be Creative? There is just something inside of me that makes me want to show something different. It may not be 100% different from what is out there but it will definitely show a different take on what currently exists!

Follow Anita:

Instagram: @Anita_Nicole_Brown