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Baltimore native goes from extra to successful actor

Kimberly Brown | 2/4/2015, 6 a.m.
Growing up in West Baltimore, Jerome Ro Brooks always dreamed of seeing his name in bright lights, however, it wasn't ...
Jerome Ro Brooks is currently enjoying success playing the role of “Michael” in the Tyler Perry series “The Haves and The Have Nots" on the OWN Network. (Above) Brooks on the red carpet at the recent, "Dinner With Ro Brooks" event in Atlanta, Georgia. (Courtesy Photo)

Growing up in West Baltimore, Jerome Ro Brooks always dreamed of seeing his name in bright lights, however, it wasn't until leaving his hometown that the trajectory of his career changed.

Born Jerome Curtis Brooks Jr., the actor was always encouraged at a young age by family members to utilize his musical and acting gifts. As a result, the leading man soon encountered early success when he got together with a group of friends and formed the rap and dance group “Twice As Nice.” The group performed regularly, which eventually led to an opportunity to showcase their talents at the famed Apollo Theater. As Brooks continued to set his sights on higher goals, acting inevitably became his destiny.

With over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, Brooks was compelled to write, “How to Go from Extra to Actor,” a pocket guide for aspiring actors. Released in December 2014, Brooks said, “When I first started out in this business I felt there were limited resources for me to get the guidance and information I needed as an aspiring actor. So I always told myself, once I got to a certain level of success that I would share what I learned along my journey as well as answer some of the questions that I had starting out in this industry.”

The book provides information about headshots, how to become eligible to join the actors union, as well as tips for auditioning.

Brooks who started his acting career as an extra said, “Many of the world’s most famous actors started as background talent so I just wanted to put out there that starting as background talent is not a bad thing, [as] long as you have a plan. It is my hope that readers will utilize the advice in this book to avoid some of the pitfalls that many up and coming actors endure.”

The happily married husband considers his wife, children, other family and friends as his biggest support system but more importantly, Brooks acknowledges that his biggest strength lies in his relationship with God.

“Even when it gets difficult and I want to give up, I think about how far God has brought me so I have to keep pushing," Brooks said. "My neighborhood where I grew up— Edmondson Avenue and Monroe Street— is also who I do this for. I am who I am because of my city and where I come from. That's my hood."

Besides publishing his book, Brooks is also enjoying success playing the role of "Michael” in the Tyler Perry series “The Haves and The Have Nots" on the OWN Network.

“Working with Tyler Perry was the highlight of booking this job. It was also a major highlight for my career as an actor. There are many actors in this business who desire to work with Mr. Perry so having this opportunity is a dream come true. The role as “Michael” helped solidify who Jerome Ro Brooks is. I’ve been blessed to have worked with other networks, but this show helped [to] establish my name.”

Jerome Ro Brooks’ natural talent and humble nature is the perfect recipe for a leading man in the entertainment industry today.

The book “How to Go from Extra to Actor” is available for purchase at www.amazon.com or www.barnes andnoble.com. Also, a PDF version is available at www.fromextratoactor.com.