SIMPLY JESSICA: Brian Dobbins talks about producing ‘Black-ish’


Brian Dobbins was a 12-year-old boy in a body cast for 13 weeks.

It was during that hospital stay that the future Hollywood manager and executive producer of ABC’s “Black-ish” would learn that he thrived on having challenging things happen to him.

“I had to get comfortable with being alone,” Dobbins said.

It was a football injury that put him in the hospital.

Dobbins learned that he no longer wanted to play football.

He watched Magic Johnson play basketball on television as he was recuperating from his injuries. That led Dobbins to being enamored with basketball as a new sport to play.

“I didn’t want anymore football injuries,” Dobbins said. “I became obsessed with Magic as a basketball player.”

The basketball obsession led Dobbins to change his outlook on life. He became disciplined. He changed his study habits. His studies led him to a college basketball scholarship.

“I’m always looking for ways to grow,” Dobbins said. “I constantly take a step backward so I can look for ways to improve my life. I see the good that comes from challenges.”

It is the simple task of cooking that relaxes him. He loves to cook and to watch people cook. His favorite TV show is “Chopped” on the Food Network.

“I want to be that person who takes an egg, Jell-O and an onion from my refrigerator and create something out of nothing,” Dobbins added. “I love the drama and tension.”

The aspiring cook loves all types of food. He is quick to admit that he eats a lot of Italian food.

It’s his grandmother and father that shaped him to be the man that he is today. Each shaped him in different ways.

“I do not know what would have happened to me without my grandmother’s influence in my life,” Dobbins said. “She was a rock that had a huge influence in my life.”

Perhaps it was his grandmother’s influence that made Dobbins want to give back by helping women and minorities in entertainment.

“I decided what makes me happy is helping people and being an asset to people,” Dobbins said. “I want to be valuable to women and minorities who are on the outside looking in.”

Dobbins, a Long Beach native, has been in the entertainment industry for 15 years. The UCLA graduate studied English.

He is a talent and literary manager at Principato-Young Entertainment. Some of his clients are Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kenya Barris (all of “Black-ish”), F. Gary Gray (the director of “Straight Outta Compton”) and many others.

In a digital driven world, Dobbins believes craft is the secret to it all. He looks for talent that is well trained and has practiced their craft for a long period of time.

“In anything you are doing it is about the time and effort you put into it,” Dobbins said. “You would never look at a dentist and think I could put braces on someone. I’ve seen good and average and usually the deciding factor is how long they have been doing something and how hard they have worked at it.”

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.

 

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