One of the most innovative internet TV/radio hosts currently in the limelight today is the handsome Brian Sebastian, with his show “Movie Reviews and More.” He is the host, producer and on-air talent at “Woman On TV, with both shows on the “WorldWide Television Network” in Beverly Hills, California.” Brian is no stranger to the radio/tv and entertainment world as he has had conversations with over 69,000 of the most illuminating celebrities on the planet, including the late Robin Williams. Receiving 5.4 million views and counting, Brian connects the public to quality entertainment through his professionalism, charisma, and effervescence.
Brian’s inaugural jump into radio began with a small station in Hartford Connecticut where he was the desk assistant news editor John Wilkes. It was there he did phone interviews and established contacts and eventually made his way to KISS FM in Hartford, where he worked mornings with Jeremy Savage. In 1987 he moved to California and worked at Power 106 doing promotions. and in 1991 went to WAVE 94.7, LA’s New Age radio station. From there he teamed up with the late Bill Margold on public access covering movies and calling it “Movie Reviews and More.”
Aside from having an undying passion for drum and bugle corps, Brian loves to help people who wish to rise in the world of entertainment. I couldn’t resist having a heart to heart with Brian regarding his career and his love for the movies…..
The obvious question, how did you get into broadcasting and entertainment?
I started off as a disc jockey in Connecticut. In East Lyme Connecticut, a town with 7000 people and only three black families, I always did what I wanted to do…. I figured the best way to get in, because radio wasn’t easy back then, was I could get into WPOP Radio which was the Merv Griffin station….and that’s how I got into radio. So, I went backwards. For me I’ve always done things backwards and it’s worked to my advantage. I never went to college to get a degree. I went to college to get the education that I wanted so that I can get the job that I needed. When I went to Central State University, I knew that I was never planning to graduate. I always wanted to take the communication courses that I needed so I could get on the air. I didn’t need the general modes that people take. I remember that I had a guidance counselor who told me that I was supposed to take my general mode classes first and then take my communication courses. I asked the guidance counselor “well what happens if I get the job I wanted because I’m taking it the other way around?” He told me that I didn’t have to worry about that because that would never happen. Well he was wrong. I was right. So, if I had not done what I did that way I would’ve never ended up working as a desk assistant in an all news radio station. That led me to get an internship with KISS FM in Hartford. While I was doing that I was working at Dunkin’ Donuts and had three jobs at that time. The radio job didn’t pay a lot, but I would assist by answering phone calls where I talked with the people. I would end up solving a lot of people’s problems. I became friends with them but the tricky part about that was I never sounded black. Everyone always thought I was white. They were intrigued with my voice. Maybe they found it soothing or something… so I always ended up talking to people and helping them and through that experience I learned how to put people together with things at an early age.
I don’t think you should sound white or black. I think you sound “radio”.
That’s interesting. While I was growing up you had to learn proper English and all. Remember I went to an all-white school, but before that I was in a mixed school. It was very strange because if my mother had not moved us to Connecticut, I don’t know what I would have been able to do. When I used to go roller skating, I used to buy albums. So instead of drinking like most people did I bought albums. I would buy like $97 worth of albums a week. Remember eight track tapes? I would make mine instead of buying them. I would make my own tapes with all the stuff that I liked. At that point what I was doing was I worked for the Coast Guard Academy. So, my first job I made $7.50 an hour and I think the minimum rate wage was $2.35 at that point. So, we were the first civilians to work in the mess halls. We had to wear tuxedos.
That’s very interesting that you did all that.
Yeah, and while I did all that I was in the drum and bugle corps. Why was I in that? Because I loved to travel. Music was in the forte. The drum and bugle corps was the best activity in the world because you got to travel. You’re in it from the age of 12 to age 21.
And you had to play an instrument.
Yeah. I learned the drums. I thought, did I want to play trumpet or did I want to play drums? What would I be better at? I realized at the last minute that I wanted to be a drummer. So, I became a drummer and I became one of the best drummers in Connecticut. The interesting thing about it was if you were in a Drum Corps in those days, they put people on the streets who taught you how to march because it was all military style. They taught you how to march and they taught you how to play an instrument. The last thing they did if they had time was to teach you how to read music. They would always say you had to learn how to chew bubble gum and play a horn at the same time, and we did, and we were very good. So, when I went to East Lyme High School, I took that activity with me. By the time I graduated in 1980, I had been to 37 states and 7 countries. I’ve always said that to this day that the Drum Corps is the best thing for those ages because you learn to get along with other kids and you learn how to be disciplined. You learn how to change things. But you have to be good at it, like marching in the hot sun in Ohio for eight hours and then you had to do a show that night. We might have had to stand at attention for an hour and a half. You might not have been able to go get a drink of water for a while. We stopped at 37 McDonald’s while we were on tour for a month and a half. We went from Connecticut across the country on school buses. You slept mostly in the bus, because that’s when you were traveling 8 to 10 hours. And then they used to always break down, but for whatever reason they never broke down on those tours.
So fast forward….now you have your own radio show…what is the name of the show or show’s and how and when can they be seen?
“Movie Reviews and More” is always the dominant name. I learned from watching a lot of people that for example sometimes I covered stuff for BET but I didn’t work for BET. There were always so many events going on in the same day and you couldn’t go to all of them, but I could. I learned how to be flexible. I knew that my dominant thing was that I loved movies. I am a movie whore. So, I would go watch movies like a Marathon. I learned endurance from the drum and bugle corp. With that you learned how to outlast people, outperform them. You learned how to get that interview in the green room instead of getting it in the ballroom. I made sure to become friends with a great publicist who handled all the big films. At that point you were supposed to be syndicated, but I was never syndicated. But I was the person who knew all the films and watched all of them. So, either people liked me, felt sorry for me or three I was consistently there. I wasn’t going to leave.
Who do you still want to interview that you haven’t yet?
It would be the Clintons, the Obamas, George Bush, and Tiger Woods.
The reason for that is they all have interesting pasts. Tiger Woods started as a prodigy. If you watch where he was when he was four years old on the Bob Hope show you see where he might be going. Look where he is now, he is the greatest golfer of all time. For me I never wanted to be on a major network because I saw what happened to them. You could be someplace for 20 years and then all of a sudden they have a hot young girl coming to take your place. It doesn’t mean that she knows anything about films, a lot of times she didn’t. The whole thing is that you had to learn everything. So, for me I knew that being the best when it comes to movies was to work in the video stores. You needed to know the history of film. I learned everything about the history of film by watching all the classics on VHS or going to screenings when they had them. So when people asked for videos I had to know what they liked. I had to know that when that person came in, I had to send them home with something they enjoyed so that they didn’t come back complaining.
You are also involved with something called “Dreamweaver “
It’s called the Dreamweaver Artist Ranch. It’s a community that we were building up on a property in California. Dreamweaver is so many things besides an artist ranch. It is a showcase, a school, a laboratory, but most importantly it is a community benefit. The project is not done for profit nor will a profit be coming from it. Any profit that is made will be going right back into the Dreamweaver Artist Ranch. This is a project about helping those in need. We are looking for people who want to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are an artist or a creative or an entrepreneur planning things, then this is for you if you would like to show your support donations are now being excepted. With
as little as five dollars you can support big dreams!
Watch “Movie Reviews and More” on youtube
Photo Credits: Brian Sebastian