Industry insights: Show business veterans to lead Brownsville festival workshops

Actor R.J. Mitte poses for photos, April 29, 2021, at the premiere of the film, “Triumph,” at Cinemark Sunrise Mall in Brownsville. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
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Anyone aspiring to a career in the arts and entertainment industry can get the inside scoop from industry veterans during the inaugural Mitte in Motion: A Dynamic Arts Festival to be held April 29 in Brownsville.

The free event takes place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at four venues within the Mitte Cultural District: Camille Playhouse, Children’s Museum Pavilion, Cummings Middle School and Gladys Porter Zoo.

The arts festival is a joint effort by award-winning actor and Brownsville resident R.J. Mitte, grandson of Mitte Foundation founders Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte; his mother, Dyna Mitte, and others in the community, he said.

“Brownsville and the RGV has a massive entertainment market and community and really underserved for how large it is here,” Mitte said.

The goal was to put together a program that’s fun and entertaining while also providing insights into what it’s like to pursue careers in arts and entertainment, he said.

“It’s important to do classes and learn your craft, but it’s just as important to hear from people that have been doing it for 10, 20 plus years, working in that field,” Mitte said.

Mitte, best known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White Jr. in the AMC smash series “Breaking Bad,” will kick off the festival at 9 a.m. Saturday by talking about his experiences in the industry as well as “motivation and perseverance and pushing through in whatever career you’re pursuing.”

The roster of industry insiders who will conduct workshops during the event includes Jordan Ancel, an award-winning writer and director, serial entrepreneur, author and artist who also provides CEOs, entrepreneurs and artists with coaching and problem solving; Brianna Ancel, a 20-year veteran of the talent-management field; and M.J. Dougherty, a film and television writer, producer, international college lecturer, actor and author of the award-winning “Life Lessons from a Total Failure.”

Parade Marshall Actor Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte III waves at the crowd from the back of a convertible Feb., 26, 2022, for Charro Days Fiesta’s Grand International Parade in Brownsville. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Mitte in Motion also will feature actor, writer, model and comedian Monty Geer; “self-expressive” artist Bitsy Harris; professional vocalist and flutist Irene T.H. Salazar, a member of the 12-member, all-female folk and Celtic touring band The Merry Wives of Windsor; and producer/director Nik Tizekker, a specialist in the field of film and music videos. Acting coach, actor, and film and theater producer David Wells, a veteran of more than 50 films and 100 television appearances, will also appear.

Mitte said he wanted to bring in people with industry insights to share but who also possess the ability to connect with an audience and “aren’t snobbish.”

“There’s a lot of speakers out there that don’t always make you feel good,” he said. “If you can’t connect with the audience, you don’t really have an audience.”

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED

Mitte in Motion: A Dynamic Arts Festival

WHEN: Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Multiple venues

Free tickets available at eventbrite.com

Complete details on workshop presenters, times and locations can be found on the Mitte Cultural District’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Mitte said the cultural district and the foundation wants to keep growing and developing new programs.

“We’re also looking for new interesting things to bring to the community, and this was one of those that we’re hoping people will get a new insight or understanding of whatever craft they’re looking into,” he said. “This is hopefully the first of many.”

Mitte said he won’t be on hand the entire morning since he’s also booked for South Texas Comic Con in McAllen this weekend, though he’ll be “driving back and forth between Brownsville and McAllen for specific events.”

While the Brownsville festival is a free event, tickets are required and can be found at eventbrite.com. Just enter “Mitte in Motion” in the search box on the main page.

“We’re very excited about this program, this arts festival,” Mitte said. “We’re really excited to see how the community absorbs this information, especially with it being based in the entertainment business, so we’re very excited for that.”

Tickets are available at here.