Blake Young-Fountain commits his life to acting

Actors+Jussie+Smollett%2C+from+Empire%2C+and+Blake+Young-Fountain+look+out+at+a+crowd+during+the+NYC+Pride+Parade+during+the+film+The+Skinny.
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Blake Young-Fountain commits his life to acting

Actors Jussie Smollett, from Empire, and Blake Young-Fountain look out at a crowd during the NYC Pride Parade during the film The Skinny.

Actors Jussie Smollett, from Empire, and Blake Young-Fountain look out at a crowd during the NYC Pride Parade during the film The Skinny.

Courtesy of Blake Young-Fountain

Actors Jussie Smollett, from Empire, and Blake Young-Fountain look out at a crowd during the NYC Pride Parade during the film The Skinny.

Courtesy of Blake Young-Fountain

Courtesy of Blake Young-Fountain

Actors Jussie Smollett, from Empire, and Blake Young-Fountain look out at a crowd during the NYC Pride Parade during the film The Skinny.

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Acting is a lifelong process, and for class of 2000 Parkway West Alumnus Blake Young-Fountain, it has been his entire career, tracing back to his childhood.

“When I was young, I remember helping my mom practice and express herself in the scenes she developed for her company’s annual talent show. That planted a seed in me. I realized I loved to tell stories, and express them through acting and dancing,” Young-Fountain explained.

After that, Young-Fountain never stopped acting. In middle and high school, he had a part in nearly every show he could get into.

“Acting in school really helped me prepare for harder shows later on. In high school, even though I may not be perfect for a role, they still gave it to me which allowed me to step out of my shell,” Young-Fountain said.

After high school, Young-Fountain went to New York University’s (NYU) School of the Arts, double majoring in drama and journalism.

“I loved acting and I loved writing. [I] loved practicing my lines and loved going to class. It really wasn’t work for me. I think that’s why it didn’t feel like a lot of work to double major. I woke up every morning with a sense of purpose: to jump out of bed and go into acting,” Young-Fountain said.

Even after graduating from NYU, Young-Fountain still takes acting classes, perfecting his craft daily.

In high school, even though I may not be perfect for a role, they still gave it to me which allowed me to step out of my shell.”

— Blake Young-Fountain

“I have to practice every day. I have to be focused. My body is an instrument. And therefore everything about me, the way I look, the way I sound and the way I am, my inner life and mind must all be focused on acting,” Young-Fountain said. “Even when I am riding the bus or taking the metro I watch people’s actions around me. I watch everyone in life because at some point I know I will have to play everyone. I observe human behavior and sometimes take notes on my phone. I also have a great memory and write about it that night. I store it in my body—what I see—d[and] I take in and trust my body will remember.”

Courtesy of Blake Young-Fountain
Blake Young-Fountain as ‘Sebastian’ in the film The Skinny realizes something tragic has just occurred.

Debuting his acting career, Young-Fountain played Rashawn Brazell in America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back and has launched from there.

“I did Blueprints which screened at the Cannes Film Festival. After that I did Chasing the Green, where I got to work with Jeremy London and Ryan Hurt,” Young-Fountain said. “Then I moved out to LA, where I met my best friend Jussie Smollet who works on Empire and did The Skinny, playing Sebastian. Between films, I did a whole bunch of commercials to help pay my bills.”

Because Young-Fountain is acting daily, he has had to sacrifice other things such as relationships and a house.  

“I have had to give up a lot for acting, I look around me and the people I went to high school with seem to be all married with kids and a house,” Young-Fountain said. “But I haven’t been able to have any of that. All my efforts have been towards my career. I have to make the sacrifice and do the work now so that later on I can have what other people have.”

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