Brandyn graduated from Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Media Production in December 2011. Initially, his focus was on directing and writing. When entering the film realm in 2012 with no experience or colleagues, he cast himself in his own projects so that he could have work to show. He filmed his first short with an HD camera that he bought to film weddings. Through the process of making a few more short films, he found more enjoyment being on camera and performing rather than being behind it, so he began pursuing a career in acting. Although he never took himself seriously as an actor and realized that his peers felt the same way, he didn’t want to get stuck in that niche. After attending a seminar, he met his acting coach and friend, Josie DiVincenzo. He was one of her first private students and in exchange for a few lessons, he helped her edit her demo reel and encouraged her to open her own studio. To learn more about his background as a producer, visit www.bewilderedmedia.com/about
With a background in Kung Fu and serving 9 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, he also found he had a knack for fighting on camera. He decided to attend stunt school in Atlanta and trained basic stuntwork under Michael R. Long in December 2014. Around the same time, he started coaching gymnastics and practicing parkour. He learned that coaching not only served as a means to train and help others, but also gave him an opportunity to reflect on his own ability and keep himself in check. As his skills progressed, he found new ways to incorporate his movements on screen as an amateur action actor.
Martial Arts/Movement Background
At age 17 he began training under Laoshi Erin Markle at Gold Summit Martial Arts and learned Kung Fu fundamentals. Although he remained a student of hers for many years, he always put his training to the wayside to focus on his film career. Laoshi Markle is responsible for instilling many of the core values in him that ultimately stopped him from walking a bad path in his life, but after many years he found he needed to leave his hometown and start a new life. When moving to Los Angeles, he moved into Shaolin Temple Los Angeles and trained under Venerable Abbot Shi Yan Fan everyday (7 days/week, 6 hrs/day minimum) and assisted with the business and classes. Shi Yan Fan took his training to another level, but he ended up leaving after a year due to personal reasons. He continues to train on his own and absorb from anyone he can learn from.
When Brandyn was 26, he watched a documentary on how Bruce Lee changed the world which made mention of parkour. At the time, Brandyn had no idea what parkour was and it intrigued him tremendously. He searched for places and found a group that practices in random urban areas in Buffalo. During the winter they practiced at a gymnastics gym. Because the gym was small, he was able to get a job there with no gymnastics experience. With that job on his resume, he was able to land another job at a gym where he learned more about spotting and coaching. He ended up picking it up quickly and while he learned how to coach, he spent a lot of time after work training himself and often time getting tips from other coaches. When he moved to Los Angeles, he was fortunate enough to land a job at All Olympia Gymnastics Center where he became the head recreational coach. From there he started doing private lessons and worked on his certification while building a lot of rapport with parents and students he worked with. In October of 2019, he became certified with USAG and began coaching athletes in the Xcel Program as well as Junior Olympics. Learning some of the technicalities he needed to instill in his students as a coach, also gave him the opportunity to reflect on his own movement. He infused a lot of the tumbling and strength skills he learned into his martial arts movement which would eventually translate onto screen.
As a child, Brandyn typically found solace in movies, TV shows, and music. It was his way of escaping reality. Growing up with a dysfunctional family in an income based neighborhood while attending a wealthy school district often made it difficult for him to find a sense of belonging. With a history of dealing with abuse, racism, bullying, being kicked out of school and institutionalized; he started believing that media was the only thing that kept him going throughout his teenage years. His goal, as an artist, is to instill the same type of hope and determination in people who may have gone through similar hardships as a means to pay it forward. Being able to witness his work having a strong impact on someone has always been more rewarding than the flattery he’s received simply for creating something.
While attending college, Brandyn was a soldier and working to become a firefighter as a backup career to filmmaking. His MOS in the Army was originally a Construction Equipment Operator, but he re-classed into Civil Affairs after 4 years. During his career he got to complete Air Assault School and won a Battalion Level Soldier of the Year Competition. He came in second for a Brigade competition and was certified in Army Combatives Level II, which infuses various weapons training, grappling and striking. He held quite a few jobs in the the medical field ranging from Physical Rehab Attendant to working as an aide for the developmentally disabled. He also worked in food and delivery services, sales, security, and fitness equipment assembly.
After graduating college, he got his EMT certification and worked in the field for a little less than a year. He quit due to severe underpayment and personal conflicts at the time. He filmed weddings for the extra income prior to making films that would go anywhere. During his EMT training, he took a firefighter civil service exam and was ranked #5 on the list of hire in a local town. He didn’t get an interview for it until August 2014. That was ironically the same time he wrapped principal photography on his first feature film Dwelling and his term in the military had ended. He was called back for a second interview but respectfully turned it down. He finally came to terms with the fact that he would rather struggle in pursuing where his heart is as opposed to gaining financial stability where it isn’t. He often wondered if he made the right decision but after a while he accepted that he did, despite the many struggles that would follow.