Gone Hollywood

After landing in Hollywood, Minnesota native Brianna Brown (Lisa, GH) discovered that L.A. can be a cold town, both for struggling performers and those in need. She decided to do something — and The New Hollywood was born….

Soap Opera Digest: Tell us about the group you founded, The New Hollywood.
Brianna Brown: It's all women from the entertainment industry. We've had casting directors, producers, writers, voice over artists, artists, models, actresses, so it runs the gamut. It's lovely having all of these strong, intelligent, independent women come together and be supportive of each other rather than being catty, competitive and negative. That's why it's called The New Hollywood. It's a networking group, and we donate our dues to charities that we vote on. We also have events and raise money for various nonprofits to be a positive example within the community.

Digest: TNH has grown quickly.
Brown: At first, there were only six people and then the next year it was 12 and then it expanded to 18 and then 24.

Digest: And now TNH is on both coasts.
Brown: Yes. A girl who moved to New York and really missed it said, "I'll lead a New York branch." Now, that branch is on it's second year and my branch has been going on for five years.

Digest: You're not the only soap actress involved.
Brown: That's right. Erin Cottrell [ex-Camille, GL; ex-Marilyn, GH] and Virginia Williams [ex-Lorna, OLTL] are both former contract soap players, and some of the others have appeared on soaps, as well.

Digest: Were they a help when you auditioned for GH?
Brown: When I was up for GENERAL HOSPITAL, I was nervous about all the material and having to memorize it, and Erin gave me some sage advice, which was invaluable.

Digest: Tell us about TNH's charitable events.
Brown: In December of 2010, The New Hollywood put on an event called Hollywood Gives Back, and it raised money for Hollywood Heart, which is an organization that helps kids who either have AIDS or have a family member who has AIDS. In conjunction with that, we also had a toy drive for Toys For Tots. It was a big, happy event helping out kids.

Digest: What's been your most memorable charitable experience with TNH?
Brown: Two years ago, we created a calendar with celebrity photographer Deborah Anderson, which we ended up selling online and at the event. We had a big event for Tree People, our local environmental non-profit. It was all of the ladies who were in the group in 2009 and since the event was inspired nature, we all dressed as goddesses.

Digest: How does someone join?
Brown: We only have a limited number of slots per year, and we try to keep it as diverse as possible, with people who aren't here just to network. We'll be looking at new members in the summer and in the fall, we'll go through our interviews. If anyone's interested, they can check out www.thenewhollywood.org.

Calendar Girls: Brown (bottom l, reclined) and her girls embraced the beauty of nature when they posed for a 2010 calender, the proceeds of which went to Tree People.