There are few people who can claim to be as big a part of the Disney world as Yvette Nicole Brown. Not only is she one of the stars of the Disney+ series “Big Shot” but she also is the voice of Mama Rabbit in the Disney animated series “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery.”
But wait. There’s more. On Aug. 12, she shows off her hosting skills on Disney+ with “Disney’s Summer Magic Quest.” The special – part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World – is a competition at EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida that pits stars from Disney projects against each other.
In this case, “Zombies 3” stars Meg Donnelly, Pearce Joza, Kylee Russell and Matt Cornett compete in a series of challenges and obstacles through a variety of EPCOT attractions.
Brown has even found time to show up at Disney California Adventure park for a special fan celebration day featuring actors from several Disney Junior productions. She is an explosion of energy and excitement as she talks about being such a big part of the Disney family.
She jokes that the key to being able to work so much is giving up on the idea of sleep. Brown’s more serious answer is that her belief is that as long as she is being asked to be part of a project, she should say yes.
“I know that sounds crazy. I think it is me and Samuel L. Jackson who believe that,” Brown says. “There is very little that I say no to. Sam’s reason is if they pay his fee he will show up and he has a great fee.
“For me it is just the fact that I like working. I like being creative and I especially love being part of positive PG-13 entertainment. That’s my jam. So all of the invitations from Disney are easy yeses for me.”
And those invites cover a wide range. On “Big Shot” she plays the principal of the high school where a disgraced college basketball coach (John Stamos) is trying to rejuvenate his career. That show is aimed at an older audience while “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery” is the animated tale of the great-granddaughter of the original Alice who splits her time between baking and big adventures.
Brown is working so much these days that she has finally had to hire an assistant to help her juggle the schedule. She tried to handle all of the scheduling on her own but the day she missed being at a recording session was the day she knew it was time to get help.
“The idea of letting people down broke my heart,” Brown says.
This busy working schedule is nothing new for Brown. The Ohio native has amassed 149 TV and film credits over the past two decades. She’s best known for playing Shirley Bennett on the comedy “Community” but her other credits include “The Odd Couple,” “The Mayor” and “Lady and the Tramp.”
Over the years, Brown has bounced between being an on-screen performer to working as a voice talent. She would shift acting lanes if one type of work would dry up just to keep working.
“If I was getting acting jobs, then I would see if I could get on a game show. Or I would look into doing commercials,” Brown says. “But everything I shift to is something that I love. I love everything about entertainment.”
Brown credits her broad love of working to those she would watch when she was younger. She points to Betty White’s work on “Password,” Phylicia Rashad on “The Cosby Show,” Oprah Winfrey and the entire cast of “Golden Girls” as being big influences on her broad appreciation for different kinds of acting jobs.
Even with her lengthy list of credits, Brown continues to be excited by every new job. There are times when her acting cup starts to overflow. She had to ask for a day off from filming the second season of “Big Shot” to be able to attend the Fan Fest.
It is not enough that Brown brings all of her acting energy to the set. She spends any time away from work acting as a cheerleader for her projects. She was happy that the first season of “Big Shot” had a loyal following but she would like to build on that audience with the second season.
“I hope that we can get more eyeballs on it,” Brown says. “Once we do, I think it will be great.”
There’s no way of knowing how great the second season of “Big Shot” will be when it unfolds on Disney+ in either late 2022 or early 2023. But, there’s no question that when it does launch, it will get a big push from one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood.