Before becoming known as his character Erich Stranger, Owensboro resident Aaron Brown was always looking for ways to gain fame.
“From an early age I wanted to be the center of attention and that passion has followed me my whole life,” Brown, 32, said.
Born on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, Brown and his family moved and lived in places in North Carolina and Mississippi before settling in Kentucky.
Brown was able to find a calling in show business at the age of 10, his first being a church musical, which he described as a modern take on “Adam and Eve” and remembers that the one of his main lines was “What can go wrong with an apple? What’s wrong with just one bite?”
“I’ve always been involved in theater in one way or another,” Brown said. “Whenever there was an opportunity, I participated in it.”
After being homeschooled throughout high school, he and his younger brother Kevin began appearing in a number of shows through the United Christian Home Schools drama club, with Brown becoming the club’s student director at the in his third year where he directed a production of “Pride and Prejudice” while playing the role of Charles Bingley before landing the job of lead director for “Arsenic and Old Lace” and directing the cast as Mortimer Brewster.
After graduating from high school, Brown went on to study broadcasting at Western Kentucky University, where he continued to dabble in acting for a brief period before returning to Owensboro and enrolling at Owensboro Community & Technical College. for a few lessons.
While Brown continued to appear in a number of shows in various capacities, he decided to take a break from the performing arts for about five to six years to focus on other passion projects such as blogging. and writing an unfinished novel “You don’t have to be miserable if you don’t want to be, but I think you secretly want to be.
The book’s plot revolves around three of Brown’s alter egos trying to finish the novel himself, before focusing primarily on his podcast, “The Ghost of Thor Radio Show,” which premiered in 2021 as offshoot of Brown’s 2020 “Paper Bag Philosophy Podcast.”
Brown was inspired to start the show thanks to his brother Kevin, who became a local artist and started his own company, Kevin Brown Media.
“When Kevin started doing acting and stuff, he started doing photography and he picked up the camera and started rolling with it; and ultimately, he made quite a career out of it,” Brown said. “When I started the show…I was going through a depression and trying to get out of it (and) I was watching my brother get into something, get passionate about it, and then keep working on it and eventually become a career for him – it was a huge inspiration for me and I realized that I had to push myself…. So I started doing a whole bunch of stuff and the podcast is what ended up sticking.
The show features Brown leading guests on a variety of topics ranging from suicide awareness, trauma recovery, the importance of the Second Amendment, a person converting to Judaism, and covering local events such only poetry evenings at Spot Coffee and Finery and OMG! con.
With his projects such as the podcast, Brown wanted to dive into less conventional territory due to his observations of censorship and removal of content creators on YouTube due to discussions of controversial but sometimes historical topics.
“The great thing about my show is that it’s a show of everything,” Brown said. “The reason the topics are so broad is because I want it to be a place where people can come and have a voice, because there’s a lot of censorship going on…and there’s a lot of those people who don’t have a voice (or) don’t necessarily know how to use their voice.
With the show, Brown said he had no intention of making money from media companies, but rather controlling the content and helping himself, his fans and subscribers guide his success.
“For me, I wanted to establish early on that I’m an alternative,” Brown said.
However, Brown was eager to find opportunities to become part of the more mainstream performing arts realm again and was eventually cast as the male lead, Peter Shaw, in Theater Workshop of Owensboro’s production of “Silent Sky.” (TWO). finished its run earlier this month.
Although Brown controlled his path in terms of the content he created, he was happy to reacclimate to the craft he loved.
“I wanted to get back into the theater world and into the community…because it’s a great place to bond,” Brown said. “It’s a great place to meet people and it’s fun. I like doing it.
And Brown has continued to stick to that and is currently in rehearsals for Bluegrass Community Theater’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as Theseus, the Duke of Athens.
But Brown has also made it a goal to shine a light on others to showcase their talents by creating the public Facebook group Erich’s Circle of Artists, where Brown invites members of the community to share anything of their artwork. art, drawings, music videos, live performances. and more.
He also uses the platform to promote events and happenings in the Owensboro area to engage the community more in the arts and build better relationships with the broader arts sector.
“Owensboro is an extremely talented city and we have so many artists and musicians and all things that can do so well if given the opportunity,” Brown said. “I like to support people… My friend called me the hype man from Owensboro – I feel like that’s a very accurate description of me because I feel like Owensboro has the potential to become like a Nashville or larger city capable of having a huge arts community.
Whatever projects he puts his heart into, Brown remains driven by the fear of pushing it through.
“Before I started the (podcast), I was very afraid of failure,” Brown said. “Now I’m using that fear and (I’ve) converted it. So instead of the fear of failure, I have the fear of going back to where I was. For me, it’s all about to move forward….
And his idea of the importance of the arts remains as true as ever.
“I think art is how people connect with each other; and I think for me, I like to put something meaningful for people…” Brown said.