I recently asked Below Decks greenest deckhand about his time on the show. Here’s what Chris Brown, yeah, like the famous guy, had to say.
What made you decide to do the show?
After getting my yachting certification I moved to Ft. Lauderdale in hopes of starting a career in yachting. I’m always open to new experiences. I believe you get more out of life by doing more. I initially turned down the show because I had my life pretty well set up and I was busy doing other things but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was a rare opportunity to do yet another crazy thing with my short time on this planet.
Is doing the show as fun as you thought it would be?
It was more challenging than I anticipated. First and foremost, we were there to do our job as deck crew and keep the charter guests safe. I was less concerned about the show. Since the crew was more inexperienced this season, we were all learning together. I liken it to opening a busy restaurant where only the managers know what to do. As you can see in the first few episodes, things are bumpy and obviously, someone’s going to get in trouble when management gets frustrated and the whole guest experience is going to be far from perfect. I tried to make the camera guys laugh and knowing that I was going to watch myself act a fool months later helped keep things in perspective for me.
Did you expect the fan’s reactions to be what they are?
My bio says I have a pretty polarizing personality and that people dislike me almost as often as they like me. I’ve spent a long time being myself and doing introspection on what makes me tick. For the most part I expected it, especially since I brought my full self to the show and didn’t hold back. That said, I tend to do really well in one on one interactions, people seem to really like me and my longstanding history of meaningful friendships speaks to that.
Why do you always say your full name? Did you think making the comparison to the musician was a good thing?
It’s a gimmick, a mnemonic, it makes it memorable. I’m used to interacting with a lot of people in a short amount of time and it’s the only fool-proof way I’ve found to help people remember my name. It’s really stressful walking onto the boat for a new charter season, gotta do something to lighten the mood, you know?
What surprised you the most about filming the show?
My biggest surprise was the lack of sleep, rest and personal time that comes with being a full-time deckhand. Its 10-15 hour days nonstop with minimal downtime. Our crew’s lack of experience meant we were always behind the 8-ball and nobody got any reprieve from the work load.
What was the best thing about filming the show? The hardest?
My favorite part was connecting with everyone involved with the show. I’m a funny guy and I enjoy making people laugh. If I can do something to make them laugh and connect with them, well, that makes me feel a whole lot better about myself and my day. The hardest part was watching my deck crew blunder so obviously, not exactly knowing what to do to help.
Did the cameras make your job more difficult?
Part of my job was making sure a camera was around! I was making a TV show after all! The camera’s rarely interfered with what I needed to do or where I needed to go. The crew behind the lens are real professionals, much more than I am, that’s for sure!
Did you feel you were given adequate chances to prove yourselves?
I would’ve liked more responsibility and more opportunities to prove myself. My leadership style is different in that I like to give people slightly more than they can handle and see how they react.
Do you think Captain Lee and Nico judged you too harshly given your lack of experience?
I expect to be judged fairly and accordingly to my talents and the work I perform. I’ll full well admit I’m a bit slow, when introduced to a new industry, to put all the pieces together. Being a deckhand is not something you learn in 48 hours nor should anyone have to.
Was the job harder than you expected?
I need my sleep! I don’t function well without sleep…I wish I did! The job got much easier when I learned how to pace myself and what to place importance on.
What was the most unusual thing you had to do because of a guest request?
A couple charter guests requested I teach a yoga class in my blue&white star booty shorts but luckily I never had to do that
What did you think of the interior crew?
Judge not lest ye be judged, right? Ha, just kidding. Kate is dope, I wish I had her as my supervisor. That stew masterclass she taught looked insanely insightful and I wish we did something similar for the deck crew. I think Jen is entirely over her head and I think Bri will be alright if she can handle all the male attention. The interior schedule is a little different than the exterior so when I saw them take breaks I was jealous.
What would you change if you could?
Probably wouldn’t have taken a nap but I did feel incredible after the fact.
What was the best thing that happened while filming? The worst?
Meeting all these new people was the best thing to come out of filming. Meeting Kate and Matt was awesome. They’re good people and I need more of that in my life. The lack of sleep was the worst aspect.
What do you want the fans to know about yourself?
I make mistakes, admit, apologize and grow from them and you’ll see that on the show. We were up against a lot of challenging circumstances this year but I’m excited for fans to be along for the ride this season.
Do you have any messages for the fans?
Life’s either memorable or forgettable, if you’re not out making memories, what are you really doing? Do some volunteer work; it’s good to give back. Travel, say yes to new experiences, be willing to make a fool of yourself for the sake of entertaining others, don’t take life so seriously and hardly anything matters. Oh, and I’m still looking for a girlfriend or wife.
Any last messages you want the fans to know?
I’m about as real and honest a person as you can meet. It’s hard to explain myself and 8 other people in an hour long TV show. Follow me on Instagram: ImChrisBrown and if you see me somewhere don’t hesitate to say hello!
As always, don’t forget to tune into Bravo Tuesday nights at 9 pm est for new episodes!