'The Lion King' actor Russell Brown shares Broadway experience, tips for future with young D.C. students

Russell Brown, actor from Broadway's "The Lion King." (WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Despite performing in Broadway shows six days a week, Russell Brown always makes time on the North American "The Lion King" tour to reach out to local children.

He shows them how to perform dance steps from the show and shares important lessons he's learned along the way.

"Protect your reputation with your life," he tells the kids.

Brown performs as a bass in the singing ensemble, and serves as an understudy to the actor who plays "Mufasa."

"I really want to impact the next generation of artists by helping them to express what they have inside," Brown said. "The stage allows for you to get out what you have inside."

He also teaches the kids that acting is a business - and some basic principles are extremely important to follow.

Recently, Brown shared some of his industry knowledge with local students in Southeast D.C.

"I learned never give up; always try, try, try again," said local student Myasia Blassingale, 16.

"[I learned] you have to be well put-together and on time everyday, and you have to know your stuff," said Maya Burton, 15.

"[I learned] it's good to try out everything, even if you don't like it," said 11-year-old student Michael Mason.

Brown acknowledges that he has a lot of expertise to share with these children - and says doing so is his responsibility.

"If we don't expose the children to what's possible, then they'll never know.{ } And if they never know, maybe some exceptional talent has been lost," Brown explained.

"And what kind of a person would I be if I didn't give back, especially to the people who don't have access?" he added.