You may remember thirteen year-old Erica Gluck as Brittany ‘Britt-Bratt’ Pitts; the adorable, precocious daughter of Jason (Coby Bell) and Kelly (Brittany Daniel) Pitts on the CW’s The Game --- the addictive dramedy series which follows the lives of NFL players and the women who love them.
When the groundbreaking show---also starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Pooch Hall, Hosea Chanchez and Wendy Raquel Robinson---was canceled by the CW network after three seasons, outraged and persistent fans refused to sit back while another black cast disappeared into obscurity, motivating Black Entertainment Television (BET) to offer The Game a new home for future seasons, effectively dodging the permanent lock-out that fans feared.
With anticipation high, fans tuned in for the long awaited fourth season, only to discover that Brittany Pitts was now an older, harsh, more complex teen character and the internet quickly became abuzz with one question:
Where is our Britt-Bratt?
Your Black World speaks to Erica Gluck in an exclusive interview about where she’s been since her star-turning role and where she’s going. From co-starring in a film with R&B singer, Eric Benet, to emerging as a singer in her own right, this time Gluck is playing the game by her rules…with her family as her strong, supporting line-up.
Your Black World: How was it working on The Game? We all loved Britt-Bratt, and there was a lot of buzz when they brought in someone else to play her. Was it your decision not to come back for the fourth season?
Erica Gluck: The Game was my big break. I had a great experience working on the show. The cast and the crew were like family to me. The producers wanted to take Britt-Bratt in a more mature direction. We found out after they made the decision. I love everyone involved in the show and I am still a fan. I wish them all the best. Other opportunities opened up for me because of that show, so I have no regrets. Mara and Salim Akil [Executive and Creative Producers of The Game] gave me an amazing opportunity and they are wonderful people. Mara created and executive produced both Girlfriends and The Game. She is incredible. Salim directed most of the episodes that I was in. He was always supportive and taught me so much. I was excited when I found out that they were picked up for another season.
[Editor’s note: Various media outlets report that Katlynn Simone Smith, Erica’s replacement, was offered the role because she is related to Kenny Smith, a writer and executive producer of The Game. Erica’s father, Chris, is quoted as saying that producers would not even meet with them to discuss the possibility of Erica returning to the show. Over 3,000 fans signed a petition on PetitionOnline.com to bring Erica back on The Game.]
YBW: Recently, you starred in the Gospel Music Channel Original Movie, Trinity Goodheart, with Eric Benet. In the film, Trinity, embarks on a quest to save her mother and bring her fractured family together, and you’ve been quoted as saying that Trinity’s determination mirrors your own. Has navigating the entertainment industry at such an early age and facing rejection ever shaken your confidence or tested that determination. If so, how do you remain focused?
Erica Gluck: I think that being determined is very necessary if you want to be in the entertainment industry. I have definitely faced a lot of rejection, but it’s all part of the process. My parents have also helped me realize that you learn from each experience. There have been times where I didn’t want to continue, but then an audition would come in and I’d read the script and I would get excited again. As Jay-Z says, brush the dirt off your shoulders!
YBW: It must be difficult to balance both school and work. Young actresses such as Tatyiana Ali and Natalie Portman pursued degrees at prestigious universities after solidifying their places in Young Hollywood; do you see college in your future?
Erica: My parents only let me work if my grades are good. If I don’t get good grades, there is no work. That motivates me to make sure that I take care of business! My mom don’t play!! I will definitely be going to college. Natalie Portman is one of my influences.
YBW: We read stories all the time about the pitfalls of early fame, the club scene and all that entails. What always seems to be missing is parental involvement. Do your parents ever worry about you going down that path? How do they feel about your career?
Erica: My parents have made it very clear to me that this is a business for my benefit. I have too many things that I want to do in the industry to get sidetracked by foolish behavior. I see too many talented people throw away careers because they can’t stay out of trouble. My mom and dad and my management put a lot of time and effort into me, and to mess up would let down people who have given me some much support. I want to be like Beyonce. She is my role model. You never see her get into the tabloids for foolish or messy behavior. She is the ultimate professional. That is what I want to be. My dad is from NY and my mom is from Philly, and I have a big family. They are all very proud of what I have been able to accomplish. I would never let them down. I have been very blessed.
YBW: We heard your single with rapper Lil Chuckee, and you can sing! How long have you been singing? Which creative outlet brings you the most fulfillment?
Erica: I have always been singing since I can remember. I love it! I have been recording since I was 8. In the last few years I have been working with some amazing producers and I have a great team helping to develop this part of my career. I had a great time working with Chuckee. I have also done some work with Young Marqus, who is just amazing! There are some big things that I am working on now that will be coming out in the next couple of months that may surprise some people. I love to entertain. Acting, singing, rapping, it’s all good.
YBW: In five years, when fans, media and the general public say the name Erica Gluck, what will be the conversation? What is Erica doing five years from now?
Erica: Hopefully talking about my new movie, TV show, tour, and album!
To hear Erica singing on Lil Chuckee’s hit song, "Never Meant To Treat U That Way”, click here.