Brandon Lewis went from working at Walmart to selling his movie in Walmart.
Brandon Lewis worked in the electronics depart of a North Texas Walmart. But, he had a second job, working as a stand-up comedian. Now, his DVD is selling on Walmart shelves across the country, and he is working on a second one.
According to a news report by the Dallas Observer, Lewis says he would use his homemade comedy shows to lure customers to buy electronics at Walmart. “[My movies] helped me sell TVs. And I sold a lot of DVD players.”
Lewis made sketch comedies in which he may impersonate celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting on the toilet or portray a character he had created.
“I would sneak and play those DVDs in the store on the display TVs, and people would stop and laugh at them,” Lewis posted on Facebook. ”Some even asked if it was on the shelf to buy. Sadly, the answer was no. But at that moment, I realized something. I could make people laugh. And they were willing to pay for it.”
One of Lewis’ responsibilities had been to put new movie releases on the shelves. Then he met Seckeita Taylor who later became his wife and the director of Jerico.
The movie centers around two black best friends growing up in the Jim Crow South who are attempting to get to work as they are being chased by a racist mob. The comedy debuted at the Cannes International Pan African Film Festival and had won numerous awards, including Best Feature Narrative at Denton’s Black Film Festival. It’s now available through Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon.
“It’s also in the libraries,” Lewis says. “I heard it’s being used as a teaching tool for civil rights.”
Lewis said reaching that point was not easy. He had quit his job as a social services specialist with Georgia’s Department of Family and Child Services to pursue a radio show opportunity offered by Rickey Smiley.
“Without much thought, I gave up everything, my apartment and my career and moved to Texas,” says Lewis’ Facebook post. “It was the most foolish thing I’d ever done. I called it stepping out on faith. Within a week, I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress in my grandmother’s garage – completely broke.”
Lewis debuted as an on-air country Western DJ by the name of DJ Dale Stevens but later had to give up that gig and work at Walmart where he met his wife. Seckeita, who was a marketer for Frito-Lay, is now pursuing her passion for filmmaking fulltime. The two are currently working on their second movie called 100.
Lewis tells the Dallas Observer that the upcoming movie will center around a guy who struggles with his weight and ends up losing 100 pounds.
Lewis shared some advice for aspiring filmmakers, “Many people, even the closest to you, will call chasing your dreams or anything else they could never fathom for themselves foolish,” says Lewis on social media. ”Don’t stop.”
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