Vixen Chat: Darmirra Brunson Talks Comedy, YouTube Show & More
Darmirra Brunson may not be a household name just yet, but give her some time and this budding comedian will be sure to take over your laughing chords. The Baltimore, MD native and Los Angeles transplant always had the gift of comedic relief, naturally following in the footsteps of her father fellow comedian Darryl Brunson.
The 25-year-old ventured into the realm of YouTube to display her talents for the world, birthing the popular YouTube channel The Darmirra Brunson Show. Itfeatures popular videos such as “Shit Beyonce Says” and “Shit Rihanna Says” and has over two million page views and 40 thousand subscribers to date.
Vixen caught up with the aspiring actress/comedian to talk about her sketch comedy channel, her future aspirations and her original character Gretchen Murdle.--Johnathan Cruse. Photography by Matt Stasi.
It really came from my dad and just growing up in the house with someone who is constantly making you laugh and you realize how much of a gift that is and you just naturally take that on. And as far as the voices go, I was always really heavily involved in the performing arts and just playing different characters and different roles. It really allows you to see what your voice can do and the range you have. As far as the celebrity impersonations go, I didn’t tap into that until about few months ago. I recently auditioned for In Living Color and one of the people they wanted you to impersonate was Beyoncé. I remember trying it and the people were like, ‘That’s pretty good.’ So with that, I said I will continue to run with it and see if I can get better with it.
How did the idea of having your own YouTube channel come along? Did you have any personal influences that pushed you along to create one?
I actually had a YouTube channel up for two years and one of my most notable videos that was up on that YouTube channel was the ‘Chris Brown and Rihanna Fight Night Scene’ when we are in the car together and we basically re-enacted that night. Now my old YouTube channel was not nearly as successful as this one is and a hacker chose to delete that channel. So when I started my new channel in February and when I released my second video “Shit Rihanna Says,” that video went viral and it made people ask, ‘Where did she come from?’ when in reality I had been there all along.
Tell me about the character Gretchen Murdle and how she came about?
I created her when I was a junior in high school, and one day my dad was doing some projects for BET and he brought these weird glasses home and I put them on. The minute I put the glasses on, I just transformed into this character. [My mom and I] went out on the street and we were driving around and I was just like yelling at people as this character and people were laughing. My mom was like, ‘You should call her Gretchen Murdle,' and we kind of just went with that. I took Gretchen Murdle to a competition and competed in high school and I won first place; I got all types of prizes and scholarships. She was the first character I ever created, so I wanted to present her first on my new YouTube channel which is The Darmirra Show. So far, I’m getting a great response and she loves it. [Laughs]
I naturally go for the people who are heavy-hitters right now because I am naturally trying to reach that level of success for now and people want to see you emulate the people who are already hot, so I go after those people first. And then naturally all of those girls have such distinct personalities especially Nicki Minaj so as a comedian it gives you so much to play off of. So if you have a distinct personality that I feel like I can tweak and have fun with you are going to get spoofed. [Laughs]
To date your video "Shit Beyonce Say" has had the most views on YouTube. What was your favorite video to make thus far and why?
I guess I actually have to say now that it is the Sophia Grace and Rosie one because it was so much fun to be kids and do that accent. I think so many people can see that I really let loose, because that’s what I am, really wild. Those little girls are hilarious and when it comes to my spoofs I just do what I know everyone is already thinking in their heads.
What's next for The Darmirra Show? Any expansion ideas? Will we see you in film or on television?
Get ready for a lot more original characters such as ‘Gretchen Murdle Goes to Hollywood,’ which will be a web series on The Darmirra Show. I want people to know that I am more than just a girl that does celebrity impressions; I really am a creator because I look up to folk like Tracey Ullman, Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball. They were creators, so I want to show people that. So get ready to see impressions you’ve already seen taken to another level. I never really know exactly what I am going to do it all depends on what’s happening in our world, and I just go for it.