Atlanta-Native Comedian Desi Banks Talks About The Power Of Social Media
When Atlanta-native and comedian Desi Terrell Banks Jr. put his first comedy video on the online platform Vine back in 2012, it went viral.
“Growing up, I was always the young kid that could make people laugh,” Banks said. “People would always tell me that if I don’t make it with football, I should be a stand-up comedian or you should be an actor.”
“With the comedy that I do, I try to stay relatable, and I try to find things that I’ve been through growing up, relationship problems that I’ve been through and what other people have been through,” Banks said. “Relatability is what I do.”
Soon, he will be making an appearance in the movie “Little,” starring Regina Hall, Marsai Martin and Issa Rae. The comedy, filmed in Atlanta, will be released nationwide in theaters on April 12.
“It’s a big step,” the actor, comedian and social media influencer said. “A lot of eyes are going to get seen on me.”
“When I put out content, it’s for me, but not for me. Somebody will need laughter, had a long day at work … They can watch my videos and their whole mood will change. That’s powerful for me,” he said.
This year, he has joined Kevin Hart and Joe Rogan as one of the top 10 most popular comedians on social media, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I feel like social media is big for anybody. It gives you that opportunity, that leverage to do what you really want to do,” he said.
To him, the comedy industry has changed from comedians getting their start doing standup to being scouted for jobs based on their social media presence.
“You have people like us that are doing social media and we get opportunities that some wish they could get,” Banks said.
Coming up with content comes naturally to Banks when he’s just relaxing. He said he is “addicted” to performing comedy acts.
“It just pops. And once you figure out what the people likes, stuff just pops, especially when you are staying consistent with it,” he said. “I have been doing this so much. It’s a part of me now.”
Acting is not new to Banks. He has starred in the short film “Flexin’” and acted in the movie “Love By Chance.” He describes acting as being authentic to yourself.
“What I’ve learned with acting really is it is you being yourself. When people hear act, they think that they have to act. No, they want to see … how you are when you’re happy, how you are when you’re sad. They want to see you, and that’s what makes you unique,” he said. “I tell people all the time you are acting every day. You are just missing the camera.”
Tyler Perry inspired him to create Desi Banks Productions, a company that creates content. More than 2,000 original videos have been created produced through his business in less than a year.
“One day I want my name to hold weight. I want to be a big inspiration,” Banks said.