I’m so excited to introduce you to a voice from the millennial generation who is striving to put his dreams into action. Chris Burkmenn, host of the CBEX seeks to empower artists and encourage passionate men and women to shoot for their dreams. The CBEX YouTube show had over 20,000 viewers and they are entering into their 4th season.
Be inspired and encouraged! Enjoy!
Was The Chris Burkmenn Experience always a dream of yours or did it happen by surprise?
It’s funny because it was a dream, but I never knew I wanted to create my own show. I knew that I always wanted to host my own show. I just thought it would be on a network like CMT or MTV. I would pretend I was Carson Daly hosting TRL when I was younger in the mirror. I was also obsessed with Barbara Walters on 20/20. When Hugh Downs left, I emailed her to find out if I could take his spot. I was 12 years old. It was funny, because I really have always known that I wanted to play a part in the media. I decided to create the opportunity instead of waiting for Barbara to return my email. So much is changing in the way that you and I watch TV, most of the things we watch now will eventually be online content.
What would you say was the hardest thing about starting an online show?
The hardest thing about starting was understanding how people watch online content. Understanding attention spans and realizing the budget that we are working with. It’s hard to produce 15 second content for people to watch. Because most of our attention spans are 15 seconds. So it challenges myself and the team to figure out how we can get good content from these artists in a short amount of time. I am still mastering this process, but I truly believe we have come so far.
How would you encourage other millennials who want to use YouTube to present their message?
I would say do it! The most used excuse that we all face is that “I don’t have the ability.” Click To Tweet Truly each of us have the ability to start, it may not be the exact way that we want it to be, but starting is learning and we are figuring all these things on the road. We are learning as we create. Discovering our gifts and talents, and let me tell you, it’s far less stressful doing these things in a smaller audience, rather than being under the scrutiny of the media. So, I would say to someone, begin where you are, because you have the skills and the ability to start.
If you could go back in time, would there be anything you would change? Why?
That is funny that you say that because I am now 28 years old and I have learned so much about life and becoming who God has called me to be. I actually wrote my first song the other day with my friend Mandy McMillian on this very subject. I believe that I wouldn’t change anything, but that isn’t saying that I haven’t had those split seconds where I have wondered if things would be different. Not even on the perspective of good or bad decisions, I believe just decisions in general. What if I would have turned left instead of right at that light, “Would it be different?”
I LOVED watching all the videos of you trying to get on the Ellen Show last year. If you were able to meet with Ellen in person for one day only…what would you do and what would you talk about?
That is so funny, thank you for that. It’s funny my sister and I were spending time last year at Panera with my Grandma and she brought that up, 25 Days of Ellen. What a fun time that I had with that. Calling Ellen similiar to how she called Oprah. It was a fun moment and honestly I don’t know if it’s been done before or after I had done it. I am sure people call all the time, but I felt we had a good campaign to get her attention and unfortunately we were not able to. I had a friend who knew a producer and sent it to her, but I don’t think it got any further than that. I moved on from that experience, but I wouldn’t change it. Even though Ellen still doesn’t know who Chris Burkmenn is, but I sure did affect a lot of people out of that phone call. If I met Ellen I’d really love to talk to her about what a role model she is to people and her being such a fighter for animals and how wonderful I think that is. She sets such a high bar for a host to uphold and I work everyday to try and be as good. I know I am far from it, but it’s a journey and I believe I’ll get there one day.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
“What a great question, there have been so many influential people in my life it’s hard to just pick one, My Father, Mother, Step Mom have all played such a huge part in who I am today. I am truly grateful to them. I have also been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people in Nashville. One of the most impacting people that I have met in Nashville would probably be a mentor to me and boss Suzzane Skinner, she has poured a lot of time and energy into me and my endeavors. She has been such a soundboard to me and my aspirations. She gives me such great feedback, and yes some of the feedback is hard to hear, but needed. My church has played a big part in who I am today, they are my family!”
You state in on your page that “CBEX aims to support talent that is often overlooked.” What has that meant for so many artist who are struggling to get their music and message out there? What has been the greatest highlight of watching someone reach their dreams because of your program?
“Yes our slogan is “Empowering Artists” well I work in so many different areas in Nashville and I hope it is giving hope to these amazing artists, because they have given me hope. Hope in believing in what I am doing in this town, and it hasn’t been easy. A lot of people didn’t think that I would still be doing this, but we are and consistent in doing so. We have such a wonderful team playing a part in all of this. Andy Burchett is a beast and works long hours on making all of this happen and I couldn’t do any of this without him. We are getting ready to bring on some new faces that you will be seeing too, both on our team and new artists as well.
Also outside of the show, I continue with these artists by booking a lot of them on shows here in town and I like to continue our relationship and not just let our interview be the last time we work together. I am a relational person and I truly want to help play a part in where they go.
How does your relationship with Christ compel you to reach your dreams?
My relationship with Jesus has been such a life changer, I didn’t always know him and I didn’t always want to know him. I became saved when I was 21 years old, that’s when I accepted Jesus as my savior. From that moment on things in my life have changed, they haven’t always been easy, but it has been worth every struggle. Reaching my goals with the Lord has taken a lot of pressure off of me. Click To Tweet It has made me become aware that all things are possible for those who believe, and that helps me in knowing, that no matter what I do or how hard I work, it’s Him that is going to get me there. I believe in where I am going because I believe what God says. Click To Tweet
What are some things we can expect from the CBEX project in the near future?
At The CBEX we are focused on building relationships and helping grow artists. I believe in what we are doing and in where we are going. I want to continue to produce quality content and my prayer is that we could become a network show or possibly even become a network; however, that may look for us I am not 100% sure, but I am finding it out more and more daily. Keep watching, keep sharing, and keep believing because we are going somewhere. I just know it!
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