A difficult life can lead a person to make poor choices. Often, people can remedy their poor decisions, as long as they are willing to do the work to correct their mistakes and grow to be a better person. Addiction may have troubled Brandon Chastang for over a decade, but he has turned his life around and is now encouraging others to do the same.
Brandon Chastang is a motivational speaker, activist, sober messenger, and actor. He is also known as BMcFly, which stands for Being Motivated Comes From Loving Yourself. In his speaking engagements, Brandon re-enacts real-life scenarios through skits to spread awareness about various issues or problems that his audience might experience. He speaks about difficult things that most people are not comfortable talking about, such as drug addiction, gun violence, mental health issues, and the school to prison pipeline. He also speaks about the importance of education and what it means to be a black father.
Most of the skits that Brandon Chastang created are about one minute long. He also shares them on his various social media platforms as he aims to give people a visual representation of things that they may have seen before but never paid attention to. Brandon Chastang has created over 15 powerful skits on difficult topics, and he often draws from his personal experiences.
Brandon Chastang grew up in what he describes as an aggressive environment. In 1981, he was born in Philadelphia to teenage parents, with his mother and father being 14 and 16 years old, respectively, at his birth. Both Brandon’s parents were addicted to cocaine. He did not have an ideal childhood, but he was lucky that he had a loving grandmother who instilled in him the importance of education and getting a college degree. And his grandmother’s influence on him paid off. In May 2004, Brandon graduated from Lincoln University with a degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating, he dreamed of working with children who have behavioral problems and cognitive disabilities.
Unfortunately, that dream was cut short when in July 2004, Brandon got shot. In the aftermath of his injury, Brandon Chastang was prescribed painkillers. He soon became addicted to them and remained addicted for 14 years. In those 14 years, Brandon saw his life deteriorate. “I was a criminal, a deadbeat father, a user, and a manipulator. I wanted to die,” he shares.
On January 21, 2018, Brandon Chastang admitted himself to Armes Acres, an inpatient rehabilitation facility in New York. “During my second week there, I made a decision to call myself a sober messenger and the top motivator in the world,” Brandon says. He had a plan for when he left rehab. “I would give social media something that was never seen before,” he says. After 30 days of treatment and rehabilitation, Brandon has been living a sober life for almost three years.
Since leaving rehab and embracing a sober life, Brandon Chastang has brought awareness to sensitive topics that most people are afraid to talk about. “These things may be difficult, but I think it’s important that we should talk about them. Especially to at-risk youth and inner city kids,” Brandon says. He uses his life experience to teach and inspire change whenever he speaks at events. Brandon’s skits are also a way for him to share his message and the lessons that people can learn from crucial life moments.
“So many people have reached out to me on social media asking me to help them get off drugs. It makes me proud that there are so many people who are willing to do the work so they can live a better life and be a better person,” Brandon shares.
For Brandon Chastang, motivational speaking, being a sober messenger, and producing skits are just the beginning. He shares, “Someday I want to build my own rehabilitation center to help those who are fighting addiction, and I want to work on a rehabilitation program to help save lives.”