Brandon is the creator of Spiritwalker on TikTok. He is an Audio Engineer and lighting designer for live bands. Brandon grew up with the arts and attended Rennaissance School for The Arts and was enveloped by the theatre program. At a very young age he decided that creating experiences for others will be his career. The SpiritWalker and Production has given him endless outlets to instill awe wonder to the public.
What is a spiritwalker
Spiritwalkers or spirit walkers are mystical, white or black-furred tauren casters. They can enter an "Ethereal Form", allowing them to avoid physical damage. Believed to be the ill omen of a coming age, white tauren are held in near reverence by their people, often becoming reclusive priests who wander the land in search of kindred spirits. Spiritwalkers maintain the balance between the world of the living and the spirit realm. They can travel into the memories of the dead to glean clues about the past. Fargaze Mesa is a sacred place for them and come there to commune with ancestors.
My SpiritWalker Story
My Spiritwalker story starts way back as a kid, having my father build elaborate front porch scenes for Halloween and scaring children. We went all out every year and became very well known for our pop up haunted house. I began my career in live music and theatrical production and started a production company, with that the haunted porch became extremely elaborate. Kids and the parents would come back every year because it was so over the top. My love for Halloween is real and after starting a small Burning man style Festival, I had multiple outlets for my artwork.
One day in 2015, I approached my father and said, "hey, I want to build a massive stilt costume" he said "you're crazy" but enthusiastically helped me build the first stilts and test it. I didn't think it was possible after feeling what it was like on stilts for the first time (grueling). I finished the project anyway, completely ruining my basement at the time. I was relentless with building it and the process took over 100 hours.
The Spiritwalker made its grand appearance at the festival I started called Rural Man. Everyone was shocked and had no idea what to think about it. The same year I built it a new local popup community festival called Bazaar after Dark started. It is a celebration of the mystical. Once I heard that I knew I had to perform in the costume. After considerable practice time, I had my first larger scale performance. Many people recorded it and went semi-Viral on facebook and youtube and became locally knows as the spirit of bazaar. Each event, the spirit would show up and draw a massive crowd.
Fast forward to covid, 2020. I couldn't hold my infamous pop up haunted house and decided to wipe the dust off the old spiritwalker in the garage attic (which I almost threw out months prior) and do a performance. My girlfriend recorded me scaring some kids. Later that day having drinks around a fire late at night, I whimsically threw together a video to post to tiktok, thinking they might like this and my phone died. The next morning I turned on my phone and I thought I got a virus or broke my phone as it said I have over 700,000 notifications on TikTok.
Immediately, it was a lot to handle but I knew I needed to film something else so I threw on some clothes and recorded the "more about the costume" video. By the time lunch came I had over 10 million views between the two and I was on cloud 9. I had never dreamed of clout or being in the limelight as I'm a production guy and my job is to make others look and sound good, not me. What they say is true, once you go viral for something, that is now your life. I began filming as much as I could before winter and was able to get multiple videos to soar over 20 million views and went all the way to 1.2 million followers.
The Wraith walker
October 2021, my production company was running at full steam and Halloween was fast approaching. I had not had an idea as far as building another costume or plan but knew my followers wanted something big. So I started on the Wraith. Using totally new techniques, bigger stilts, bigger design, I began a process that took every waking moment of my time to build in only two weeks. I spent wakeless nights editing an epic release video on the same day I had my haunted house. It didn't do that well, later in the day I posted a video my father took of me just walking to the street practicing in it and that video went mega viral gaining 100 million views. It was shown on countless other services and had one video on instagram reach 40 million views.
Three days after Halloween I had received a number of offers to do collabs with other large Tiktok accounts, I realized I need to get the costume and myself to LA now. Shipping was not an option due to price to ship the costume so I stuffed the costume in my jetta and drove clear across the country on a solo journey. Wisconsin all the way to LA, stopping occasionally to get in the costume in amazing places. I got to experience LA for the first time and had 6 different colabs set up. First one being Andre from @outofthehat and shortly after making an appearence with @rosssmith, @grannysmith, @little.rep, and @johnlferguson. While in LA I got to meet and hang out with some amazing influencers and made a number of friends.
Doja Cat and Rick Owens
Early January, Andre (@outofthehat) called me and said "check your instagram DM's NOW, someone is trying to get ahold of you". It was Brett Alan Nelson, the creative Director for Doja Cat. He wanted to see if I could perform at the london Brit awards with her. That fell through as she didn't perform there after a change in scheduling. Shortly after this conversation someone Named Rick Owens reached out to every contact he could to get ahold of me. My father even received a few messages and emails. Rick Owens is a prolific high fashion designer known to the world as the "Lord Of Darkness". We started having video chats on a regular basis and he wanted to fly me out to Londin for a couple months to create 10 of them for Paris fashion week.
After weeks of video Chats with Owens, Brett got ahold of me again and said "we want you for COACHELLA" so I excitingly said yes. On my next video chat with Rick, I mentioned I would be performing at Coachella with Doja Cat and he swiftly said he would not be interested in working with me if I did that, it would be too public. at this point I spent an entire day pacing around my house with a huge dilemma. I turned down Doja Cat and they asked me to see if rick was able to have a conversation with them as a colab. Here I am, a kid from wisconsin and I am to set up a meeting between once of the biggest names in fashion and one of the biggest names in music.
Video chat time came with rick owns and I had the lines I was going to say to him so ingrained in my head that i couldn't fail. I eloquently laid out the proposition to work with Doja and he abruptly declined. After much deliberation, I chose to go with Doja because the music industry is my life already with production and it lined up with what I love. Go with what you love.
After deciding to perform at Coachella with Doja Cat I went to work at building another wraith walker as that was the style they wanted and needed at least two on stage. It would be a massive undertaking to build another costume, work out all the logistics and build a shipping box for it all while not telling anyone. No one could know till show day. I trained a good friend of mine for months to be able to perform in it and fitted the costume to him.
costume shipped and we flew out to LA where we would practice with the entire Doja Team for weeks. We each had a choreographer and learned the parts. The experience being there with such talented people was unlike anything I've experienced before.
Sunday of the first weekend of coachella, performance day. We load the bus with amazing energy, all the dancers are excited. we arrive at coachella at our privet camp and immediately checked out what Coachella had to offer. Upon arriving back at camp, one hour before the show my TikTok account got permanently banned.
I'm not going to point any fingers but I learned in the coming days it was a coordinated effort to take down my account.
Showtime, walking to the back stage area, my heart was racing, ponding with excitement but when I got to the stage and walked backstage peering through the sidelines to the 300,000 person audience I felt oddly calm. Show time came and hit my cue perfectly to walk out and heard the roar of the crowd knowing that sound was for the costumes. Such an intense range of emotions I felt on stage but it went so smooth, easy as cake. Our second appearance at the end came out headbanging to the most epic ending of the set. We both put our arm up and it was over.
after the show everyone went back and watched the performance together. It was magical. One week later we did it again at the second weekend of Coachella. Just as good as the first. The entire experience was the experience of a lifetime.
shortly before June I made the Sprite walker, a spiritwalker costume for Dexter who is 9 and is a huge fan. The process has been refined and only took 16.5 hours from start to finish. With this in mind I built this Merch site to help me fun a workshop where I can build these costumes to sell to the general public. Its time. I literally have run out of space as these costumes are just massive. I need an area to build multiple at once and the tools needed to speed up the process. Tools I need: a band saw, drill press, aluminum welder, and a space to put them in. Every purchase of the merch gets me one step closer to getting the costumes out there.