Retired military veteran segues into an exciting life of creating indie movies as a filmmaker.
By Leslie E. Royal
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Thelma C. Brown dreamed of being an actress a child. Those dreams were paused as she matriculated at Grambling State University. She transferred to Northwestern State University where she was commissioned into the ROTC program.
After earning her degree in Business Administration, she enlisted in the United States Army. A decorated, combat veteran with an impressive list of assignments here and abroad, she retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 25 years of dedicated service.
“The reason I became an actress after the military was to help with my mental health. When I retired from the military, I found myself in a place that, unfortunately, a lot of veterans find themselves. Alone, depressed, sad, detached, and in the dark. (PTSD) Acting helped bring me to the light. It was the thing that got me out of the house. It was my escape,” says Thelma.
She had roles in television shows including Atlanta Homicide, Fatal Attraction, American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda, and numerous others. She’s built on those on-screen laurels and is making moves and creating waves off-screen. She is the owner of a film company, producer, and director. Thelma’s company has produced seven movies and co-produced others.
Her first movie was called True Love. It followed with Date Night, Exodus 20:13, I Just Love That Man, Waiting Room, Corona Love, and Neighborly Visit. Two of the movies were selected to be a part of the International Choice Film Festival. I Just Love That Man won awards for Best Female Director and Best Sound Design at the Bettiah International Film Festival in 2022.
“I started my productions company Taking Care of Buziness in 2019 and changed it to Taking Care of Buziness Enterprises in 2021. I wanted to make films that would inspire women to overcome life’s adversities. My and every other filmmaker’s goal should be to entertain, educate and empower,” says Thelma.
Never forgetting her personal struggles with PTSD upon leaving the military, she is now a Peer Mentor and Peer Leader for female veterans with the Wounded Warrior project. She is a member of Lambda Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Having many projects in the works, she always takes time to focus on her son DeMichael and grandbaby Avery.
“I love what I do because it is my way of giving back to my community and the world. Through my filmmaking I get to tell the stories about stuff I have heard people I grew up with talking about,” says Thelma. “The Lord has blessed me with so much. I’m a cancer survivor, tumor survivor, was deployed twice and returned with all my soldiers, lived through 9/11, and the DC sniper. Every day I’m still here on earth I’m blessed.”
Written By: Leslie Royal
Leslie E. Royal is an encourager, global travel writer, lifestyle writer, author, product profile writer, and multi-media journalist.