Dylan Gilmer (Young Dylan) smiled from ear to ear as he departed Germantown Elementary School in a shiny, red convertible, headed for City Hall in Annapolis to celebrate a big dream that came true at just ten years old. Dylan is getting his very own television show.
Onlookers stood outside watching a motorcade move through residential streets on Monday, October 28, 2019, in honor of the young performer and actor who is proudly putting Annapolis on the map. Dylan was greeted by a packed room full of adults and schoolchildren who showed up to celebrate the fifth grader’s next chapter, which will unfold under big lights, away from the Sailing Capital of the United States.
Dylan’s wider notoriety exploded after “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” regularly began featuring the young artist performing high-tempo hip-hop and rap songs. Along the way, one of Ellen’s
favorite kid performers was sent to the NBA All-Star Weekend to talk to NBA players and showcase his lyrical skills.
An appearance on Nickelodeon’s “All That” later led to an exceptional opportunity with the help of Dylan’s new celebrity friend, Ellen DeGeneres. While appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” DeGeneres and Tyler Perry teamed up to surprise the Annapolitan with a life-changing announcement. Perry will be writing a show for the Germantown Elementary School student.
“So, you want to act? You met with the casting people at Nickelodeon and you want to keep acting, right?” Ellen casually asked Dylan, during a visit on one of her previous shows that aired in early October.
Dylan explained that he wanted to keep acting, because it’s fun to meet new people, such as the cast, director and characters on the show, “All That.”
After DeGeneres told Dylan that she thought he is a natural actor, she informed him that someone saw his tape from the Nickelodeon’s casting. That someone was world-renowned producer, director and screenwriter, Tyler Perry. After chatting with Dylan in-person, Perry explained that the head of Nickelodeon called him about writing a sitcom for Annapolis’s kid rapper.
I got my own show!” Dylan exclaimed with excitement on Ellen, while thanking both DeGeneres and Perry.
Dylan’s inspiring journey was recapped locally on Monday, October 28, 2019 during an Annapolis City Council meeting. He received a city council citation, a second from The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County, hometown gifts, and even a key to the city, in recognition of his accomplishments as a rapper and actor.
“In recognition of your talents as a musician, an actor, the teachers, students and staff members of Anne Arundel County Public Schools are proud of you. May you continue to be a positive influence on children all over the world, shining your bright smile upon everyone you meet. Congratulations,” Annapolis’s Mayor Gavin Buckley said.
Dylan expressed his gratitude with heartfelt thanks to Mayor Buckley; Alderwoman Sheilia Finlayson; the City of Annapolis; and his family and friends. Before the big celebration at City Hall, Dylan said that he is headed to the top but he will try his best to stay connected with his family and friends. He also plans to take trips home to Annapolis, although he is scheduled to leave for Atlanta, Geogia in November.
“I feel so happy, and it’s a dream come true. This is big, working with Tyler Perry. He’s like a big-time director and I’m just trying to make it to the top. Never stop!” Dylan said, during an interview with The Annapolis Times newspaper. “Well, I don’t know the name of the show yet, but I’m starring on my own show. I don’t know too much about it yet, but I know that it’s really going to be cool!”
Dylan’s mother, DeAundra DeJesus explained that her son has been rapping publicly for three or four years. She believes that his personality and manners helped him to make recent strides.
“I feel very overwhelmed but blessed as well,” DeJesus said, while offering a tip for other young people with dreams. “I would say never give up. If you have a strong work ethic and support system, you can achieve any dream you choose.”