Alum is down with O.P.P on Spike TV

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GVSU Alumni Josh Lewis and partner Tom DeTone have a TV series called Repo Games.

Courtesy Photo / GVSU Alumni Josh Lewis and partner Tom DeTone have a TV series called “Repo Games”.

Elijah Brumback

Josh Lewis likes to says he’s a wholesome country boy, who grew up playing sports and getting into a little bit of what he calls “good trouble.” The thing is, Josh Lewis is a hustler at heart and the former Reed-City native is currently on the grind.

Lewis, who graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2003, currently lives in Los Angeles and recently finished filming for “Repo Games,” a new reality TV series on Spike TV on which he co-hosts.

“I feel like god did this for me, so it just seems like it was meant to be,” Lewis said.

The basic premise for “Repo Games” follows Lewis and co-host Tom DeTone as they travel city-to-city and state-to-state repossessing vehicles. But, to make it interesting Lewis and DaTone offer those who are late on their payments a chance to win back their car by answer five simple trivia questions.

So far the show has filmed 20 episodes in its first season, though Lewis could not say yet if the show was coming back for a second.

But just as unpredictable as the second season may be, so was the decision to move to L.A.

Lewis said he left a comfortable life in Madison, Wisconsin complete with big screen TVs and business consulting jobs that kept his bank account fat, because he was beginning to feel complacent. He wanted to challenge himself and it was time for a change.

“I got my MBA in November of last year,” he said. “But I’m always trying to do bigger and better things with my life, make more money. I needed a change, I felt like things were just getting to easy.”

On the encouragement of friends, Lewis headed for California. He worked several jobs as a security guard and as a bouncer at a nightclub, but his experience repossessing cars made him a match for a “Repo Games” casting call.

“I had a few friend out in California who said it was beautiful and that I needed to come out there,” Lewis said. “So I did, I took my drive driving out there though.”

During the drive across the country Lewis stopped to see the sights, pit stopping at the Grand Canyon and other attractions taking time to collect his thoughts.

“I drove the whole way in about four days,” he said. “It was fun and it gave me time to think about what I was going to do.”

Still, Lewis landed the gig on “Repo Game”, just five months after arriving in L.A. and last Thursday was the one-year anniversary since he moved, which got him thinking a little about the past.

It was back in 2003, while living in Grand Rapids, that a friend of Lewis’ introduced him to repo work. It was this introduction that ultimately lead him to be shoe-in for Repo Games.

“Sometime I think about those late nights back when I first started repossessing cars with my buddy,” Lewis said. “Sometimes they were pretty crazy, but I wouldn’t take back the experience. It was fun, and now I get to be a goofball on TV and fun.”

Aside from a few acting gigs in television commercials for auto dealerships and a brief stint with the Grand Rapids Civic Theater, Lewis’ experience with the rigors of television production was limited. Still, being a sort of modern renaissance man of hustle, Lewis couldn’t be more pleased with the hectic shooting schedules and incessant travel.

“Out here you’re always busy,” Lewis said. “I’ve met some great people and I get to work with people who are really profession and know the business.”

Executive producer of “Repo Games” SallyAnn Salasano, who is also responsible for the staggeringly successful MTV show “Jersey Shore” is the driving for behind “Repo Games” and Lewis couldn’t say enough about the quality and scale of the production.

“It’s cutting edge programming,” he said. “I’ve always been adventurous and this is something I am proud to be a part of.”

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