Creatives In Conversation: Kilo Martin is letting his talents in dance, comedy and writing lead the way.
From changing career trajectories after initially going to school for neuroscience to recently relocating to California, Kilo Martin is no stranger to listening to his gut and going after what he wants.
As a comedian, dancer, performer and writer, Kilo has found his voice through living his experiences out loud, enabling him to not only entertain audiences but help connect others in a genuine way through the art of storytelling. After years of splitting his time between playing the drums and wrestling, Kilo continued exploring his artistry as a multi-hyphenate performer in college. Crediting his athleticism and discipline to wrestling, as well as his rhythm and self-expression to being a serious drummer, Kilo's foundation as a performer is rooted in dedication and hard work.
While it may seem like a massive plot twist going from wanting to study to become a doctor to professionally pursuing dance and comedy, Kilo found himself becoming inspired by manifesting different opportunities for himself that helped show how he could turn his passions into a viable career. While he has since amassed multiple "aha" moments in his career that further reinforced he was on the right path, Kilo notes being chosen as a class speaker for his graduating class as an experience that first encouraged him to write bits and jokes, as well as see what it feels like to speak in front of thousands of people and make everyone laugh.
From performing on stage to perfecting his sketch writing behind-the-scenes, Kilo is eager to follow wherever his career may lead him next. Kilo, who you may recognize from a recent campaign with the team here at DropLabs, took a moment to chop it up with us to further talk about his aspirations as a performer, what his best non-advice advice is and where to catch him next on stage.
What do you do for a living and what helped you get started?
I'm a dancer and a comedian. I got started in college. I was intended to be going into neuroscience biomedical research. I always did dance for fun, but it was always as a hobby. In college, over the four years, I had different experiences performing and realized that it was something that I wanted to at least try out. I ended up getting a fellowship that supported my first year after I graduated from school. I just had a very positive experience from that. I got to travel the world and tour with a dance company in Ireland. From there, I taught musical theatre in Costa Rica and then I moved to New York. It felt like that year  was so fruitful that I should continue and keep exploring. I continued to dance and then while I was in New York, I caught a comedy bug. I started doing improv and realized that was another avenue and form of expression that I wanted to pursue.
What does a normal day look like for you now?
That's a good question. I don't think there is a normal day [Laughs] so I've just stopped trying to figure it out. As a comedian, I'm going to open mics and working on ideas for punchlines or an interesting character or a story that I want to act out on stage. I'm constantly writing down my ideas and keeping organized. And then, as a dancer, I'm taking classes, training, stuff like that.
How would you explain the DropLabs experience?
As someone who likes to move a lot, it brought a lot of attention to where the weight in my foot was. Just having those sensations in my foot made it feel like I was moving for the first time in a way. They bring a lot of awareness to your body, like having the vibration closer to the ball of my foot versus the heel and so on.
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice you'd like to pass along to someone first getting started in a creative field?
I try not to give advice because I feel like the world is inundated with advice. I think it would be just to stop listening to other people and just do whatever you want. Again, I know that's ironic, because I'm like, 'Here's my advice, don't listen to advice.' [Laughs] But I really feel that I could say something today that I might change next week. I don't want to say, 'Just do it!' but people should stop listening to advice and just go for it. That's kind of where I'm at right now. I want to get into a headspace where I'm just doing and being more active and I'm not as pensive and relying on mantras or advice. I kind of just want to wake up and live.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I'm seeking representation. Just one of the goals I have. Artistically, I'm a performer at Upright Citizen's Brigade in Hollywood and I am performing a monthly character show there. I dropped a mixtape on Spotify earlier this year that I really want people to listen to. Before I came to LA, I did a stand-up one-man show special in Philly and I produced the show in my house. I recorded it and made it a mixtape. From that, I used it to crowdfund a campaign for my move to LA. That was my big project for 2019. I've been in LA for about eight months now.
Kilo Martin can be found on Instagram at @kilovmart and online at kilomartin.com/. You can catch Kilo's next performance at the Upright Citizen's Brigade in Hollywood on December 11. sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/71730
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