Kaelin Isserlin.

The influences in my life that are humans are as follows (in no particular order):

Bo Burnham, Kaelin Isserlin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Linda Garneau, Evan Peters, Julie Andrews, Lady GaGa, and my grandmother.

I will attempt to explain my reasons for why these people have a greater influence on me than others. Hope it functions properly.

The majestic creature I have the fortune of calling my dear friend.

The first time I met this boy was on a tour of Ryerson University. Immediately, I was drawn to his energy. He was dressed in a white top with cut-outs in the shoulder area and as he bounced beside me, his fiery hair followed the same rhythm. I couldn’t help but introduce myself out of a desire to be a part of his life. I wanted to know who this person really was. Is that too intrusive?

We eventually realized we were in the same program and class, creating a relationship from there. I knew that I could be myself around him, even from the first moments of awkwardness. It was “Frosh” week at the time, so I ended up meeting him again at a club to find that his personality was even more contagious under the influence. I was hooked.

When I have conversations with him, whether they are 30 second catch-ups or hour-long deep convos, I feel completely invested in the way he thinks about life. He will discuss politics like it’s a joke, speak about death as if it were a living person, and laugh about ANYTHING. My sense of humour is very crude sometimes, but I never feel like I have to censor myself because if the joke doesn’t land, he will make a noise through his gorgeous mouth to lighten the mood. I am content with that. I’ll take any form of attention!

ANYways, when I decided to include Kaelin in my list of human influences, it felt perfectly okay to talk openly about him, even though he is a close friend. I don’t think others will understand how wonderful he is unless they have met him. He is such a new spirit in my life and I am constantly in awe of his greatness.

Enjoy a small interview I did with him via Facebook messenger (we live in the same city but still don’t have the time to meet up in person… life is crazy).

Let’s get serious. Life sucks. Where do YOU find a will to live? Asking for a friend…

KI: I find a lot of comfort in the fact that I don’t mean a lot in the eye of the universe or even earth. Its really freeing to know that my actions don’t mean much in the large scheme and I can do anything I want as a regular guy. I have a good understanding on what’s my own choice and what I can do to make things better in my little world. Even if I become a big deal in this social ladder, I am very confident in my sense of self, knowing it is not permanent and ever changing. I know I can make things and explore myself, my relationships and the natural world around me. People might be interested in that and it’s totally rad if they aren’t. Knowing that I am my main character and nothing is permanent makes me feel comfortable and in control. Also there is a Sam Harris guided meditation video on YouTube that really gets me going.

Having both a healthy body and a healthy mind is almost impossible with the crazy expectations set on us. How do you stay sane in this world?

KI: I feel like I’m super lucky with my genetics that I can put the whole healthy body thing on the back burner and just let it be. Healthy mind on the other hand, I work really hard on doing things that are going to make me happy. Making meals, washing myself, all that simple stupid things. Also meditation has been really helpful for me. I have a bad habit of forgetting to breathe, as dumb as that sounds, so reminding myself to do that is important.

Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie?

KI: Neither. If I ever meet both of them I’ll figure out but until then I hope they both r chill or whatever. (But also Angelina is a pretty lady and I don’t even remember what Brad looks like so so maybe Angie?)

When does toast become too burnt for you?

KI: I think the toast should be less than a third black and it’ll be fine. Anything more is the danger zone.

If the idea is that dancers and artists are supposed to censor their thoughts out of fear of offending someone, how are we supposed to push the envelope? Do you think art is at risk of dying because of censorship?

KI: In my personal life, I tend to lack censorship or patience when talking to people. Telling people how it is, sometimes not in the nicest ways, is the way I do it. If that’s right, I don’t know, but at least people know what I think. I think it’s important to be able to share your word in order to shape society. It’s kind of an artist’s job. Lack of transparency makes people cloudy and hard to understand and I think an artist should be able to say what they stand for. There will always be artists resisting censorship and ignoring the rules and I think that’s important. What I think is interesting is people who can play around the rules of censorship but warp them subtly to create change softly.

If you were to create a time capsule right at this very moment in time, what would you put in it? You would open it again in the year 2068.

KI: Oh maybe like a collection of love notes, a journal or something. Maybe my phone or some kind of usb full of photos. Also maybe a bottle of kombucha, see how it ferments over 50 years.

Personally, I think women will take over the world in the near future and wipe out the entire male species. Would you rather transform into a squirrel or a bird when this happens?

KI: I wanna be a bird but like one that talks and lives in someone’s house and can just listen to the shit going on.

Finally, if Fiona Apple and Feist fought in a fist fight, how many f’s would you give?

KI: As many F’s as I can. Hopefully it turns into a fun collab project and I get some new music out of it.

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