New Zealand-American Actor Kelvin Taylor Stars in Adult Swim’s Gemusetto Machu Picchu Season 2
Kelvin, tell us a little more about how you got into acting!
Kia Ora, which means “good health” and other affirmations in the native Maori language of New Zealand.
I’m humbled and beyond super grateful to answer these questions.
There are many factors that lead me into Performance Arts or the arts.
I’d like to consider myself a product of MySpace at The Birth of The YouTube generation.
We were less concerned with the reward system of a Likes that Facebook and YouTube incorporated in 2009.
We prided ourselves in our creativity and supported each other.
During this time, I sought ways to express myself with a bit of HTML and a theme song.
This was grounded in my streetwear modeling roots along with breakdancing, video games, street racing and subcultures alike.
Growing up in Virginia, (which is my home-state) I felt like an outsider, especially given America’s track record on race relations.
My mother was adopted, Grandmother on my father’s side was adopted so I had no lineage to attach myself too.
Unconsciously on a quest longing to belong and be more than a European given colour Huey, I started to understand other cultures.
Living through this challenge identity and social handicaps of race relations gave me a gift of becoming a cultural enigma.
Every culture is different and I think it has helped me become more self-aware in life.
The friction between you versus another culture reveals to you the things you unconsciously believed, based on your domestic home culture.
So overall what inspired me into acting was a trip to Australia and specifically to a city named Perth in Western Australia.
I was living in South Perth with My 3 Flatmates (roommates for Americans) which were from Sudan, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
One of them named Khadir happened to be a Film Major at Edith Cowan University.
There was something amazing about his short story of a half-Indian and Portuguese woman with a mixed-race Australian man that made me see the beauty in film making.
It was “Low Budget as” for 2008–09 but the creativity and joy onset was priceless.
I dabbled in theater but this was my 1st time on a Video via YouTube.
It was called the “Set Up”.
You have got to work on so many awesome projects! What have been some of your favorite?
I honestly can’t pick any particular project because I am just beyond grateful to play in the sandbox and honor any work as mindfully as I can.
Storytelling in any capacity I find captivating because it challenges your humanity and ability to connect to things greater than yourself.
You become a vessel on borrowed time and might find success either financially or spiritual being gifted opportunities not owed to you.
There were subjects that used to be taboo to me due religious upbringings in America.
Stories are full of conflict and I began to understand ways people cope with hardships and mental health.
I had to learn we all bleed differently and that granted me the ability to have compassion not only for others but myself on this journey called life.
Any acting role will challenge your authenticity and perspective on things that you might not have understood without the circumstances being practical to you.
Acting certainly can make you a more well rounded and loving human, with “kind” added in the mix.
What would you say to aspiring actors who look up to your work?
I’d tell them to look up to the space, not me, lol.
No, honestly, I’d say I’m still growing equally the same as you and to never stop evolving in art and in life.
Compliment your path of life daily and water those that water and nurture your gifts.
Also understand, as long as you are active, you are successful.
Fame is just the globe finding out you are active literally.
Things do not work unless you do.
There are innumerable amounts of intricacies in acting and art that humble you to know this is Marathon, not a race.
A Lot of things are DIY but it’s the strangers that meet you with fresh eyes that mean everything.
Strangers that meet you with no judgment of the past but only being present and that for me makes it worthwhile.
No man is self made, so give back when you are in a position to do so and mentor.
Also with art, you have to love the process of it all.
The auditions, script reading, the rejection, the callbacks all with a grain of salt, humility and the endurance to keep pushing for what you love.
Be in anything you do fully and be a compliment to those around you or you will not last. Mindfulness is lost in a lot of American values.
Many have a “I made it, so can you” mentality and it can be very selfish.
I am for Eastern community (common-unity) over Western individualism.
I have associates in Los Angeles, especially musicians that are trying to live up to an image and lifestyle that is not them, nor is that sustainable.
Always remember, If you chase the cheers, you will leave with the boo’s.
Don’t lose yourself.
Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?
I’ve been voicing a lot of cartoon characters lately.
I had the fortunate chance of meeting through creative friends some great people from Adult Swim and humbly just out of friendship they created a character for me in Adult Swim’s Gemusetto Machu Picchu season 2 with is titled “Gemusetto: Death Beats.”
I am also voicing on an animated New Zealand series called “The War At Home” by Lewis Roscoe which is about an alternate 1989 where the events of the Cold War come onto New Zealand shores.
Cartoons were always some place where I could belong and be more than a societal label that are far removed from what it means to be part African.
I’m thrilled to be able to voice with hopes of working in Nollywood someday and Chinese Cinema.
I found out recently that my DNA links me back to being Nigerian Moors in Africa, also being part British, German, Irish and French from around New Orleans.
I am slowly retracing my voice on top of cartoons and simultaneously my heritage, past spirituality, ethnic tongue and connection to earth.
Instagram still won’t verify a brother, lol.
But I’m verifiable at heart and that’s all the social proof I need.
Proof that investing in yourself is worthwhile.
Live your life your ancestors will see as a movie and you are the architect and betting on yourself not for yourself but for a legacy you can be proud of.
My nomadic path into acting is not just for me but for others I met and will meet including my wife, my children, which are bigger than myself.
Follow Kelvin Taylor:
- Instagram: @kelvintayloractor
Photo Credit: Jean Pierre Guillotin
Location Credit: Game On — Auckland, New Zealand