Kelsey Goldberg, aka Karat Gold in her alter ego rapper character as she is known, is one comedian to watch. She has her hands in a few pots of gold, from acting to writing to directing, but she still found a few minutes this past week to sit down with me and talk about her awesome branding, 24k Gold, her life as a comedian and writer, and as an up and coming power influencer. Any brands wanting to hear from the influencer side of things, anyone curious what it takes to become a multi-tasking phenom in The Industry, anyone interested in turning your talents into influence, you don’t want to miss this revealing interview.
ZJ: Kelsey – I love your username, 24k Gold. When did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?
KG: Thanks! I was proud of it (And sad I didn’t think of it when I set up my twitter lol). For me it’s just a play on the 24 Karat Gold. My last name is Goldberg and a friend of mine joked that my rap name should be 24KGold. I can’t rap but I was like “That’s brilliant social media branding!” I set up my Instagram right then because I didn’t want someone else to steal it.
KG: I had a show at the Comedy Central stage on Monday Feb 22nd, and that was hands down the best I’ve ever been. The sketches I wrote were some of my best work as was my performance. It was such a wonderful experience and I was so proud of the other girls in the troupe- they all slayed!
ZJ: To continue with the last question, in what way do you consider yourself a “fool”?
KG: I think we are all fools (and I don’t think that’s a bad thing). There is so much information out there in the universe and we even the best and brightest of us can only know a fraction of it. But I like the idea that we are all fools. I think it’s charming in a childlike way. When you’re young getting something wrong isn’t shameful because you then learn the correct thing, it’s exciting. As long as I’m a fool I’m still learning and experiencing things, which to me, is what living is all about!
ZJ: How long ago did you start your IG and FB profiles?
KG: I got my Facebook in 2006. My Instagram I believe I started in 2011 (my first post was 256 weeks ago if that helps).
ZJ: Where do you gain inspiration for blog posts and IG posts?
KG: Originally my Instagram was really erratic, random photos of things as they were happening. I’ve recently tried to see if I can maintain a consistent vibe to my overall feed. I’m trying color blocking right now. So 9 posts that feature blue, 9 posts that feature red, etc. I’m in a yellow phase right now so I’m posting less because I’m not coming across as many things that are yellow, but it’s cool to go about my daily life seeking out a specific color. It feels like a scavenger hunt almost.
ZJ: It seems that your journey to “influencer” began early in acting school and as an actress. Many influencers start out hoping to gain enough fame to secure acting spots as a result of their social media following and influence. Do you feel this sets you apart from other influencers and if so, in what ways?
KG: My journey towards influencer is a little more practical. As an actor so much of my income comes from side projects. If I can generate even a little spending money by doing something that I already do- it seems foolish to not pursue that avenue. Of course the fact that it raises my public profile is a definite fringe benefit, but if becoming an influencer offered the potential for fame alone, I don’t think I’d pursue it. What being an actress and comedian influencer offers me that I don’t think that it offers other influencers is that my journey is my brand. Other influencers establish a clear aesthetic they are minimalist, they like pastels, they are beauty and fashion, they are food, etc. So their posts have to stay consistent with that branding. Since I’m the brand a fashion post is as at home on my feed as a food post is as vulgar bathroom graffiti is. In that sense it’s very liberating, though it does make getting an initial following a lot harder because you don’t fit into a niche.
ZJ: Is the main source of your income from social media? If not, what is your main job?
KG: In a way it is. The main source of my income is as a personal assistant to an actor, and a huge part of that is running his social media. So yes, but it’s not the social media that’s paying me, but rather the person I’m tweeting as lol.
ZJ: Whom do you most admire?
KG: Carol Burnett, Neil Degrasse Tyson, George Carlin, and Luise Brooks.
ZJ: Do you see yourself as a marketer?
I have resisted seeing myself as a marketer for a long time, but I was kidding myself. Even when not on social media as an actor you are your brand and it’s your responsibility to market yourself. No matter how unromantic that reality sounds.
ZJ: Do you work for brands? Can you give us an example of sponsored posts you have done as an influencer (that we can share in the interview)?
KG: I’m still working on trying to get sponsored posts, but my friend Amy is a Chloe and Isabel vendor so I’ve done a lot of posts on behalf of her Instagram @amyangel.chloeandisabel
ZJ: I saw the post about your new website, AK47presents.com and checked it out. It looks super cool. Can you share more about what you mean by your mission statement: “As a company we are dedicated to exploring the new adventures of story telling that technological advancements have created.” ?
KG: Oh cool! Yeah I’m really excited about this new venture! It’s a production company I started with Allison McAttee. Currently we are in production for our first Webseries Over Easy. We started it because we liked the idea of having a creative outlet where we were the decision makers. Where we could write the roles we want to play and help people tell stories we want to see. When we were brainstorming different ideas we started to get excited about different technologies and what they mean for storytelling. There’s so much being written right now about how the television and film industries are hurting because of the internet. I think that’s because they are so intrinsically linked with the technology that people watch their product on. What does a television company do once televisions are obsolete? We really view ourselves as being in the storytelling business, rather than “internet” or “television.” If the apocalypse happens we’ll be the people telling stories around a campfire, and until then we’ll be telling stories in whatever way excites us. The fact that new technologies often mean lower production costs makes it even better! Plus, there’s so much cool technology coming out that is going to dramatically alter the way we tell stories and I’d love to help pioneer that. So basically if anyone from Oculus is reading this, shoot me an email, I’ve got ideas!
ZJ: At what point did you start gaining massive amounts of followers, and what did you think?
KG: I started gaining massive amounts of followers just this year, probably in September. At first it was just sort of a cool thing, but I didn’t really understand what had changed. I decided I wanted to start to see if I could grow my following at first just as an experience, kind of like taking a part a toy and putting it back together to see how it works. I was more just curious about the mechanics of it, but then I started to see the potential in harnessing that following and how it aligned with my other ventures and then I felt like an idiot for not trying to get in on this sooner.
ZJ: If you were to give someone advice who is thinking about getting into the influencing gig, what would it be?
KG: It’s a lot of work, so if you think it’s just going to be an easy, simple, fun thing you might be a little surprised. It’s a time-consuming, fun thing! Also you are going to hear way more “no thank yous” than “yes’s!” at first, so just be prepared for that.
pic: Kelsey & Allison, Co-Founders of AK47, from their website
ZJ: General words of wisdom you live by?
KG: “Yes and”
ZJ: Why do you think people find you or follow you?
KG: I like to think it’s because my photos are colorful and my captions are funny, but I’m still collecting the data.
ZJ: What is your favorite thing to do outside of your life as an actress, director and in social media?
KG: I write more than I direct, but I do direct as well. For me the best non-work days are all about laughing, reading, eating, and drinking. But I’m also a bit of a workaholic. I work 7 days a week almost every week, so my life is really consumed by what I do. It’s that hokey saying “if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” only it’s more “if you love what you do, you’ll work every day of your life, and you’ll never be happier.”
ZJ: Tell me about a time when you really impacted someone’s life with your social media content. What was the result?
KG: I’m not sure I’ve made any profound impact on anyone’s life through my social media. I do get messages sometimes from people who say things like “your posts always make me smile
” I love that, because when I have conversations with people my objective is to make them smile or laugh, and it’s cool that that comes across in social media.
ZJ: What is your biggest dream in life?
KG: I want to do for storytelling what Steve Jobs did for technology.
ZJ: Favorite quote?
KG: “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.” –Mitch Hedberg
ZJ: The all-time favorite write-up or post you have done?
KG: It’s always whatever I’ll write/post next (I like looking forward).
ZJ: Do you have any upcoming events or announcements you wish to share?
KG: Yes! I have two shows at IOWest in Hollwyood with my comedy troupe @StraitjacketSociety ! On March 9th we’re competing in the scripted comedy festival there and on March 14th the ladies of SJS (Straitjacket Society) have a show on the main stage.
Check out Kelsey Goldberg’s work: