If social media only gives us an illusion of transparency and a false sense of open vulnerability through short spurts of tweets, carefully selected instagram photos, and countless re-blogged images, then wunderkind writer Kris Kidd may be one of the few millenials who has gone a step further to personally explore and express himself by penning insightful, self-deprecating, autobiographical stories and essays. They’re written in a manic, disjointed style of writing – a result perhaps from a combination of the modern way of communicating through fractured, emoji sprinkled text messages and from Kris’s own fast-pace life of parties, drugs, eating disorders, and the coping of a tragic family death.
The 20-year-old is the outcome of the ultra cartoonish pop culture of the 90s and is now a turn-of-the-century wi-fi obsessed wild child – always on the hunt for his next fix. With a heightened sense of self-awareness, Kris shares personal moments and emotions, open full to judgment, in comedic but always raw brutal honesty. His new book, “I Can’t Feel My Face”, a collection of essays presented by The Altar Collective (founded by Katie Hogan), is now available for sale at createspace. Aside from writing, Kris is also an ambitious model, actor, and photographer. The young, tall, and very stylish writer chatted with LAC to tell us more about his new book, online over-sharing, and what to expect from him this year.
LA CANVAS: What’s your morning internet routine?
KRIS KIDD: You know, I don’t really have one— or at least not one that’s super specific. I honestly don’t remember the last time I sat in front of a computer for anything other than work. Everything I do in terms of social media is done through my iPhone, so I just sort of check it constantly.
LAC: How do you decide what and how much to publicly share about yourself – either on your essays, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
KD: I feel like I’ve put so much out there already. I’ve been documenting every unsavory aspect of my life online since I was fourteen. My O.G. readers already know more about me than I probably know about myself— and that’s actually kind of weirdly comforting. So really, it’s not so much about deciding what to share as it is about just me posting it. I also think that’s kind of the allure of my writing. I’m the least mysterious person ever. It’s all out there. I think that at this point in the game, for me to start holding things back would be hypocritical.
LAC: When you look back at your work, do you worry that you have shared too much?
KD: No, not at all! I mean, there have been a few times throughout the years where I have looked back on it all and sort of wondered whether or not I should have said certain things. I’ve had experiences where people in my life have gotten their feelings hurt, or have gotten embarrassed, and that always bums me out. I’ve never gone out of my way to hurt anyone with my writing, that’s the main reason I try to steer clear of using any names, but the fact of the matter is that I’m all about telling the story as it is and how it happened— no holds barred, pull no punches. That’s kind of my thing.
LAC: You’re only 20 and even though you have personally gone through so much, do you ever wonder if the life events that you write about happened so recently that you haven’t developed a further maybe better hindsight perspective to dissect exactly what happened?
KD: Oh, totally. I don’t even wonder about it, it’s just a fact. The really heavy shit with my dad only happened about five years ago— 2009, so whenever the fuck that was— and I mean, there’s no way that in a period of time that short I could have come far enough, or grown enough as a person to fully understand my situation. I’m still a kid, you know? But I think that is exactly what makes pieces of work like “I Can’t Feel My Face” so special. It’s not a fucking self-help book. I’m not trying to tell anybody how I got better, or how I “found the light.” I don’t really think I’ve come that far, or grown that much as a person since 2009 at all. And I think that’s what’s cool about it. I’m not dissecting anything. My perspective is authentic because it’s real, and current. It’s still going on. I don’t want to be forty years old and still writing about being a trainwreck. This is the time to do it.
LAC: You cover heavy topics with humor, why?
KD: I’d love to say that there’s some sort of artistic merit to this, or that it’s a part of my “unique writing technique,” or whatever— but the fact of the matter is that it’s just how I deal with everything. If something is hurting me or making me uncomfortable, it’s my gut reaction to detach myself from whatever it is, and immediately begin joking about it. Obviously, this is a super healthy and mature way to deal with life, and I recommend that everyone take note. It worked out great for me. Obviously.
LAC: Your favorite form of therapy?
KD: The kind where I don’t show up.
LAC: URL friends or IRL friends?
KD: IRL, duh. I mean, I wholeheartedly appreciate the feedback from everyone online, and I love being able to communicate with people all over the world, but there’s something really special about the few people in my life that I consider to be actual friends. They’ve all been through a lot (and put up with a lot) with me, so I know they’re in it for the long haul. Like, they all clean up after me and take care of me, and the older ones buy me alcohol because I can’t because I’ve lost all of my fake I.D.’s, and even when I had them I still got really anxious at the checkout line… so yeah. My IRL friends are pretty great.
LAC: What’s the one thing that automatically makes you happy?
KD: I love to hear from my readers. I know that sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. Especially at times like these when I’m just releasing something, and they’re all so excited, and messaging me, telling me what they thought of the essays. I love that. I know that I’m super shallow and self-absorbed, but it really does bring a smile to my face to know that people are taking something away from the things I write.
LAC: Your spirit animal?
KD: Big Ang from Mob Wives.
LAC: Best drug?
KD: Honestly? Adderall. It’s like coke (mostly because I’m super into snorting it,) but it’s legal, and you don’t have to deal with any sketchy dealers to get ahold of it. You’ve just got to bullshit your way through a session with a psychiatrist, or find a friend who has a younger sibling with ADHD. I’d say Vyvanse, because I mean, it’s super chic, and it’s basically like designer Adderall, but that shit will make you chew through your lip if you’re not ready for it. It happened to my best friend and it was really gross.
LAC: Best time to write?
KD: When I’m drinking. I take Hemingway’s advice super seriously.
LAC: What are you listening to?
KD: I don’t know, really. It ranges from Joy Division’s “Hellbent” to anything on Diplo & Friends on BBC1. I need music to dance to and music to cry to. I’m kind of all over the place like that.
LAC: What do you want people to get out of your new book that you might think some readers might overlook?
KD: I don’t think there’s really anything to overlook. It’s definitely one of those things where you get from it what you take. I completely understand that some people will enjoy it for its face value— the partying and the drugs or whatever. Other people might find some deep connection with it, and I know for a fact that others will choose to disregard it entirely. That’s kind of the beauty of it.
LAC: Out of everything you do, from writing, modeling, acting, photography, etc – what one thing would you like to be best known for?
KD: Writing, absolutely. I feel like I’ve tried a bunch of different outlets, tested them all out, but nothing feels as rewarding as writing. I think it’s because writing is something that requires my whole self. I really need to be present to accomplish it, and I’m never present for anything. So when I finally achieve a goal with my writing, or finish a certain piece of work, I get really excited.
LAC: Plans for 2014?
KD: Well I’ll be hustling this new book for a while, and that will definitely be my main focus. I have a few film projects lined up with DAZED Digital that I’m really excited about as well. I’m also lined up for a really rad collaborative effort with another author, and I’m really stoked on that. I’d also love to keep working with The Altar Collective, (www.thealtarcollective.com) who helped me publish “I Can’t Feel My Face.” They’re such a rad company and I know they have a lot planned for 2014 as well. That’s about it for now— I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! It will definitely be an interesting year. But hey, it always is, right?